We’d never thought of it this way, but Gil Birmingham may be right: The Twilight series does owe a debt to William Shakespeare—namely, the bard’s most romantic play.
Interviewed on Neyom Friday, the actor who plays Billy Black—whose son is werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner)—offers his take on why Twilight is so captivating and addictive to audiences the world over.
“It’s the story of Romeo and Juliet. I think people tap into the heart more than anything. And that’s what they feel, even if it is a fantasy story,” Gil tells host Neyom Friday.
“It speaks to the longing that I think we all have, to love and to wanna be loved—and higher aspirations of ourselves.
“That’s why I feel proud to be part of it: It’s not filled with graphic violence or gratuitous sex. It makes you feel good.”
Gil also chats about the hit flick’s forthcoming sequels, New Moon and Eclipse.
“I’m so happy that the storyline’s gonna follow more of ‘the puppy pack,’ as I call them, and the wolves and the development of the story with my son, Jacob,” he says.
“We just finished filming Eclipse and it’s very, very rare to do two films so close together like we did. Sometimes you forget your scenes— when you did what and in which movie.”
And when it comes to comparing himself to his signature character, Gil gets downright weepy.
“There’s a lot of parts of Billy that are like myself,” he says.
“But Billy carries a secret of his people, of his tribe. And I think that’s why I relate to Sitting Bull and people that have—where did they find the courage to be able to see themselves and guide their people in a way that they know they can survive and be healthy and happy, given the circumstances that they encounter?
“That’s Billy’s challenge. And it’s a very personal thing because he loves his son so much. And he knows what his son’s gonna go through.
“But the beauty of Stephenie Meyers and her writing and the way she’s integrated the Native Americans into this plot is that the only reason they even transform [into werewolves] is to protect the people and to protect the land, which is one of the major values of the Native culture in general, and always has been.”
To hear Gil’s full interview, click here.