Interview: BooBoo Stewart, Tinsel Korey Talk ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’

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CHICAGO – The latest movie chapter of the The Twilight series juggernaut opens tomorrow, June 30th, with the release of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” The film stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, and includes cast members BooBoo Stewart (Seth Clearwater) and Tinsel Korey (Emily Young).

Stewart and Korey were in Chicago on June 28th to talk about and promote the film, the third in the film series of the mega-popular Twilight Series. Tinsel Korey was Emily Young in the last film, “New Moon” and BooBoo Stewart makes his Twilight debut as the younger brother of Leah Clearwater (Julia Jones) named Seth.

Twilight Lovers: Tinsel Korey as Emily Young and Chaske Spencer as Sam Utley in ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’
Twilight Lovers: Tinsel Korey as Emily Young and Chaske Spencer as Sam Utley in ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’
Photo Credit: © 2010 Summit Entertainment

Nils “BooBoo” Stewart is a veteran of Disney Entertainment, having done a stint with the musical group “T-Squad,” which toured with Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers. He is an accomplished martial arts athlete and musician, and now adds a major role to his resume with the part in Twilight.

Tinsel Korey returns as the scarred Emily Young, but this young Canadian actress is a veteran of TV and movies, in addition to her skills as a singer/songwriter. She works in her off-time with Native American youth, and is heavily involved in issues having to do with tribes throughout North America.

HollywoodChicago got the opportunity to interview the young stars right in the midst of the publicity hurricane, and they both had keen insight to their characters, the Twilight legacy and their own brilliant careers.

HollywoodChicago.com: BooBoo, what is your new character in the latest Twilight film, and what does it feel like going into the mix of this phenomenal pop culture event?

BooBoo Stewart: It’s an awesome experience, the fans have been really amazing. My character is Seth Clearwater. He can’t choose a side, he looks up to both Edward and Jacob. He is kind of like the middle man, the peace maker. He wants everyone to get along.

HC: Tinsel, In the production notes it says you beat out 800 actresses for the role of Emily in New Moon. Where did that process begin and at what point did you feel you nailed the part?

Tinsel Korey: The audition was in Los Angeles. I actually thought I messed up the audition, I don’t think you can ever tell as an actress whether or not you’ve done well. And so I went home and I was crying, I thought I totally messed up. And the next day, they had already short listed me. I found out I got it shortly thereafter, so it wasn’t a tedious process or anything.

HC: BooBoo, what characteristics do you personally possess that you think won you the character of Seth, and as an actor what one element of his character did you most focus on?

Stewart: Characteristics? I think he’s a real person. I remember one time walking into my school and the teacher said when she saw me, I made her smile. I think that Seth Clearwater is the same way, he’s a happy guy and when people see him, he makes them smile.

HC: Tinsel, your character is scarred, with an almost opposing emotional element on each side of your face. How do you work with those opposing elements in the character and how do you think it plays out on the screen?

Korey: Emily is comfortable with who she it. Is she shy about the scar? She is a proud, strong woman. It happened to her, because it doesn’t change or effect the way she feels, beauty-wise. Her disfigurement is not what Emily is about. Her beauty shines from within, which is how as women we should be, we shouldn’t focus on the external. She isn’t tormented by the scar, Sam Utley’s love for her makes her feel beautiful, so I don’t think it’s an internal struggle or anything. It’s a vanity thing that other people see that doesn’t effect her.

HC: BooBoo, you are an accomplished athlete, musician and scholar at a very young age. Besides the encouragement of your family, can you describe what inner drive within you kept you going through all the practices and studies it takes to get to this level?

Stewart: You’ve got to keep on going and never give up. I just think that everything will work out for the right reason, you’ve just got to let it work out. You’ve got to try also. Just trying really hard and having the family to support and motivate me really helps. I love to do what I do, and I’m happy I’m doing it.

HC: Are there any actor inspirations that you look up to?

Stewart: Heath Ledger is my favorite actor, Jackie Earle Haley is a great actor and Mel Gibson are the guys I look up to.

HC: Tinsel, the Native American presence is strong in the Twilight Saga. Since you work closely with Native American issues, where do you see the evolution of tribes in North America during the 21st century?

Korey: I think as native people we are still struggling. There are land rights issues, for example, but our presence in modern day culture, as in the Twilight films, are good for native actors. A lot of people don’t see us in mainstream media, so for us it showcases how we are now.

