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'Twilight' Countdown: Edi Gathegi's vampire love

Edi_gathegi 22 days left...

At first, Edi Gathegi wasn’t jonesing to play a vampire. The 29-year-old actor portraying Laurent tells us that, in fact, it wasn’t clear to him that he was auditioning to play one of the nomad vampires in the big-screen adaption of Stephenie Meyer’s hit novel “Twilight.” “I just remember having to read some very strange things to [director] Catherine Hardwicke,” he says. “I wasn’t sold until I read the book itself.”

But now, Gathegi is hooked. He talks to us about channeling his inner blood-sucker, getting to meet Meyer, and which of the  “Twilight” books is his favorite. (Yes, it's true. He’s read all four!)

How’d you get involved with the movie?
A casting director who I’ve worked with suggested I audition, but I didn’t know what the story was, or that I was a vampire. I was hesitant when I first got there too. My character was saying things like ‘What is your hunting range?’ And I was thinking, ‘Hmmm, I don’t know about this material.’ I knew it was otherworldly, but I wasn’t convinced about doing it.

What changed your mind?
My agent said I had to read the book. Once I started, I pretty much flew through it. It was fantastic. Yes, it’s a vampire story, but it’s really about love. It had a heart. The vampire stuff is almost just a backdrop. Also, during the auditions, I had a blast with Catherine. Her energy and enthusiasm won me over. In Hollywood, you don’t have a lot of awesome audition experiences, but she and I just clicked.

Many “Twilight” fans are eager to know if the actors have read the books. Be honest -- have you read past the first?
I've read them all. “Breaking Dawn”? I finished that in two days. I have to tell you, every time I finished one of them, a little piece of me died. I’d become invested in that world. I really felt sad. After the fourth one, I was like, ‘What am I going to do with my life.’

Seriously. I’m hardcore. My favorite is the first one. What Stephenie did so well was create to create a believable human world and then introduce the supernatural in a believable way. When Bella’s questioning the otherworldly things going on, it’s real and exciting. The tension is what I loved.

Have you gotten a chance to profess your love to Stephenie?
She flew up to Portland the day I wrapped filming. We were like two ships passing in the night. We ended up meeting at Comic Con for the first time, and I freaked out. I flooded her with praise. We got to know each other better at a dinner the studio held for us. We sat next to each other the whole evening. I monopolized her time, really, but I was just so excited. She’s a doll.

In the book, your character appears just toward the last third. But you and the other bad vamps appear to be pretty important in the trailers we’ve seen.
The script is close to the book, but I can tell you this: Our presence is stronger in the movie. We’re there early on. We are the conflict. There’s so much fun being had by us throughout the film.

Vampires have long been defined by their fangs, but in “Twilight” they don’t have any. How did you transform yourself into a bloodthirsty killer without them?
In Stephenie’s mythology, vampires have to concentrate to appear human. For me, it was an exercise in stillness. The less I did, the creepier I’d be. The more vampire I’d be. I tried to imagine the energy and super strength flowing through my body. That’s sort of the mental prep I’d do to get into character. Personally, I’m glad that we don’t rely on the fangs or the garlic to tell the story. This is a lot more interesting.

You’re also smarter than at least one of the other nomad vampires. You last until the second book. Are you game for reprising the role?
I haven’t heard anything about the sequel, but I’d love to be a part of it. The fans have been so great. You know, I don’t think any of the actors had any idea how large this was going to get. After the initial shock, I think we’ve all been able to appreciate the fact that we have these amazing and supportive fans. It’s really something else.

Have you seen the completed film yet?
I haven’t yet! But I will very, very soon. It’s been busy. Doing interviews, getting fitted for a premiere outfit ...

Ooooh! What are you wearing?
I think I’m going to rock out a suit. Keep it classy, you know? A nice, dark suit.

-- Denise Martin


Complete 'Twilight' Countdown coverage
Complete 'Twilight' coverage on Hero Complex

Photo credit: WireImage

Comments () | Archives (13)

Awww Edi is SO cute! I am happy he is a hardcore fan! And that is adorable what he said about Stephenie! I JUST LOVE THE WHOLE CAST! Sorry, fangirl moment over lol.

I love Edi!

Can't wait for the movie!!!!!!

aahh!! Edi rox my sox :) haha im pretty sure im like the only person on the planet who is completely THRILLED by everyone who was casted!! i mean rob, kristen, nikki, edi, EVERYONE is perfect! sure they may not be how everyone pictured them. but i think everyone will do an amazing job :) my personal faves who were casted (beside kristen and rob of course) are Laurent, Billy, Charlie, and Jessica. haha and of course James and victoria...and alice..and carlisle and esme and jasper... GAAHH!! theres to many to pick from they are all so awsome!

Edi, you are my hero! :) His interviews are always fantastic because he knows the material. I know it's not quite canon, but it makes me want to see more of Laurent.

EDI is amazing! I can't wait to see him in the movie. He is a very intimidating presence and the movie would not be the same without him. :)

Gah, Edi is teh prettiest vampire of them all with those dreads! Love this guy, I personally think he should be the only actor to represent the movie cause he's so eloquent and articulate!lol

Omg, I love Edi! he's such a class act! When I watched the comicon panel on youtube, I just kept telling my friend, "Him and the girl who plays Victoria are amazing!" Just love this guy, hope to see him in the sequel---cause you know there's a sequel!!!

Squee---he's read all four! You know, it shows when he's interviewed that he loves the story. Out of every actor I've seen interviewed, Edi comes across to get SM's vision the best. He's so handsome and that voice is as smooth as honey! Love him as Laurent!!!

Awesome article.

Love Edi and his work on 'House'

BTW, found this article through http://TwilightersAnonymous.com

Edi you rock it. You have impressed me the most, in your interviews, and in the previews. So compelling. Catherine did a great job casting you! I think you are the best vampire of them all, with your elegance and command, you should have a sequel all to yourself!


edi is awesome!
i met him today at the phoenix twilight signing. along with taylor and rachelle. they were all really down to earth. i'm from kenya like edi, so we spoke swahili to eachother! i dont think he'll forget me seeing as my sis and i were the only black ppl out of thousands of screaming girls. lol AND we were kenyan. he wont forget that! cant wait for the movie!

I LOVE TWILIGHT SO MUCH I WOULD LOVE IT I COULD MEET ROBERT. (EDWARD COLLINS) IT WOULD BE MY WISH FOR MY B-DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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