Even though she's into her fifth and final film in "Twilight" film franchise with "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," Ashley Greene admits that there still are times when the experience doesn't feel quite real to her. Greene is still quite well aware that she defied astronomical odds to be cast in the pivotal role as the visionary vampire Alice Cullen, and to this day, she's not quite sure how to quantify it.
"The biggest thing I think about is that Stephanie Meyer had a dream and wrote a character whose description I happened to fit," Greene told me in recent interview. "You just can't make that stuff up."
New in theaters Thursday at 10 p.m., "Breaking Dawn, Part 2" picks up immediately after the "Part 1" left off -- where Bella (Kristen Stewart) gave birth to her new husband Edward Cullen's (Robert Pattinson) baby. In order to save Bella from certain death, Edward bit his wife to transform her into an immortal, restoring her body which was completely ravaged as she carried their daughter, Renesmee.
But with the arrival of Bella and Edward's child comes a new threat when the Volturi mistake Renesmee as a human child made into an immortal, an occurrence that is strictly forbidden by the largest and most powerful coven of all vampires. Because of their misconception, the Volturi plan to rid Cullen clan once and for all because of her.
Privy to the Volturi's intentions is Alice, who has a vision of their impending attack. Because she's afraid Edward will be able to read her mind, Alice and Jasper, (Jackson Rathbone), in an effort to keep their family safe seek out people to convince the Volturi not to destroy them.
"I was very excited when I read the script. Yes, Alice does disappear for a little bit in the film, but when she comes back, she comes back full force. It was very cool to be part of the saving of the day -- and of course, I'm always down for the fight sequences," Greene said with a laugh. "I had a lot of fun."
Of course, saving the day usually has physical demands on the set, and Greene definitely took her share of lump as the cast trained while they were filming the final confrontation with the Volturi.
"I ended up hurting my knee while we were supposed to be doing fight training. A couple of us got a few bumps and bruises because it's a huge battle that took a few weeks to film," Greene said. "We were working and training on top of shooting, so I was little bummed when I hurt my knee because had to push all my stuff back. But I actually enjoy all the fighting and stunt training. I'm still in touch with our stunt coordinator, who has a gym in LA, and he's going to let me come in and jump around."
Of course, in Hollywood, actors are lucky enough just a get to play one character in one film, much less the same character in five. Greene knows those opportunities are rare, and said she couldn't be thankful enough for the extended chance to explore who Alice is.
"It's a little sad that it's all coming to an end, but I do feel blessed and lucky that I got to really fill this character out and really bring her to life," Green said. "The character was well-rounded and I got to explore different facets of her life with every installment, and I got a lot of input from the directors and everyone had a different spin and brought a little something new to Alice yet kept her general foundation. That's a really cool thing to experience."
While Greene said she's loved working with all her directors during the series, she has a huge affinity for working with Bill Condon, the Oscar-winning "Gods and Monsters" and "Dreamgirls" filmmaker who directed both "Breaking Dawn" films.
"I think there's a certain beauty that he's able to capture in every film he does. For me, he was such an encouraging director. He's actor's director. If he had to be a character in the 'Twilight' films, it would be Alice Cullen," Greene said.
"He's such of a positive reinforcement and has a way of putting you at ease. He makes you trust yourself and makes you want to go for it," Greene further explained "I feel very safe with him. When he takes on a project, he really invests himself and thinks about every single detail. Since I'm so invested in these books and this film character, it's nice to see somebody else feel the same way."
Of course, millions of people have invested their time into being fans of the franchise, which has presented Greene with the quandary of whether she should check out what people have say about the her portrayal of the character online.
So far, she hasn't.
"It is important to have in the back of your head to know that there are fans are the character. But the reason I stay away from the message boards is because you're always going to get negative comments," Greene said. "Plus, it becomes quite confusing to find out what's important to each person. Luckily, Melissa Rosenberg does a great job of translating the books into the screenplays which makes my job easier."
That's not say Greene doesn't appreciate the fan support.
"The thing I always get is people come up to me and say, "I love you and I love Alice. She's like a best friend.' That's something I wanted to keep there with the character," Greene explained. "I wanted to make sure that people saw the light in her and that she was a breath of fresh air. I think that's something people want -- they want to relate to her."
So for now, the "Twilight Saga" has come to end, or has it? The recent purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney is bringing back to life a "Star Wars" film franchise that was thought to have ended -- so given the fan demand and the way the business world works, a future "Twilight" film can't completely be ruled out.
If there is room for more, Greene said she's unsure if she'd want to be a part of it -- and for a legitimate reason.
"One of the tricky things is, vampires aren't supposed to age, so I'm not sure how much longer I will be able to do that," Greene, 25, said with a laugh. "Alice is such of an awesome character to play, so I wouldn't have a problem with doing more."
Greene said her biggest hesitation, though, is recapturing the magic of "The Twilight Saga" as it stands.
"I think we've ended things now on such of a positive high note that I would hate to extend things further and not have the same passion for it," Greene said. "That's what's been special for me, having this overwhelming excitement and joy that you get when you see how excited people get for what we're creating. I wouldn't want to lose that."
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