Where are we going as a people? I have no idea. Every single tribe is different and what they want is different. I can speak for anyone outside myself, because we all have different feelings, emotions, wants and needs. It depends on the individual tribe and what they’re going for. Do I think they can achieve it? Of course. Anything is possible if you set your mind forward. Another great thing with Twilight is that we can bring up issues we are going through. Both BooBoo and I worked with Chaske Spencer (Sam Utley) and the Cheyenne River Sioux, getting propane to them for the winter, since they’ve been freezing for so long. Having a voice here, brings attention to things there.

Tinsel Korey and BooBoo Stewart in Chicago, June 29th, 2010
Tinsel Korey and BooBoo Stewart in Chicago, June 29th, 2010
Photo Credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

HC: BooBoo, when you were doing the touring with Disney’s ‘The T-Squad’ with the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, did everyone feel the popularity increasing at that time and what was their reaction to it?

Stewart: It was definitely a new thing, and really crazy. I had a contract with Walt Disney records and went on tour. It was my first glimpse of what fans can be like, and my reaction to them. With Twilight, the fans really just want to know you and be friends with you. They are a little easier, a little more fun. But fans are amazing in general, and help me a lot in my career.

HC: Tinsel, tell me about your previous film, ‘Mothers&Daughters’ (2008), which is listed to be completely improvised. How did the director set up each scene, and how did working on such a project make you a better actor?

Korey: We did some workshops before, and Tantoo Cardinal [co-star], a fantastic actress, worked out our storyline together. We sat down, we workshopped, talked about our own lives and then developed the relationship that we had in the film. I personally like improvisation, some actresses are afraid of it. We would act out the scene, then the director [Carl Bessai] would step back in and tweak different moments of it. The Canadian cast the all-star, so I was very fortunate to work with such seasoned veterans. I think it is one of Carl’s best films. The relationship between mothers and daughters are so complex, funny and ridiculous. This put it into a new life.

HC: BooBoo, you have a relationship with TNA Wrestling. Since hand-to-hand confrontation is so much a part of the martial arts, how does it relate to professional wrestling, as far as the movements of the participants and the action in the ring?

Stewart: Definitely helps a lot, you have to have a good background in martial arts training. You have to know how to take a bump, how to fall and to throw a punch. It’s different in TNA, they do get hurt, but they’re not trying to hurt the other person. It’s really fun, I love TNA. I write for them, ‘15 Minutes with BooBoo.’

HC: Tinsel, I read where you write your own music and lyrics. What is your process for putting words to music, do you start with the written lyric phrase for inspiration or the musical riff?

Korey: It really depends. When I first started out, I wrote the lyrics first, because I wasn’t seasoned at playing the guitar. But now, it’s a combination of both. The majority of times I write the words out first, but I already have a melody or harmony going on, and I’ll add guitar and piano to it, but there is no concrete structure, just what moves through my energy first.

HC: What is your process as a musician, BooBoo?

Stewart: There is no set thing for me, either. Since I’m mainly a guitar player, I usually sit there. It’s funny, but when you’re trying to write something, that’s when it’s the hardest. But when you’re jamming with friends, you suddenly go, ‘what was that?’ [laughs]

HC: How do your various disciplines help each other. For example, how does being a musician help you in martial arts, or how does being an actor help you to be a better student?

Stewart: I think doing martial arts was definitely a great thing, I started when I was three years old. It taught me self-discipline, especially when I’m on sets, because there is a lot of waiting. In this business in general, there is a lot of waiting. [laughs] It is the self discipline that was the most valuable for that.

HC: Finally, Tinsel, what do you think was the biggest crime against the Native American population in North America during there long and difficult history with white settlers, and do you think the tribes have emerged stronger because of it?

Korey: It’s not just one thing, it’s a multitude of different things. Right now we’re still in a healing process. I think the first step in moving forward is for the rest of the population to know what happened with the communities. The first thing is acknowledgment, but it’s not in the history books, or how Native Americans contributed. So the first thing is awareness and then we move forward.

I think there is strength in native communities. Younger people are achieving great things in academics, sports and the arts. There is strength, but it is still a healing process.

“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” opens everywhere June 30th and features Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Xavier Samuel, Taylor Lautner, Tinsel Korey and BooBoo Stewart, screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg – based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer – and directed by David Slade. Rated “PG-13”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Senior Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2010 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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