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Mormons run with werewolves in 'New Moon'

Published: Friday, Nov. 20 2009 12:16 a.m. MST

Things are about to get a little hairy for those Twilight

vampires. Because here come the Twilight werewolves — including two played by Mormons.

The second book in author Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga, "New

Moon," continues to explore the forbidden romance between ageless vampire

Edward Cullen and human teen Bella Swan.

But the book also focus on the rivalry that exists between

vampire and new werewolf clans.

That rivalry is front and center in the movie adaptation of

that book. Or, as actor Kiowa Gordon put it, "the lovey-dovey stuff is

still there. But now it's time for a good old-fashioned vampire and werewolf

throw-down.

"And I don't mean to sound biased, but there's only one

way that can turn out," he continued. "The vampires already had their

movie. Now it's our turn to shine."

Gordon plays Embry Call, one of the friends, or "wingmen"

of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) in the movie version of "New Moon."

He and cast mate Alex Meraz (Paul) were in Denver to promote

the new film, which opened in theaters this week.

Newcomer Gordon is part of Meyer's LDS ward in

Arizona, and "when she told me they were casting for the movie I jumped at

the opportunity. I feel very fortunate to be part of the Twilight universe."

Likewise, dancer-turned-actor (and fellow LDS Church member)

Meraz "knew this was something I had to be a part of. I would have been

crazy to pass this movie up."

"No one's even seen what we can do yet, and we already

have these incredible fan clubs and followings. It's crazy," Meraz said by

telephone.

At least some of that may be due to early ad campaigns for "New

Moon." Poster imagery featured a shirtless, "ripped" Lautner, as

well as a similarly muscled Gordon and Meraz.

"There was no digital retouching or body doubles used.

Those rock-hard abs really are ours," Meraz reported. "We worked

really hard for those bodies."

Still, their vampiric counterparts, including Edi Gathegi,

aren't just taking the werewolves' taunts lying down.

"There's just something that's much more alluring about

vampires," Gathegi agreed. "You can never tell whether they want to

seduce you or whether they want to kill you."

Gathegi reprises his role as the villainous Laurent in "New

Moon," and he and British actor Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays another

menacing vampire, Caius, were in Salt Lake City last weekend for a signing

appearance.

"They can say what they want about being more popular

now, but vampires will always have more appeal. Werewolves are just hairy

brutes," Bower laughed.

None of the four actors claim that they were particularly

big Twilight fans before they were cast in their respective roles.

"I was aware of it, but back then it seemed like it was

something for young girls," Bower recalled. "But now that I've

immersed myself into it, I get it. And not just because it's part of my

livelihood."

And Gathegi, for one, says that "New Moon" may be

an even-bigger hit with fans — be they young or old, female or male.

"They got most of the setup done in the first movie, so

this one definitely has a lot more action in it. I think it's going to be quite

popular with everyone," he said.

All four also say they're thrilled to be part of what is already

a huge phenomenon.

Especially since it's a good time to for Meraz, Gordon and

Bower to come aboard the movie franchise. There are still at least two more

movies to be made — from Meyer's "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn."

"The whole Twilight thing is only getting bigger. It

shows no signs of slowing down," Gordon said.

However, at least one of these four characters does not

survive to see another film.

"We won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read the books

yet. But there's something quite shocking that happens to one of us,"

Bower chuckled.


E-mail: jeff@desnews.com

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