New Moon Set Visit, Day One: Twilight's Volturi Unveiled

Get a detailed first look at the new villains of Twilight: New Moon in Part One of RT's New Moon set report.

That Fanning made such an impression with so little was, well, impressive. In contrast, Cameron Bright, another seasoned child actor whose credits include X-Men 3, Thank You for Smoking, and the creepy-kid flicks Godsend and Birth, had next to nothing to do as Jane's twin and fellow Volturi guard, Alec. (Sadly, this probably comes from Alec's presence, or lack thereof, in the book.) But Bright is already growing out of his kid roles, so by the time a Breaking Dawn film becomes reality, we hope his part gets juicier.

Then again, the real star of the Volturi is Aro. Michael Sheen, who ironically played the vampire-hating werewolf Lucien in the Underworld series (below right), is a terrific addition to the cast. Dressed in a fine Italian suit, circa 1980, Aro wears his hear in a slick ponytail and wears gold necklaces. His Aro is a sinister villain; welcoming on the surface, but clearly calculating, unpredictable, and off-putting.

"I love the thing in the books that Stephenie wrote about how these vampires are all really beautiful, and that's what lures people into their web," Sheen explained between scenes. "And yet, Aro is not like that; she describes Aro as being not the same sort of thing. I like the idea that it's his voice that lulls people in, or his sort of demeanor, rather than the way he looks -- because he looks quite weird and scary."

"I've tried to go down that route, make him very mesmerizing to people, that his voice is gentle and soft -- and yet, there's something kind of unhinged about him."

It was a single word that gave Sheen the inspiration for his take on Aro. "I read it over and over again, that particular bit in the book, because there are all kinds of things that she says -- like, she describes his voice as being quite feathery -- that's what gave me the idea of making it very soft, and light."

That deceptive lightness is what makes Sheen's Aro so effective. We watched New Moon's pivotal "meeting" scene unfold, as Edward and Alice are forced to bring Bella into the Volturi's nest to meet Aro and the others for the first time.

"What a happy surprise! Bella is alive after all," Sheen exclaims, oblivious to the looks of trepidation on the faces of his new guests. He approaches the trio, arms open, reaching out to sniff Bella's "sweet" blood and to "read" Edward's thoughts. Sheen's eyes blink open with discovery.

"You can't read Bella's thoughts," he announces, abruptly. Sheen turns to Stewart, a gleam in his eye. "I'd like to see if you're an exception to my gifts as well. Would you do me the honor?"

 

Bella (Stewart) hesitates, looking nervously to Edward before offering her hand. After a moment, Sheen lets out an enormous cackle of amusement. Aro cannot "read" Bella, an anomaly that at once delights and perplexes him. "Interesting," he says. "I see nothing. I wonder...let's see if she's immune to all our powers, shall we Jane?"

Of course, "Jane" is not there. Fanning's already gone home for the day, her scenes shot out of sequence. Weitz plays out the "meeting" a few more times, before calling a wrap on the scene with a polite, "Cut. Thank you."

Behind the stage, huddled around a bank of playback screens, author Stephenie Meyer and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg have been watching dailies. They giggle at Sheen's maniacal Aro. They marvel at how gorgeous Fanning looks on the screen. Later, Rosenberg tells us what she thought of the footage.

"I've written a lot of hours of television," she began. "I'm almost always disappointed; not because I don't have great, great directors but because you get in your head what you see, you know? A director can't physically do what's in my head because it's not physically possible."

But when it came to the Volturi scenes we'd just observed, Rosenberg seemed almost surprised. "Oh my God, it's fantastic," she shouted. "The cast is phenomenal!" (Stay tuned for our full posting of our chat with Melissa Rosenberg.)

Next: How you'll get your Edward Cullen fix in New Moon (despite his absence), and Melissa Rosenberg on how changing some things from the book makes it more faithful

Comments

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

How about we forget the New Moon write up and we get the last installment of Deconstructing Harry which we should have gotten on Wednesday? Where is it Matt????!!!!!!

