Michael Sheen’s Aro is probably my favorite Twilight character. That has more to do with how goofy his take on Aro is, and he seems more suitable being a villain for Adam West’s Batman than he would in a vampire epic. Sheen’s always been great in virtually everything he does (although to be fair, nothing can save the Underworld films,) and it’s no different in his turn in The Twilight Saga. The man himself has an aura of cool about him, which makes it easy to see why he completely owns the screen.
Along with other press members, we were allowed to sit and listen to Mr. Sheen talk about what an impact the series has had on his family, his favorite vampire films, and what a fun time he had in the part.
Your daughter is a fan of the book series. I wondered what she thought of your portrayal as Aro.
When I first told her I was going to be playing Aro, she said that Aro’s bald, and I realized that everyone gets their own idea of the character. I thought she’d be really excited when I said I was going to be in it, and in fact she was really annoyed. It was her thing, and she was eight at the time. If you were eight, and someone came along to you and said ‘I’m going to take that thing, that’s really special to you, that you think is yours, and I’m going to take it!’ I slightly underestimated it, but she got very excited about it eventually. You do realize that people who are really big fans of the books get really excited about it. Even though I wasn’t a bald Aro, hopefully she enjoyed it.
Aro’s a very scary vampire in the grand scheme of things, but you played him with a bit of comedy. Could you talk about that?
One of the things I always liked about the character is that Stephenie [Meyer] had sort of hinted at in the book was, he thinks of himself as sort of this sentimental fool, and he just enjoys watching the young people have fun. Then he likes to kill them. Instead of just being the big bad guy, there’s something a bit more fun about him. Also, the idea of someone who’s been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, I’d imagine he’d just get bored. Who wants to live forever? It’s just really boring. He has to come up with things to keep him interested. Anything that’s new is very interesting. I like the idea of someone who is constantly trying to amuse themselves as well. There are certain scenes in this film where you see the character enjoy the violence, and just the general meanness, and kind of insanity of it. Keeping it light and playful really helps the more nasty moments.
What do you think fans get out of the entire series?
I’ve had quite a peculiar position with the films, because I’ve come in and out of them. I feel like I kind of flirt in and out. It’s quite a sort of rare position to be in. Like I said with my daughter, she was a big fan of the series to begin with and she’s read all the books multiple times, and she’s fourteen now. She’s really grown up with these books as a lot of young girls have. So when we come to the last chapter of it, that’s kind of contained in it, and I think Bill’s done a very lovely job of being sympathetic to it. By the time you come to the end of the film, you’ve come to the end of the journey, especially for a lot of these girls who’ve grown up with Bella, and gone through Bella’s journey with her. It’s very moving by the end of it. I think Bella’s journey is one that young girls can relate to, that of going through powerful experiences for the first time.
What kind of research did you to get into the character of Aro?
With vampires, it’s such a great tradition that you find yourself a part of, and each generation you kind of have to reinvent what it means. I’m a big fan of vampire films so I didn’t have to do much research in terms of that. I just recently met Willem Dafoe who played Max Schreck in Shadow of a Vampire, and he’s great in that. I love Gary Oldman in Coppolla’s Dracula and the look and what he does with it. Frank Langella, as well. I love all those. It’s like vampires are Nazi’s, you join the pantheon of those.
Breaking Dawn: Part 2 is in theaters November 16th.