Interview with a werewolf

While Twihards eagerly awaited Wednesday’s theatrical release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Alex Meraz — werewolf Paul in the saga — anticipated what is next for him.

The dancer-turned-actor got his start as an extra in 2005’s The New World, alongside Colin Farrell and Christian Bale. Now his famous co-stars are Robert Pattinson (playing Edward), Taylor Lautner (Jacob) and Kristen Stewart (Bella) in The Twilight Saga.

“I met a choreographer who said, ‘Let me get you into this movie,’” Meraz said in an interview with The Diamondback. “And I said, ‘Whatever. You’re lying.’ But he did and I got the bug. But it took me five years to finally nail something. This Twilight stuff is the first time I got some decent work.”

A fan of author Stephenie Meyer’s book series, Meraz enjoys the contrasts between all of the characters.

“There are two archetype figures, [werewolf] Jacob and [vampire] Edward, who are, like, perfect,” Meraz said. “There’s Jacob who loves [human protagonist] Bella and has the body of a Greek god. And then there’s Edward who sacrifices a lot of his own needs for her.

“You have two figures who love someone who is so plain,” Meraz added. “But there is a lot of beauty and power in that. It would be very different if the main character was a six foot tall model — but Kristen is just gorgeous.”

Meraz’s character, Paul, is another of the teenage werewolves in the series, who can turn into giant wolves and frequently fights vampires.

“I don’t look at my wolf and think ‘that’s me,’” he said. “It would be weird if I were in a werewolf costume everyday.”

When he was not battling vampires, Meraz used his time away from the set to pursue other projects. He recently wrapped up The City of Gardens, a film inspired by the true story of a man wrongly accused of cocaine trafficking and sent to jail in the 1980s. Doing a drama proved to be a change of pace Meraz was happy to experience.

“It is nice to have more than one line in a movie,” he said. “I was offered a role to be the best friend of the lead but that’s boring.”

The role Meraz wanted to play was a far smaller one.

“His name is Nicaragua and he’s like this Columbian drug lord,” Meraz said. “He’s a total asshole and he picks on everybody. I wanted that character even though he was really small. I didn’t want him to be pure bad, I wanted to make him a little gay … and I also wanted gold teeth. At the end of the day they let me keep the role and they made it bigger.”

Meraz committed to making his part as Nicaragua as honest and realistic as possible.

“We worked with real inmates,” he said. “At first I thought I would spend as much time as I could with the convicts but then after a while I thought, ‘Well, I’m an actor. F— it.’

“But I didn’t expect the things that happened,” Meraz added. “When I went to sleep I was dreaming about what happened in prison. I couldn’t leave that world and it made me really angry. There was a line where the lead actor says, ‘Don’t you want to be free?’ And, my god, it hit me and I started crying thinking, ‘I want to get the f— out of here.’ Now I’m ready to go back to something fun. I would love to be a crazy superhero next.”

Despite the emotional turmoil, Meraz found his role in The City of Gardens to be very refreshing.

“Doing the Twilight stuff is fine,” he said. “But it’s not the hardest stuff in the world. Rob, Kristen and Taylor work a lot.”

Since his work on The Twilight Saga, Meraz has been offered more opportunities and has been able to make more of a name for himself.

“Now, I consider myself an actor,” he said. “Before it was just a hobby.”

Meraz has just one tip for students trying to make it into the entertainment industry: “There is no right or wrong way,” he said. “If you want to be in a creative field, be creative.”

 written by:Marriam Shah

source: Diamondback Online


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