November 17, 2011

‘Breaking Dawn’ explores growing up

Posted in Between Us column, Entertainment, Movies at 6:03 pm by dinaheng

The vampires, humans, and wolves who inhabit the world of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1,” may find themselves at each other’s throats, but as any parent of a teenager knows, it’s all part of growing up.

In the latest installment of “The Twilight Saga,” scheduled for release on Friday, Nov. 18, Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart) is prepared to give up her mortality as she marries vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). What she’s not prepared to give up is the unexpected child conceived on their honeymoon.

Helping Bella through the wedding and pregnancy is vampire Alice Cullen, portrayed by Ashley Greene, who has come to love her human friend and new sister-in-law.

“Over the course of the saga, you see the sweet, optimistic side of Alice, who embraces Bella,” says Greene. “Then you see her get a little darker and sassy. In this film, you see her planning the wedding, and she becomes the controller.”

The fashionable Alice is in her element, orchestrating everything from the wedding guest list to Bella’s honeymoon lingerie. When Bella’s pregnancy endangers the human’s life, Alice feels torn over her friend’s decision to carry out the pregnancy when  her psychic abilities fail her.

“Alice can’t see Bella’s future anymore, and the baby creates this static in her head,” says Greene, who is intrigued by her character’s ability to see the future. “I want to know everything’s going to be okay in life, and that I’m making the right decision, but if we had the ability to see our future, everyone would be constantly changing their decisions and creating chaos. I like the mystery of life.”

Greene — who is slated to star in the upcoming “Butter,” a comedy co-starring Jennifer Garner and Hugh Jackson, and “L.O.L.” with Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore — has used her celebrity to act as the spokesperson for m.powerment by mark, an initiative committed to breaking the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence affecting young women. Mark is the beauty and fashion boutique brand of Avon Products, Inc.

“I have a large young fan base, and mark came to me about being their brand ambassador,” Greene says. “I saw how involved they are philanthropically with the cause, so agreed to doit. Girls between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest percentage of abuse in relationships, and it’s important for young girls to know people are there to support them.”

The support Greene’s character gives Bella and Edward is unconditional, a choice the vampire comes to make as she comes to understand that who we are is not defined by what we look like.

The themes of boundless friendship, acceptance, finding your true self and love are all part of the process of growing up, and this movie shows a deeper emotional thread than previous films in the franchise.

“Nothing in life ever stays the same,” Greene says. “There might be a moment in time when things seem stable, but every day, there are different elements, factors, and people who affect us. Teenagers like to think they know everything, but that’s their Achilles heel.”

The actress says the world of “Twilight” captures people’s imaginations because vampires are mysterious and untouchable, yet when the characters are paired with the concept of unattainable love, or being in a love triangle, fans find much to relate to.

In this latest film, Greene’s character exemplifies a true friend.

“Friendship means loyalty, and being there through everything,” Greene says. “You’re not always going to agree with someone, and it’s your job as a friend to be there for people.”

Spoken like a vampire who knows that blood is thicker than water.

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