As a member of the Twilight franchise, Nikki Reed finds herself in the middle of a pop culture frenzy. The only problem is, she has no idea what to say about it.
“I don’t really know how it feels yet. I think I’ll know in 10 years,” Reed says, hiding out in a hotel room between press conferences for New Moon, the second film in the cult book and movie series. “With (my film) Thirteen, I couldn’t really speak about that until recently. But at the time people were like, ‘How’s it feel to be a part of this right now?’ And I kept saying, ‘I don’t know.’ I find myself doing that again.”
Thirteen, her first film, was a unique experience for the then-14-year-old Reed. Now 21, she feels she has enough distance from the experience to really examine it.
“All I have to say about that is that it was a good thing I was young and naïve, because there were choices that I made in that process that I wouldn’t make now, but that made it what it was,” she says candidly. “It was very honest and it was very real, and because of that, the world connected with it. But it was all of those things because my family was sort of put on the line. Looking back, I realize it was sort of invasive.”
Still, it isn’t an experience she’d change for any reason, especially since Reed also co-wrote the film. She’s since started producing — her first produced film was this year’s Last Day of Summer — and she’ll be the first to tell you she doesn’t plan on sticking with acting for very long.
“I like the process of making movies,” she says. “It’s just that I don’t know that I’m necessarily meant to be in them.”
And of the various roles she’s looked at behind the camera, Reed says writing is still her primary passion: “That’s probably what I’ll end up doing for the rest of my life, because I’m definitely not going to be doing this for the rest of my life.”
Speaking of this, while she may not yet have the distance she’d like to truly understand the Twilight experience, she isn’t ignoring it.
“I just know that it’s totally surreal,” she says. “I don’t really know what to compare it to. It feels really wrong to compare it to the Beatles. I hear people saying that all the time. But how can you possibly say that? Because those were the Beatles.”
As a writer herself, she feels at odds getting so much attention for Stephenie Meyer’s creation.
“It does feel very undeserved at times because it’s based on a book,” she says. “Someone else created these characters. The fans loved this thing before we were a part of it. So to step in and fill those shoes — they’re big shoes to fill.”
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