Jul 17 - 04:26 PM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Hmm. While I understand your anticipation of the last Deconstructing Harry article, I cannot comply. More New Moon!

Jul 17 - 04:40 PM

gamergirl

Taisha Feldhaus

Great article! I'm feeling more and more confident that New Moon will be better than Twilight was.

Jul 17 - 04:48 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I think it almost has to be. Twilight, aside from the casting was a pretty mediocre adaption which was severely shortchanged on the budget. For New Moon, we're getting the same cast, same story, but a lot more money put into making it good. Should be an easy success. One of my few concerns is the ability of the film to maintain Victoria as a credible villain with limited screen time. She wasn't exactly overdeveloped in the first movie and I have to think Robert Pattinson is going to enjoy most of the manufactured screen time. I just hope by the time Ecclipse rolls around we won't be like "Oh yeah, Victoria. Kinda forgot about her".

Jul 17 - 04:55 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I think it almost has to be. Twilight, aside from the casting was a pretty mediocre adaption which was severely shortchanged on the budget. For New Moon, we're getting the same cast, same story, but a lot more money put into making it good. Should be an easy success. One of my few concerns is the ability of the film to maintain Victoria as a credible villain with limited screen time. She wasn't exactly overdeveloped in the first movie and I have to think Robert Pattinson is going to enjoy most of the manufactured screen time. I just hope by the time Ecclipse rolls around we won't be like "Oh yeah, Victoria. Kinda forgot about her".

Jul 17 - 04:55 PM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Bigbrother, I wouldn't worry too much about Victoria. Rosenberg has alluded to taking the liberty mentioned here to insert more of the missing characters - Victoria, the Cullens - in the film...

Rachelle on set spoke with us about the extensive stunt work she was doing, so they certainly kept her busy.

Jul 17 - 05:47 PM

kaitune

Punyaruk Baingern

I wonder though that when they do 'Breaking Dawn', are they going to adapt it according to the book or are they going to change things........ I am not much of a Twilight fan, but I am not a hater and I read almost anything I can get my hands on. The books are entertaining in a guilty pleasure way. However, 'Breaking Dawn' book sucks a hell lot. Even my mom and my friends who are Twlight fans hate the last book to death. I have no idea how they might be able to edit out the crappiness of the plot, but I wish that they would do it somehow.

'Twilight' was a so-so film, but 'New Moon' 's trailer looks great. Since I know that I would have to see this film with my friends (and again with my mom), I hope that it would be a much better film.

Jul 17 - 05:59 PM

Janice Aries

Janice Vargas

I agree with Whitey-Mcwhite... gimme the Deconstruction Potter Day 6! :D

Jul 17 - 06:14 PM

BlueLobster

Aaron Dean

Evil, evil, EVIL!

Somebody needs to make a Twilight/Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover, I'd love to see Buffy show Bella how a REAL woman deals with pretty boy creepy vampires.

(no offense Jen... I think?)

Jul 17 - 06:29 PM

Sean H.

Sean Hall

If your male and you like this movie/book series then well......your a douche bag. And not just any douche. Like, Summer's Eve' douche. Maybe even a nice Spring Fresh Linen scent. But a douche none the less! Goodnight Cleveland!!!!

Jul 17 - 08:32 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

You seem to know a lot about douche my friend. Perhaps first hand knowledge?

Jul 18 - 06:58 AM

JettaJameson

James Lowell

If you're going to insult people, perhaps learning the difference between "your" and "you're" would be a good idea, first. You're the one who looks like the douche.

Jul 18 - 10:13 AM

Christine M.

