This weekend, when The Twilight Saga:New Moon finally hits theaters it will feature the emergence of a new force in the vampire fold, and we’re not talking about the Volturi. The Wolf Pack will get their time to shine as actors Chaske Spencer, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Bronson Pelletier bring their characters to life on the big screen.

At the official New Moon press conference the actor’s spoke about what it took to get in shape for the film, how they bonded off screen, and the responsibility of portraying Native Americans in a positive light.

Check out more below…

The one thing everybody wants to know is how the actors got into Wolf Pack shape for the film. For the majority of the movie their shown in nothing but shorts and gym shoes so little is left to the imagination. They filled us in on their diet and exercise regimen, which they believed helped their performances in more ways than one.

Chaske Spencer: They made us workout. It was an hour of training, they got us a trainer. We went in and it was the guy who helped out on 300 and they threw us into training for like an hour maybe an hour and ten minutes, and it was a lot of circuit training, and muscle confusion. We also ate a lot. We ate like six meals a day, three protein shakes a day.

Alex Meraz: It was definitely crucial to the bonding too. It helped out with building the chemistry on set and during filming I think it really helped out a lot. We had a blast, we supported each other, we made fun of each other, I think it really helped out with our characterization.

The chemistry they speak of spills over from the big screen into their personal lives as the group of young actors have formed a bond that only they can understand. In a way, they have become a real Wolf Pack, accept they don’t attack people at night or during the day, or at all.

AM: Even outside of filming, we text each other, call each other, just to make sure we’re still alive. We’re like brothers, we really are for each other. We got lucky with doing a film where you actually care about your cast mates, which is important, we were committed to doing Eclipse and stuff, and it really helped out. I think people are going to see it on screen.

CS: You gotta understand that we’re all going through this, it’s not just we’re individuals in this whole Twilight phenomenon so we check in with each other to make sure everyone’s OK. Because this whole–the attention, it can mess with people’s heads. No one gives you a book on how to go through this, so we make sure we’re alright.

taylor lautner in new moon

Speaking of male bonding, the relationship their characters have with Jacob Black in the film is hot and cold. One minute he feels comfortable with the group and the next he appears almost scared of them. We wanted to know more about the dynamic between him and them.

Kiowa Gordon: He’s my best friend in the movie and it’s kind of scary to us seeing these guys, because we were just normal kids and these guys are just running around with their shirts off. And we thought they were some like, gang going around and they were the peace keepers of our tribe and what not.

CS: We helped phase–we help him phase because he doesn’t want to become–no one wants this, it just happens this is what we’re dealt with. When the Cullen’s came around that’s when he started phasing. My character, he was the first to phase, so my relationship to these guys is I’m sort of like the big brother, the mentor, the father figure to help them. And we are, we’re like a band of brothers, like a rock band and suddenly Jacob starts to phase. He’s got some choices to make and he has to join us, and we sort of surround him and tell him that it’s not that bad.

One of the most visually stunning parts of the film, besides their buff bodies, are the transformations they go through when turning from human to werewolf. We found out that they were just as thrilled as us to see the final product, so, what was their first reaction when they saw it?

Bronson Pelletier: I literally got goosebumps. I was like, “Wow, that’s awesome!” It looks amazing. Chris Weitz did an amazing job, along with the special effects team.

AM:For me I’ve always wanted to be in a film where it was not so much driven with CG, but I could be something bigger than life. I could have some kind of superpower. So, for me to be able to transform into a wolf and have a fight and all that, I mean I was like a kid in a candy store. I couldn’t ask for anything more. There were like mannerisms that they–Phil Tippett and his team actually did to make them all stand as individuals. You can tell the difference between one wolf and the other. And it also suited it to what our characters were and what we brought to the table.

We rarely get to see Native American actors in the forefront of major Hollywood films that don’t involve them playing stereotypical roles. As actors of Native decent, they felt a certain responsibility to bring a positive image to audiences of what their culture really is as opposed to what it’s being promoted as.

AM:You know, during the process even of casting, when I was waiting to hear word if I had got a role or not, there was a through-line where I prayed every night I was asking for permission even to represent the Quileute tribe you know, I was putting out a lot of good thoughts because in essence even though we’re taking some of the mythology, the creation story, and it’s done, it’s mixed in a fantasy still we’re taking from the culture. And being Native we need to be conscious of that and ask permission to the people of the past, present and of the future for it. It’s definitely a conscious thing, Native Americans, they have the right to be protective of their story.

I think also, as representatives for Native Americans in this franchise, we have a responsibility not to present a bad image. We’re portraying Natives, and that’s what they’re going to see. I think it’s time for us to rewrite what Hollywood’s take on Native Americans was, which was long hair blowing and a noble kind of people, like in leather and feather period pieces. Now you see something in a contemporary setting, and you see us being humans. It’s a great thing. Well, we’re kind of human, but we’re not demonized, which is important. It’s done in a very tasteful way.

Further Reading:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.