Q&A: Noot Seear Talks Twilight
The history of the model-turned-actress is a checkered one, without a doubt. For every Charlotte Rampling or Penélope Cruz, there’s a Cindy Crawford in Fair Game, the sine qua non of bad career moves. The jury is still out on Noot Seear, but that’s only because Seear, an alum of countless runways and campaigns, won’t be seen in her first acting role until November. That’s when New Moon, the sequel to Twilight, is released—or, to put it another way, that’s when Noot Seear can expect to make the leap from model-turned-actress to paparazzi quarry. In the forthcoming film, Seear plays a “fisher.” “She’s kind of a siren,” Seear explains of her character. “She attracts tourists to bring back to her feeder people. Basically, she’s human bait.” The role is small but vital, and last month, the 25-year-old Vancouver native got her first taste of Twilight-related pandemonium when she joined Robert Pattinson and the gang at Comic-Con. Here, Seear talks to Style.com about the different ways to work a camera, enjoying what’s left of her anonymity, and being a teenager in love.
You’ve been modeling since you were 13. Are all those years in front of the camera working to your advantage or disadvantage as you transition to acting?
Both. The advantage, especially, is that I’m used to being in front of the camera. I’m comfortable having a crew around and shooting with lights in my face, and I get the lifestyle, doing one job and then flying off to the next round of castings. There are similarities. The big hurdle is that when you model it’s all about engaging the camera, whereas in acting, you have to train yourself not to notice the camera at all, and just be in the scene, with the other actors. But that’s what I’ve been training to do. I’m not coming to this totally cold.
Had you read the Twilight books before you went out for the part?
No, actually. And even though the first movie had come out by the time I heard about the role, I still didn’t have a clear idea what a huge production this was and what an insane cult following it has. It didn’t quite hit me until Comic-Con. I mean, people slept outside overnight just to get a glimpse of the cast, and then, you know, we go into this auditorium, and screen a clip of the movie, and the fans are just screaming, like, the loudest noise I’ve ever heard. And the screaming would die down for a minute, and then Rob [Pattinson] would brush his hair out of his eyes or something, and that’s all it would take for the screaming to start up again.
Do you look at Robert Pattinson and think, yikes, that’s going to be my life in a few months?
I’m not sure it will be the same thing. My part is relatively small, and then I’m not coming back until the fourth film, so I’d like to think I can stay under-the-radar. All that fame, I mean, I know it’s something Rob has been struggling with, because it happened so quickly to him and in such a massive way. I like being able to walk down my street without being recognized, and I don’t like people knowing my business. So what I’d prefer, rather than go for some big blockbuster after this, is to build my career up slowly, with some indies, things like that. Good scripts, good directors. I’ve managed to have a lot of longevity as a model because I never got overexposed. I’m hoping I can have the same kind of career as an actress.
Wait—so you’ve read the Twilight books by now, undoubtedly?
I read them on airplanes. I think there’s something about flying that heightens emotion, because I was literally crying the whole way through each of those books. Flying and crying. I’m sure people thought I was crazy.
Did you comprehend what makes teenage girls so fanatical about the books? I mean, was there anything in your life, at that age, that you were that consumed with?
It’s too embarrassing, I can’t say.
Come on. I freely confess to my own Anne of Green Gables obsession. Books and miniseries.
Saved by the Bell. I mean…Zack Morris, oh. The blond one? I had posters, the whole thing. I think I’m still a big Zack Morris fan. I’d probably freak out if I saw him at a party. What is that guy doing now?
You know there’s going to be a reunion, right?
There’s a reunion?!
So, hang on, you’re 13, and you wrap a long day shooting with, say, Mario Sorrenti, and then you come back to your apartment in New York and watch tapes of Saved by the Bell and practice signing your name “Noot Morris” until it’s bedtime? I’m having a hard time picturing this.
Well, the Saved by the Bell thing kind of predated New York. But there was some of that. It was very confusing, being so young and being thrown into that adult world. I hung out with a lot of older people, and I grew up quickly. I was kind of raised by fashion. And some of that teenage stuff, I just missed out on it. But, you know, like all 14-year-olds, I had a few secret crushes on people who probably didn’t know I existed.
Secret crushes on who?
I will never, ever say.