Exclusive: Amadou Ly reveals his Breaking Dawn character
During a chat with actor Amadou Ly, he revealed to us what his The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 role will be. He also spills about co-star Janelle Froehlich’s role! In addition, the Senegal native talked with us about what it was like to take part in the franchise, how Bill Condon inspired him years ago, and how he fell into acting. He also reveals that his mother is his date to the premiere! The actor has a truly inspirational story that taught him to help others. You can read more about his touching story here. Read on for our full exclusive interview!
How did you get involved with The Twilight Saga, and what was your audition like?
I received the audition notice from my agent and, as far as the preparation, I didn’t read the book during that time, however I watched all the films. So I basically spoke to a lot of my friends who are Twihards, and I have my sister who is also a huge Twilight fan. And I got as much info as I could, and then I went into the room, auditioned for the role, and walked out of there feeling pretty confident. And then two weeks later, I got the call that I booked the role.
So you had friends that were Twilight fans, but how familiar were you with Twilight before you auditioned?
The fun part is, a week before I received the audition, I was watching the first Twilight with some friends. And we were just at home watching the film, and I was a huge fan of it because for me, it’s just so amazing. I mean, vampires, what’s not to love about vampires? They’re cool. They’re sexy. There’s a lot of different combinations of things to love about them. So yes I was a huge fan.
Have you read any of the books now?
No, I have not read any of the books. Especially since my character, Henri, who is a new vampire actually, a new coven that was not in the book. Melissa Rosenberg blessed the fans with one new coven that were not in the books. So I was able to basically film without actually having to read the books. But I got informed as much as I could.
So Melissa Rosenberg created a new coven and you are the main person in that coven?
You will recognize me, and you will also recognize Janelle Froelich, so it’s me and her. And it’s gonna be amazing. The scene, the fans are going to love it.
Can you tell us where your coven is from?
Yes, we are the French vampires. Basically, my character Henri was born in France, and he is someone I was able to relate to as far as someone who is trying to put his life together and succeed in life. And also another great thing about it is that Melissa and Stephenie Meyer, they gave us the script but a lot of the back stories we got to create ourselves. So it was very fun to be able to do that.
What kind of back story did you give Henri?
A special power. A very cool special power. With my index power I can flick a person, and they are usually going to hit a wall or go somewhere pretty distant.
Would you say on set you spent the most time with Janelle?
Shooting-wise, yes. Also, the cast spent a lot of time together. I remember when I first walked into the hotel and saw all these people that I have seen in the films, and I was pretty nervous. However the way they embraced us is with open arms and I never felt like I was alone in there. And also we had a lot of new vampires, we became a great ensemble and we became a sort of family. We would all hang out.
Were you intimidated by anyone before you got there? Maybe by the success of Kristen and Rob and Taylor?
The good thing about this cast is that they were all so open and down to earth. I was, and still am, a huge fan of Michael Sheen. And being able to meet someone who really inspired me as far as my acting, I was really grateful for that. But as far as the cast goes, they were all wonderful and down to earth.
How did you get into acting? You were previously working on an engineering degree and then transitioned into acting. How’d that happen?
I participated in a robotic competition and led my team to the New York City Regional Championship in 2006. However, I used to be very shy when it comes to speaking to people. I was also dealing with immigration at that time and it caught the media attention and I started doing interviews but I was very shy. A friend of mine recommended that I started taking acting class. During this time, I had already started my engineering degree. It was like two years after I got into engineering. I started taking classes and I fell in love with acting. So I transferred from engineering into a theater degree and two weeks after I graduated, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dream.
So you’ve been in LA for a couple of years now. You get into a major movie franchise. What are you planning to do next?
At the moment I am working on a pilot television series called Meter Maids. I am actually writing it. I am also getting ready for the first of the robotic season, the competition I did in 2006. In the meantime I am also volunteering at Project Angel Food, where we help feed 1600 people a week.
The organization is something I talk about a lot, even on Twitter. It’s such a great organization. We prepare food and deliver it to people who are struggling. People with HIV, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses throughout LA County. I invite the fans to participate. You can go over there, pick a day that you are free and come and help out. You get free lunch, free breakfast, and to get more info about them you can go to their website at AngelFood.Org.
Have you done any movie premieres before? Are you prepared for the craziness this coming Monday?
I have to tell you that my first movie premiere was when Angelina Jolie invited me to The Changeling and I had a chance to walk the red carpet.
That’s pretty big!
But you know what? I was so nervous, I walked straight from the car straight inside. But this one I am hearing the fans are already there. I am nervous, I am excited. And I can’t wait to meet the fans and also to regroup with the cast.
I think you’ll be fine. It’s going to be fun. Do you worry about what you are going to wear?
I already got what I’m going to wear. And also my mother happens to be in the United States and I’m going to bring my mom.
Does your mom live here in the U.S. or in Senegal [where Amadou is originally from]?
She lives in Senegal. She happens to be here for a visit. And of course there is the premiere and I said “Well, Mom, you gotta come with me.”
You mentioned Angelina Jolie invited you to her premiere. How are you friends with her?
The Jolie/Pitt family have been very supportive of me throughout the years. I just love everything they do as far as helping out different people in need across the world. They inspired me a lot actually, not just to become an actor, but to also do something with it. To also take what you have and help people that are in need. So I am a huge fan of theirs.
If you could choose any other character in The Twilight Saga to play, who would it be and why?
Probably Demetri, Charlie [Bewley]’s character. There’s a lot of surprises in there for that character. And I think fans are going to love to see the Demetri that Bill Condon has waiting for them. But also I am a huge fan of my character, because he’s a brand new character, and also there are a lot of things the fans are going to love about the new characters. Yvette, Janelle’s character, and my character, there are lot of surprises and fans are going to love it.
Have you gotten to see the movie?
No I haven’ t had a chance to see the movie yet.
How did you like working with Bill Condon?
Oh my god. Bill Condon is like the most amazing director ever. And a funny story is, in 2006, another thing that inspired me when I was going through a lot of different obstacles was I watched Dreamgirls [directed by Bill Condon], and I saw Jennifer Hudson’s performance. And I was so in love with that performance, and it literally gave me more courage to pursue my dream as an actor. So having the opportunity to work with Bill Condon, when a few years ago, his film inspired me to pursue my dreams, is a huge deal for me. And also, working with him, he knows what he wants out of an actor. He’s very specific. But then again, he’s very supportive and he has such a great energy to him. He’s the best.
You have been pretty active on Twitter and Facebook. Is it fun getting to know Twilight fans?
The fans are lovely. Being able to talk to them on Twitter directly and them wondering about the character I am playing, it will be good that they’ll know now. It’s been great having the opportunity to talk with them and sometimes some of them are going through personal stuff. And sometimes they read my story and we chat one –on-one and encourage each other. Having that opportunity to talk with them directly, I’m grateful for that and they are the best. Hopefully they’ll see me soon at the premiere and they’ll see the film and love my character.
Anything else we should keep an eye out for?
I just want to say that there is a massive dance coming that I think the fans are going to love, also. They’ll see the cast in a different light and I think that’s something that they should look out for. And in the meantime, they can also get in contact with me via my Twitter page.
When might we see this dance?
Probably on the DVD.
OK, we’ll try and be patient! Have fun on Monday!
I’m excited as I can be and I look forward to it. I look forward to meeting the fans, getting back with the cast, and seeing the film!
Interview conducted by Lindsay. Photo by Edmund Prieto.
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