'Twilight' Countdown: Meet 'Twilight' guy Larry Carroll
It’s true that the cast of “Twilight” has done more interacting with fans than is typical of most movie stars. (Did Zac Efron do a mall tour to promote “High School Musical 3”? I think not.) With the premiere just days away, Robert Pattinson and his co-stars are still being shipped around the states meeting and greeting with fans, while “Twilight” fan sites are now being deluged with more interviews and video clips than ever.
But credit the tireless, year-long efforts of MTV’s Larry Carroll -- and his “Twilight” Tuesdays -- for being there first. Tonight, he’ll host the first installment of “Spoilers,” for which he flew a few hundred fans from across the country to Los Angeles for a private Q&A with director Catherine Hardwicke and the movie’s stars. (Tune in to MTV at 7:30 p.m. to check out what went down.)
But how did Larry, a thirtysomething dude with a newborn, get hooked on the vampire-laced teen romance in the first place? What did he really thinks of the books? He took a short time-out from pounding out another “Twilight” Tuesday to explain:
Tell me how you got to be a “Twilight” guy.
I’d been working for MTV for four years covering movies. I was up at Sundance in January and I interviewed Kristen Stewart, who was up there promoting a movie called ‘The Yellow Handkerchief.’ That still hasn’t even come out yet and probably won’t for another year. (It’s a good little movie!) She mentioned that she had something called ‘Twilight’ coming up that was based on a vampire series. She said from what she’d heard, it was pretty popular with the kids.
So we ran just a little blurb on the MTV Movies blog saying she’s got this movie ‘Twilight’ coming out, and she hoped it wouldn’t ‘suck.’ Ha ha ha. The little item exploded. It got more comments and traffic than ever. At the time, I was not much of a young adult book reader, but I saw that a lot of people cared about this one, so I thought I’d find some more scoop. I read the books. And everything we published just went crazy, so I kept at it. That’s where the ‘Twilight’ Tuesdays come from.
How long were you on set during production of the movie?
Two days. I wanted to shoot as much as I can, so I did traditional interviews, I asked a ton of hardcore fan questions -- from boxers or briefs to what’s your favorite kind of mac 'n' cheese -- and we had the stars read the results of our poll on what to name the fans: Twilighters or Twihards. I preferred Twihards -- I’m a big John McLane fan and I that would have been hilarious.
(Over 100 fans thanked Larry with a homemade video posted on MTV.com)
Why do you think the books are such a huge hit?
I can totally see why they’re such a big hit and why people love ‘em so much. The target audience is obviously a little different than me. I’m in my early 30s guy. But I think the appeal is in the strength of Stephenie Meyer’s voice and the confidence in her tale. I love the way she says, ‘This is my story and I’m going to tell it this way.’ There’s no bending to commercial considerations. Bella and Edward don’t have to have sex in the first book. A vampire story doesn’t need to have blood and guts all over it. She took something that’s been around for awhile and created something very different.
What did you think of ‘Breaking Dawn’?
I definitely enjoyed it a lot more the second time that I read it than the first time. I finished it the first time and thought, ‘Really? That’s how it’s going to wrap up?’ I mean that was really my only thought. It seemed very different from the first three books. When I read it the second time, it seemed to flow better. But it goes back to Stephenie doing whatever she wants to do -- and I love that. She did some pretty out-there things in ‘Breaking Dawn.’
I remember we interviewed her just when the reviews were first coming in. My baby was actually born that Monday and literally the last thing I was doing before I ran out the door was write questions for Stephenie. It pained me to have to write, ‘There are fans that are so mad they’re returning their books -- what do you say to these people?’
But the fans are funny. The initial reaction is always to [go nuts], but then they grow to accept things. They [went nuts] over the casting, the hair of the actors in the movie, they were that way with a lot of things Stephenie has done. I think now they’re coming around to ‘Breaking Dawn.’ By the time they make the movie 5-6 years from now, everyone will love it.
Catch up on past Countdown interviews: Robert Pattinson (Parts 1, 2 and 3), Kristen Stewart, director Catherine Hardwicke (Parts 1 and 2), screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, Peter Facinelli, Edi Gathegi and Taylor Lautner.
-- Denise Martin
Photo credit: Larry Carroll