Blast was fortunate enough to speak with Mike Welch, who plays the Twilight Saga’s lovable human Mike Newton, today about the hype around “Twilight” and it’s upcoming sequel “New Moon” his work with charity, and… meth labs?
BLAST: So how was shooting in Vancouver different from Portland?
MW: Vancouver is one of my favorite cities, not only to film in but just to be in. I’ve shot a few different things over there over the past 10 years. I mean, Portland is great, there’s some great poetry and a great book store up there, but Vancouver, there’s just something about the way the city feels… That’s just the differences in the city, the differences in the films themselves, I mean, totally different. By the time “New Moon” rolled around, we tried to keep it as big a secret as we could [our locations], but it was impossible because all it took was one person to spot Rob or Taylor on the street and in 20 minutes there were hundreds of people there and there was paparazzi there and you know, it was just much more of an ordeal.
BLAST: Speaking of Portland, are you going to be at the Twilight Vampire Baseball Event?
MW: Over the July 4th weekend? Yeah yeah, it’s for charity, it’s a Make-A-Wish event.
BLAST: And you’ve done charity work before. You did environmental charity right?
MW: I won some sort of environmental award for some reason a couple years back… I guess since I drive a Prius or something. I mean a made a couple of environmental videos.
The main charity I’ve been with is Kids with a Cause, and we’re a multi-cause charity, but the ultimate goal is to help kids in need. We started out as a local charity, visiting like, orphanages, burn centers, etc. Now we’re trying to go international and help kids that need some of the basic fundamental things in life so they can pursue their own happiness. It’s been very rewarding
BLAST: So there’s Team Edward shirts, Team Jacob thongs, even Team Tyler’s Van merchandise -“" any Team Mike stuff popping up?
MW: There has been a little bit of Team Mike that I’ve seen. I’ve seen a couple t-shirts, but it was mostly my friends making fun of me [laughs]. I do get people every now and then telling me they are on Team Mike.
BLAST: If you had to pick a side, would you really be Team Mike, or choose between Edward and Jacob? Or are you contractually obligated like I’m guessing Kristen is to be ambiguous?
MW: I actually… between Edward and Team Jacob, I’m actually Team Jacob. I like Edward, but I… and I think it’s more of a gender thing more than anything else. I think Jacob represents more of a practical relationship, so I’d go Jacob -“" but if there is a legitimate Team Mike that emerges, I will be happy to join it.
BLAST: Bella does some crazy stuff in “New Moon.” Did you do anything so daring in high school?
MW: You know, [laughs] one thing that I used to do was go into the local high school with my car with my friend in the passenger seat and do really lame donuts and stuff and every now and then I’d get into little shenanigans like that. The most dangerous thing I did as a kid was, my grandma lived in the senior center, well not a senior center, more of a neighborhood. [Laughs] This is just so lame I can’t believe I’m telling you, anyway, and kids weren’t allowed to walk around unattended so my cousin and I would just walk around and avoid security.
BLAST: That’s pretty bad ass.
MW: Oh now that I think of it “"- when I was a kid, I actually grew up in a mobile home and there was actually what I later discovered to be meth lab right across from me. My neighbor and I would play cops and bad guys and we would spy on them and follow them around and stuff because we knew they were bad, but we had no idea.
BLAST: So has that ass shaking dance [from outside of the diner in “Twilight”] always won you the girls?
MW: Oh sure, that thing has followed me around like you wouldn’t believe [laughs]. No, nothing like that ever seemed to work in real life. I was similar to Mike Newton in high school — I hope I wasn’t that annoying — but that was my angle: “I’m the quirky guy, love me please.” But that never quite worked.
BLAST: So you said at some point they almost didn’t include the movie scene in New Moon? What’s that about?
MW: You know it’s a tricky thing when you try and turn a book into a movie because a movie is only two hours and there’s only so much you can fit in, but yeah, what they originally did was they took that moment between Jacob and Bella and put it in a different scene of the movie. Luckily Taylor and Kristen lobbied that scene for me to Chris Weitz saying it absolutely had to be in, and it’s a good scene. They weren’t really lobbying for me, it’s just, how can you not have that scene in there? Yeah, so I was really happy to hear that, and it was great for me because I got to do Mike’s best scene in the book.
BLAST: Any secrets from the “New Moon” set? Like maybe Justin Chon is really diva?
MW: Well I can tell you that Justin Chon actually has 3 nipples.
BLAST: You’re definitely making that up.
MW: Yeah. [Laughs] It’s funny, because that’s the thing everyone’s looking for, something to say, but these are pretty uncontroversial people.
BLAST: I guess that’s why pictures of the cast smoking cigarettes on set became some big scandal?
MW: Yeah, that’s about as scandalous as it gets.
Who wants to start this “legitimate” Team Mike already?