Alice doesn't seem to fight like the other vampires. What makes her different?
''Alice is lithe, like a dancer, so we did much more of a Cirque du Soleil spin on Alice's fighting, which was really cool. I grew up with a martial-arts background, plus I did acrobatics and tae kwon do. It was great to get back to that world.''
You're Southern like your character, yet we didn't hear much of the accent until this movie.
''In the first films he doesn't have much dialogue, so we pulled it back since he's supposed to be a high school kid [in Washington] and you can't have a Texas accent. It's only when he's barking orders and leading an army that he's comfortable and the accent comes out. It was definitely fun to be able to let down the blocks that Jasper puts up to keep himself sane in the vegetarian vampire way of life. I finally let the accent go a little bit.''
With only one week to prepare for your role, how did you get up to speed on the franchise so quickly?
''I had already read all the books and I had seen Twilight, like, four or five times in the theater. One of my closest friends even made me a stack of Post-it notes for my birthday with Robert Pattinson's face on it, because he knows how obsessed I am with Edward Cullen. I love him.''
You play Carlisle Cullen, the patriarch of the family and an integral part of the story, yet we know very little about him. Do you wish your part in the movies was bigger?
''The fans never make me feel like I have a small part. If you strip away the vampire story, people relate to the family who sticks up for one another and wants to protect each other and are ready to battle for one another. It becomes just as important as the love triangle.''
Did director David Slade bring a new perspective to Rosalie?
''He's a lot darker, and the amount of thought he put into all of our characters was very eye-opening. What happened to Rosalie is pretty intense. She carries around a lot of resentment, sadness, and anger that is absolutely justifiable and she's actually really reasonable. She finally realizes that Bella's sticking around and she decides to give her a bit of herself.''
How did you land the highly coveted role of Riley?
''I flew to Vancouver on a 'maybe' with four other guys to meet the director. It was like putting all your eggs into one basket because I had to turn down a pilot to go to Vancouver. I'm pretty glad I did.''
What's the best thing about being part of this franchise?
''[Playing a vampire] is an impossible thing to make believable, but I'm excited to keep trying. The great thing about this job is I can hate myself for moments in the past, yet I get another shot at it and hopefully it gets better.''
There were some contract issues on Breaking Dawn. Do you feel like you've been treated fairly by Summit Entertainment?
''Without Summit we wouldn't be here. At times it's tough when you have Rob, Taylor, and Kristen as the face of the movie. Some things get overlooked. Summit has been working their butts off, but there have been disputes on some things.''
Why did you want to be in the Twilight series?
''Just to be asked to be part of this phenomenon in even a little way is so exciting. I wanted to do it right away. It's rare to be able to be a part of something that you're a fan of and that is so huge.''