How do you get yourself cast in the blockbuster Twilight series? Throw a rager, get in trouble with Dad, and move in with Mom. Maybe you'll end up going to church with Stephenie Meyer; she'll suggest you audition to play a werewolf in the series's second installment New Moon, and you'll get the part.
That's what happened to Kiowa Gordon, who plays Embry in the film. Of course, being hot helps, too. "I was actually living in Mesa [Arizona] a couple of months before the audition," says Gordon. "I threw a party, and the cops came and busted it. And I got in trouble...And my mom was like, 'You gotta come home and live with me,' so I went to Cave Creek, and that's what really started it. Because then Stephenie Meyer moved in to our church around the same time."
Gordon is in Houston today with Alex Meraz, who plays werewolf Paul in the film. They're on a tour to promote New Moon that started in LA with an appearance with all the cast members, vampires and werewolves alike. The two actors continued to Denver, are stopping here with an event tonight at the Galleria, and then they're heading for Miami.
"Denver I gotta say is the most intense fans we've ever seen," says Meraz. "It was just us, and like 700 fans, all at once just shouting. I personally didn't expect that." It's safe to say there will be a similar scene tonight at the Galleria. At last year's event, fans camped out to meet the stars who appeared here -- Taylor Lautner, who plays Bella's werewolf best friend Jacob, and two of Twilight's evil vampires.
Both actors seem excited by all the attention, and a little nervous. "They're very respectful, when you get a fan by themselves," says Meraz, "but get them all together and it's like a mob."
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Meraz recently appeared in People magazine -- with his shirt off, of course. After getting the role of Paul, who's a bit of a grumpy werewolf and attacks Bella when he discovers she knows the pack's secret, he says, "I just figured I should look like a fighter. Not overly Greek-god buff, but, like, scrappy. Just ripped and lean, kind of Bruce Lee-like."
For their roles, Gordon, Meraz and the other actors playing werewolves buffed up in an intense physical regimen they called "wolf camp."
"We got a trainer, we worked out really hard. We were pushing each other hard," says Gordon, "eating tons of protein, and like six meals a day. It was good, because we all bonded. I gained muscle I didn't even know I had."
Fans are probably already lining up at the Galleria to meet Gordon and Meraz. But if you do make it to the front for an autograph, we have one piece of advice for you: Don't call them "Native American." Call them "First Nations People." Trust us on this.