Tracey Heggins talks ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’
November 15, 2012
Coming out this week is the final installment of the ‘Twilight’ franchise, ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2,’ which stars a bevy of talent (Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Billy Burke, Rami Malek, Maggie Grace, Mackenzie Foy, Tracey Heggins, Judi Shekoni, Omar Metwally, Andrea Gabriel, Rami Malek, Angela Sarafyan, Marlane Barnes, Lisa Howard, Patrick Brennan, Noel Fisher, Guri Weinberg, Lee Pace, Toni Trucks, Bill Tangradi, Erik Odom, Valorie Curry, Joe Anderson, Olga Fonda, Janelle Froehlich, Masami Kosaka, Sebastiao Lemos, Amadou Ly, Ty Olsson, Wendell Pierce, and Carolina Virguez).
In this conclusion, the Cullen family including the newly formed vampire Bella (Stewart) have to reach out to other vampire families to help fend fight the Volturi clan once word reaches them that Edward and Bella’s daughter Renesmee may be dangerous to their entire existence.
Playing the role as Senna, one the Amazons recruited to help the Cullen , is the talented Tracey Heggins, whose best known for her performance in the critically acclaimed independent film, ‘Medicine for Melancholy.’
With roles in a few shorts (‘The Last/ First Kiss’, ‘Cherry Waves’) and along with the independent films ‘All Things Fall Apart,’ and ‘Battlefield America,’ which were shown in festivals and theaters this year, Heggins’ film career is blossoming at full throttle.
Heggins recently spoke to Blackfilm.com about her role in the film, and what she learned from being part of a big international franchise.
How was the premiere on Monday?
Tracey Heggins: It was such a blessing because Sunday night, we had gone to tent city and we connected with the fans and we gave out so many autographs and they gave us so much love. We went in on Monday feeling endowed and after we got that fan love, we felt we could come down the red carpet knowing that there’s a ton of people behind us wanting us to be successful; and they haven’t even seen the film yet. We started out the door with sheer confidence.
How much has your fan base grown since you were cast in the film?
TH: Literally, Brazil, South America. We they found out we were cast in the film, they were so loyal and ready to go. That was exciting. People from Brazil and South America were ready to support me and Judi (Shekoni).
How would you describe Senna ?
TH: Well, my character Senna was turned at a time when they wasn’t any modern technology and the last time she’d seen “modern” people, it devastated her community. That’s where you see her apprehensions and fears and cautiousness throughout the film. My back-story is that Zafrina has her friend Carlisle and it’s like, “Look Zafrina, what are you getting us into again?” We end falling in love with the Cullen and I end up personally helping these people I didn’t think I would like.
Senna and Zafrina also seem to have a liking to Edward and Bella’s daughter, Renesmee.
TH: That’s where I fell in love. Senna came out and fell in love with the baby. She’s such an amazing little vampire there. You would do anything to help fight for her life. She deserves to live.
What sort of powers do the Amazons have?
TH: Basically we can show you anything we want to show you. If we want you to be blind or show you on the beach or anywhere else, that’s what will happen.
How was shooting the battle sequence?
TH: When we shooting it, it was literally on a green screen. We just shot the fight sequences and to see it put together, it’s different from shooting it. There’s not a lot of upfront continuity in the beginning when you’re shooting that scene. You have no idea what it’s going to look like.
Is this the first time you have filmed behind a green screen?
TH: Yes. This is the first time I shot behind a green screen. This is the first time I did a stunt on a crane. With ‘Twilight,’ I did a lot of firsts. I am amazingly blessed to be a part of this.
You’ve had a great year from the short films shown at festival to the indie films you shot and now this film. What have you learned this year as you’ve been out to promote each project?
TH: I learn to set your goals. I want to be the best. I literally got cast in ‘Medicine for Melancholy’ and I wanted to be an indie star at the time. It happened for me as far as where I’m at as an actress. People don’t realize that Summit Entertainment is more like an indie company. They are not a studio. Twilight is the highest they can go as far as independent filmmaking and let people know what you can do with enough ingenuity, gumption, and just putting your heart out there. We had a cocktail party at Film Independent, and they came and spoke to me and they were talking about independent films and I am such an advocate because that the world that I live in. I’m a huge supporter of independent films, festivals, producers, directors, and actors.
Having met author Stephanie Meyer, what did you pick up from her?
TH: I love that you asked that question because I’m such a closeted writer and that was the first thing I asked her. “What tips do you have for closeted writers?” She said, “Just write.” “Don’t think about going to school to write. Read,” she also added. She mentioned that she went to school for literature and just read. She read all the greatest science fiction writers. Octavia Butler won an Hugo award. She wrote and Stephanie said to just read. That literally changed me as a writer. Everyone talks about great American literature and no one can define it, but if you were to or had to define it, it would be based on how many people you have touched by the writing. Stephanie has touched so many people and I think that’s great American literature at its finest. For me to get a tip of the trade and I’m obsessed with Robert Jordan, who wrote ‘The Will of Time.’ Hopefully, I can write a book and get it published. I love Stephanie Meyer. She’s so gracious and always takes that moment to talk.
Did the entire cast, including the newcomers ever get together to hang out?
TH: Oh yeah. Angela (Sarafyan) and Roni Malek, who are part of the Egyptian coven, hosted dinners at night because we were all together on set. We had everyone from Rob and Kristen to come all the way to me and Judi. We just talked and had a good time. We were laughing and joking and got to know each other. No one is estranged as people think they are and everyone is a kind hearted person. Kristen Stewart is a very sweet girl and she treated with nothing but respect. I remember when I was doing the 50 Cent, ‘All Things Fall Apart,’ and I had to fly out to the Miami Film Festival, and flew back, Kristen said, “You’re doing the film with Mario Van Peebles.” I said, “Yeah, he’s the director.” That just shows human interest and that’s important.
TH: I have a film called ‘Pardon’ and I’m supposed to see that soon, and then ‘LUV’ comes out in January 2013. I did a short called ‘Black Girl in Paris’ and that’s still in production. We’ll see what happens with that. So, I have things happening and try to stay busy.
What’s good reason to see ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2?’
TH: It’s totally different and not quite like the other films. Bill Condon directed this film and Stephanie Meyer poured her heart into it. Guillermo (Navarro), who did ‘Pan’s Labyrinth,’ was the cinematographer, so you have all these creative people joining in to make this happen and that’s awesome.