Christine Mattey

Sean H., why is it that a guy is a douchebag if he likes this movie? Because, honestly, I think all guys could take a lesson from Edward about how to treat a girl. I'm talking about the chivalry, being a gentleman, not liking attention-needing girls like Jessica, old-fashioned values, etc. And, guess what...I do know guys who are like this. Honestly, any guy, like you, that puts down this kind of stuff, is someone that is a total douchebag in my, and many girls, minds. Thanks for gracing our earth with your presence. :-)

Jul 19 - 07:56 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Whew, You had me worried a bit there Christine. When you initially said guys should treat women more like Edward I thought you were going to go to the more bitey aspects of his character, but you brought it back and saved it. Don't sweat Sean H., There's always guys who come onto these because their ESPN isn't working and they feel the need to assert their limited manhood in some form. My advice is don't argue with him because he seems the sort who's too dumb to know when he's losing anyway.

Jul 19 - 11:35 AM

Dreamer S.

Dreamer Smith

Needs more Potter.

But I am kind of interested in how Pattinson got kicked off set.

Jul 17 - 09:09 PM

Shauna R.

Shauna Rutherford

Thanks Jen for providing us more New Moon news and not the billionth Potter article! I appreciate it!

Jul 17 - 09:26 PM

John A.

John Arminio

I think writing "your" when "you're" is grammatically correct (twice in the same post) is far more douchy than liking Twilight.

Don't get me wrong, Twilight does suck, just not as bad as grammatical errors.

Jul 18 - 02:40 AM

Sean H.

Sean Hall

I love you too!

Jul 18 - 08:55 AM

Melissa K.

Melissa Kjos

It won't be hard for Wietz to do a better job than Catherine with New Moon... but I hope he does a MUCH better job... I have confidence, I've liked everything I've seen thus far. If the movie is half as good as the book this time around I predict a much bigger box office draw for it... Look how much Twilight made and that was ONLY because of the books...

Jul 18 - 06:44 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

You seem to know a lot about douche my friend. Perhaps first hand knowledge?

Jul 18 - 06:58 AM

Sean H.

Sean Hall

Internet grammer? Ha! You can't be serious. And yes, it does seem like first hand knowledge yea? Bah, I remember when the retorts were at least kinda witty...

Jul 18 - 08:54 AM

Kasey C.

Kasey Cook

Why does everyone who does not have a 'witty' comeback to a remark always resort to commenting about someone's online grammar? It just makes you look even more retarded than you did with your previous comment. I will read forums like this and see that someone had to be 'teacher' and point out someone's mistakes which tells me 2 things: 1 that this person obviously has way too much time on their hands, and 2 they have no friends to point out to them that commenting on someone's online grammar in a forum is dumb. So here is my friendly advice to all of those who think that commenting on how poor someone's online grammar is going to make that person cry all night into their pillow... you're wrong, and just wasted your time because no one cares. I hope this helps or hurts... either way it had to be said.

Jul 20 - 02:13 PM

Sean H.

Sean Hall

I love you too!

Jul 18 - 08:55 AM

JettaJameson

James Lowell

If you're going to insult people, perhaps learning the difference between "your" and "you're" would be a good idea, first. You're the one who looks like the douche.

Jul 18 - 10:13 AM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

I opened this thread expecting to find people insulting the franchise and its fans, and I did.

Sean H. - you are the crusty remains of an over-spiced chilli's hasty exit from the rear-end of a coyote that found this meal unwittingly in the garbage heap of an organ disposal unit. Your journey through life is like watching an asthmatic gerbil attempt to suck an olive through a straw - could be entertaining, but ultimately of no use to anyone. When your relatives hug you hello, they make it brief, for they are reminded of what it's like to squeeze the bloody puss out of a bulbous boil.

Jul 18 - 12:18 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Yes my friend, because calling someone a douchebag for reading something is the height of wit. Bravo Sir. You have really put us all in our place.

Jul 18 - 02:50 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Thanks for the info Jen, now I only worry that they're not going to stick close enough to the novels to satisfy the hardcore fans who have made the original a success. As you can probably tell I'm determined to find something to worry about so I don't go into this too content.

Jul 18 - 02:52 PM

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