Editor's note: This week's Ecollywood column was so long, we split it in two. Read the other half and see which stars we met (Cher!) on the red carpet at the American Film Institute gala.
The continuing nature of a film franchise like the wildly successful "Twilight" saga offers a unique opportunity to reuse, reduce and recycle, since many of the sets carry over between movies. “From a set standpoint, we save everything and reuse it,” producer Wyck Godfrey responded when MNN asked how the production conserved during the press junket for "Eclipse", the third film in the vampire series. “Efficiency in production is always what you’re looking for, so you want to save as much as possible.”
It was also important to Director David Slade that the forest locations near Vancouver (standing in for Washington state) weren’t compromised by the production. “The conservation of the nature that we went into was a very big concern. We had a lot of monitoring and made sure that we didn’t touch or damage anything that was there, and we left everything exactly as best we could,” he noted. “We were as responsible as we could be. Certainly that was one of the biggest things for us, going into one of the most beautiful natural habitats and then making sure we left them exactly as we found them.”
Opening June 30, "Eclipse", which further explores the love triangle between Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) also ups the danger factor in the form of a rampaging band of ‘newborn vampires’ that are out for Bella’s blood. “It takes the romance, the action, the suspense, the danger, everything in the first two movies and times it by five in this one,” says Lautner, who has the thriller "Abduction", action flick "Stretch Armstrong", and two more turns as Jacob ahead of him — "Breaking Dawn", the final book in Stephenie Meyer’s series, will be split into two films, the first due in November 2011.
"Entourage" creator Doug Ellin reports that the HBO series, returning for its seventh season June 27, is quite eco-friendly. “We do a lot of recycling. Adrian is very big on that,” he says of star Adrian Grenier (pictured right). “We try not to waste paper. We print on two sides. I used to print a lot. Now I try to read my scripts on the iPad instead of printing them. I used to walk around with a script binder. Now I walk around with the iPad.”
As the season opens, Grenier’s Vincent Chase is starring in an action flick called "Takedown", directed by Nick Cassavetes, and he’ll survive an on-set stunt accident that will leave him feeling invincible and behaving recklessly. “It will be more dramatic than normal but still maintain that kind of fun,” says Ellin of the season, which will feature such guest stars as Carrie Fisher, Jessica Simpson, John Stamos, Stan Lee, Bob Saget, Dania Ramirez (as Turtle’s unrequited crush) and porn star Sasha Grey as Vince’s new love interest. In an expanded role from his two-episode season six arc, Scott Caan returns as Scotty Lavin — Eric’s (Kevin Connolly) colleague and rival — before segueing to CBS’ remake of "Hawaii Five-0" this fall.
Five childhood friends’ reunion weekend at a lakeside country house is played for laughs in "Grown Ups" — you know that going in when the stars are Adam Sandler (pictured left), Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and Rob Schneider. But Director Dennis Dugan was dead serious about reducing the production’s carbon footprint. A long-time “environmental freak,” Dugan helped Sony develop its eco-initiative, “now a mandate through the studio. We do everything we can to make every production as green as possible, including getting rid of the hardwoods, not using glue in our sets. We use only sustainable woods to build our sets. The trucks don’t idle.” On location last summer in Massachusetts, “The city of Essex put in generators for us so we weren’t polluting the air with portable generators,” added Dugan, who rented a place across the lake from the set. “I’d row my boat or got driven to set in a Prius or an electric car, not in an SUV.”
"Grown Ups" opens June 25, and Dugan and Sandler are already planning to reteam on another comedy. Sandler will play the twin title characters in "Jack & Jill", which Dugan will direct.
Two of the stars of the new ABC series "Rookie Blue" do their best to be green. “I have a home composter, I have a Brita filter on the tap instead of buying bottled water, and I have a Prius, but it’s not operating much because I’m not in L.A. that much,” says Gregory Smith, who shot the summer police drama in his native Toronto. Having grown up in the “pretty green city” of Vancouver, recycling is second nature to his co-star Missy Peregrym (pictured right with Smith), who buys local produce at the farmers market when she’s in L.A, where she walks and bikes as much as possible. “I live in Santa Monica where it’s really easy to do that,” she says.
Premiering June 24, "Rookie Blue" follows a group of new police academy grads including Peregrym’s Andy McNally, a cop’s daughter, and Smith’s wise-cracking Dov Epstein. “I’ve always wanted to play a cop, the character was hilarious, and I wanted to do something that was totally different than Ephram in terms of the vibe and tone of the character,” relates Smith, referencing his role on the WB series "Everwood". On-set police advisors trained the actors in procedures and weapons handling, but putting on the uniform was the real key to getting into character. “It changes the way you walk,” notes Smith. “We would walk into coffee shops on our lunch breaks and people would want to give us free stuff.”
“I recycle, eat organic, and I make sure my building recycles too,” says Nikki Blonsky ("Hairspray"), star of "Huge", the new ABC Family drama set in a weight-loss camp that premieres June 28. “It’s not just a show about chunky kids at a fitness camp. We deal with body issues, eating disorders and things that kids are really dealing with at home. Anyone who has ever had a body issue or never thought they were pretty can watch and relate,” says Blonsky. Co-starring is Hayley Hasselhoff (pictured left with Blonsky), who’ll also appear with her father David and sister Taylor-Ann in an A&E reality series later this summer.
Additional photo credits: Adrian Grenier by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images; Adam Sandler by Tracy Bennett/Sony Pictures; Greg Smith and Missy Peregrym by Rick Rowell/ABC; Hayley Hasselhoff and Nikki Blonsky by Rick Rowell/ABC.