IESB: What was your auditioning process like for this?
Tate: Initially, going in, I didn’t realize it was a studio picture and I didn’t even realize that Rob [Pattinson] was attached to it. Not too long before I had to go in, I realized, “Oh, wait a minute, this is a big deal. Oh, crap! Am I prepared for this?” But, I went in and the first audition went well, even though I had left my sides that day and I did everything I could to screw it up. I nearly ruined it completely, but it ended up going really well. But then, they said that they wanted to try to find a name, if they could, which made sense, so I put it out of my head and figured I’d never hear back.
And then, I got a call that they hadn’t found a guy yet, and they said they wanted to come back to New York and the director wanted to meet me. So, I went back in, very prepared this time, and I thought Allen [Coulter] just hated me. I thought that I was doing the worst audition ever. I was so embarrassed. I thought I had ruined my chance at this. I almost got up and apologized for wasting their time. Come to find out, they loved me and Allen thought I was wonderful and really wanted to push for me.
I went in, about a week after that, and met Rob [Pattinson] and he was great. He was so nice. You’re nervous about meeting big celebrities, but he was as nice as could be. The screen test went great. We had such a good time. And then, I found out that I was definitely in the running. But, nobody knows me, and this was a big movie and a big part, so it was a big risk. A week before shooting, I had a meeting with Allen and he said they still weren’t sure, but he just wanted to talk about how I would approach this. They were concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to push Rob enough. I was supposed to be the one always pushing him to do something, and they had to make sure I would be able to do that. And, I just ended up having this great conversation with Allen, telling him what I thought the character was and talking about my two friends. They’re just extreme extroverts who can do anything.So, after that, Allen said he was sold and he was going to try to go sell it. And then, I got a call from Allen, either that night or a day later, telling me that I got the job. It was rough. I don’t think I ever fully expected it to happen, but once I found out, I was over the moon. And then, after that, I was immediately terrified. I was like, “Oh, god, now I’ve got the job, so I better not suck!”
IESB: Once you were cast, did you and Rob Pattinson do anything to get to know each other?
Tate: We really only had a week. I even called a director friend and was like, “Oh, god, I’ve got a week. What would be your opinion of how I should approach it?” He said, “Just go with what you’re thinking. You’ve only got a week. Just go with your gut.” I was on Broadway at the time and Rob’s hotel was about 10 block away, so in between shows – I would have a few hours in between a matinee and the evening show – I would go over there and chat with him, but that was it.
That was all the time we got, before shooting. We just had a few hours of sitting and having a couple beers, and just chatting and getting to know each other. It was great. Rob was cracking me up, automatically. If someone can make me laugh, and I am able to make them laugh in anyway, it’s like, “Okay, we’re sold. We’re friends now.” That was it. I can be very quiet and shy and not talk, so I had to commit, from day one, to just start talking and not shut up.
And then, I only had one day with Emilie [de Ravin] and that was a rehearsal. That was my first time meeting Emilie. And, I was trying not to be a dork with both of them. I’m a big Harry Potter fan, so [with Rob] I was like, “It’s Cedric Diggory! That’s awesome!” And then, with Emilie, I’m a huge Lost dork, so I didn’t want to say anything stupid or even mention Lost. But, Emilie was cracking me up, from the get-go. It was very easy to get along.
IESB: What was it like to have all of the fans hanging around the set, just so that they could see a glimpse of Rob? How distracting is it to work with all of that around?
Tate: The producers warned me what to expect. They were like, “By the way, Rob’s kind of a big deal.” They told me just to be prepared that there might be a crowd. My scene with Rob on the street was our very first shot, on our very first day, and I was just hoping that I wouldn’t get fired. I didn’t want to screw the first take up. I was like, “Get through that one, and then you’re fine.” There was this massive crowd and photographers everywhere, but after the first take, it was pretty okay. I just knew it was going to be there each day, and it actually become nice. It was like we were having a big party.
I got pretty okay with it and was used to it, but it was always funny. You knew when Rob was coming to set and you knew when Rob got there that day because you could just hear this scream. You’d be blocks away and you’d hear this amazing scream and be like, “Rob’s here!” And, luckily, the photographers and the crew worked out everything. The first day was a little touch-and-go and we all had to figure out how to work together, but then I looked forward to seeing everybody, each day. It was hard to initially tune it out, but once you get used to it, you were able to just not think about it. Rob had to have a lot of guys there to make sure he was okay, and all those guys were great. I got to know them all really well. The running joke with them, when they’d lead me to set, was “So, are you glad all these people showed up to see you, Tate?” It was really funny.
IESB: Why should people who didn’t see the film in theaters pick it up on DVD?
Tate: I’m not really sure what the response is going to be from people that haven’t seen it. There will definitely be some opinions. People will either love it or hate it, and I expect that. To me, it was always an independent movie that just happened to have a studio. It’s a small, nice, gritty, independent movie. Most of the people I know that have seen it, really enjoyed it. I’ve got some friends who didn’t. We got hit on some of the reviews, but I think it’s a beautiful movie with ridiculously great performances. If anybody is a fan of Rob or Twilight, I think they should see it because it’s definitely him in a different light and he does an amazing job. Also, it’s one of those films that I’m really proud of. This movie shows how life is very previous and you don’t know when it may be taken away, so you have to always make sure you say the things you need to say that day and don’t let time get by you. I think it does a beautiful job of showing that.
IESB: What special features or extras are being included on the DVD?
Tate: As far as I know, there is a nice little behind the scenes featurette, which is great. Emilie [de Ravin], Rob [Pattinson] and Ruby [Jerins] did a commentary that’s great. And, there’s another one that Allen [Coulter] does. The way Allen works is amazing, so anybody who wants to know more about how he got all of this together should definitely check that out. I also know that Rob fans will want to hear him chatting with the commentary, which I’m sure is probably pretty damn funny.These are just the bits where he talks about Rob.
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