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 A blood-sucking breakthrough, Interview w/ Rachelle Lefevre (Victoria)
Skylar Cullen
Posted: May 29 2008, 10:21 AM


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Courtesy of National Post...

http://www.nationalpost.com/arts/story.html?id=535917

A blood-sucking breakthrough

Bob Thompson, Published: Friday, May 23, 2008

Twilight fans are hopelessly devoted and anxiously awaiting director Catherine Hardwicke's film version of the Stephenie Meyer novel about vampires and forbidden teen love.

So is Montreal actress Rachelle Lefevre. The 29-year-old just wrapped production on the film, set to open in December and already creating a great deal of anticipation.

In the movie shot mostly in and around Portland, Ore., Lefevre portrays Victoria, a renegade vampire who, along with boyfriend James (Cam Gigandet), disrupts the clandestine lives of a family trying to keep small-town secrets about their blood-craving ways.

The romance-thriller stars Kristen Stewart as lovelorn teen Bella Swan, and Robert Pattinson as vampire-in-denial Edward Cullen. But Lefevre's Victoria will figure more prominently in the second movie based on the book, New Moon. Eclipse is the third novel in the series; Breaking Dawn, the fourth novel, will be available in August.

The potential for a movie series is obvious. Which is more good news for Lefevre who has had a good year, indeed. The red-haired actress was featured on David E. Kelley's Boston Legal for a three-episode arc last month. And Kelley's Life On Mars pilot, about a time-travelling detective, was written especially for her.

Still, Twilight is the No. 1 thing on Lefevre's mind professionally. Avid fan response might be No. 2.

"I really didn't know much about the fans or the books when I auditioned, but knew I wanted to work with Catherine Hardwicke," she says of the director who helmed Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown. "I also knew I wanted to play a vampire and I got really excited about it when I found out I would be involved."

Born and raised in Montreal, Lefevre made her acting debut in 1999 as the lead in the Canadian series Big Wolf On Campus. She's also had a cameo in George Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and guest starred in a bunch of U.S. sitcoms and dramas over the last five years. Twilight will be her major breakthrough.

And that is thanks mostly to Hardwicke, who says she was impressed with Lefevre's "boundless energy" but had to fight for the unknown actor's casting.

Mind you, the 52-year-old was accustomed to tough negotiating when it came to Twilight. Hardwicke recalls when she was first hired to do the movie she was given a preliminary script that has changed quite a bit. For one thing, the lead Bella wasn't awkward and lonely but a popular track star. For another, the FBI was introduced, which reduced the climax to that of a typical action flick.

No worries. Hardwicke had the script re-worked to resemble the book. In other words, Bella returns to being a gawky loner devoted to the hypnotizing Edward, a vampire trying to kick his deadly habit. The director deleted the FBI incursion, too.

"When I first read the book, I thought ‘This is powerful, crazy and original,' " Hardwicke says. "I got swept away with the voice of the character, this young girl who falls in love and is willing to cross over to other side."

In order to relate to Bella, Hardwicke insists, she has to be like the rest of us. "What's good about the book is you can identify with Bella," says the director. "She's clumsy, and when she goes to school she doesn't want to be in the spotlight, so she can't believe this guy likes her."

You could compare that to Lefevre's astonishment at her new movie's fanbase. Even with a lower profile co-starring role, she has been inundated with autograph requests during her time in Portland.

"I was even recognized by Twilight fans in L.A.," she says, "which really was amazing to me."
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bella_rose
Posted: May 29 2008, 08:46 PM


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Great article! Thanks for posting!
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