You might remember him from "Twilight," where his character James captured our favorite human-in-distress and took a chomp out of her hand -- but don't write Cam Gigandet off as some one-note vampire jerk. In fact, after a few small but memorable roles in non-vampire movies (of which there are still a small handful), Gigandet has switched teams.
In "Priest," out now on DVD and Blu-ray, Gigandet dons his white hat to join Paul Bettany, Maggie Q and Lily Collins in the fight against the undead. We talked to Gigandet in support of his new release and asked which side of the villain fence he prefers, what he thinks of up-and-comer Lily Collins and which of his projects have the most rabid fans.
Yeah, we already knew the answer to that one, too.
So, which do you prefer: hero or villain?
What's more fun? I'd have to say the villain. Maybe it's just because I've had more villainous-type roles. I've gotten more comfortable with it. It's such a challenge to play a good guy -- it's hard to be believable. Being a badass good guy, it's kind of hard to do. There's a more stringent set of rules that you need to abide by. It's kind of limiting. If [my "Priest" character] comes off as badass, it lets me know I'm doing something right.
But I like a challenge, so if people still want to hire to be the hero, I'll accept.
To be completely honest, it's shocking to me that I keep getting the villain roles! I do not see myself as the villain and I know, growing up, I was the opposite of a villain. I would never try to be a villain to anyone -- but maybe other people I grew up with feel differently about that. [laughs] Maybe there's just something I don't know, that everyone else sees. There are might be something about me physically that people are connecting with a villain. I need to check in on that.
You worked with Lily Collins on "Priest," and she's got a ton of high-profile stuff coming up. Is she going to be huge?
She deserves to be huge. I'm not even sure how old she is -- there's such a grace that Lily has that not a lot of Hollywood actors, old or young, have. You're kind of taken away by her. I don't know how she does it. She's an amazing actress. I wish her all the best.
In the final analysis, do you get more attention from fans for killing Marissa Cooper or breaking Bella's leg?
[Laughs] I'm going to have to go with the "Twilight" fans because... they are really never-ending. I played paintball this past weekend with my dad -- the whole day, people would come up and say "Oh, you're the guy from --" and if it was a girl, without fail, the girl would bring up 'Twilight." They used to bring up "The O.C." but not so much anymore.
The guys who came up to me this past weekend -- it was always "Never Back Down." Which is interesting.
Thankfully, "Twilight" set me up for a really long time. Everything that has such success and a fan following makes my job easier. It'll always help me, for the rest of my career.
Two vampire movies in the last few years -- are you a big fan, yourself?
I don't know if it was even vampire movies that was the draw for me. I'm fascinated with worlds where there's a small population left, whether it's a movie or these TV shows that fascinate me -- "Falling Skies" or "The Walking Dead" -- they are about survival and triumphing over difficult times. I just have a thing for 'em.
Of course, vampires are so cool and scary.
The big news this week is the "Dirty Dancing" remake -- who saw that coming? Is there a remake you'd love to do?
Oh. Hmm. The thing is -- you wouldn't really want to remake an amazing movie. When you think about classic movies, you only see amazing ones. [Laughs] Nobody really watches the bad ones. But if I had to choose a good one that could be remade that I'd love to do, I would love to shoot "Bullitt," with Steve McQueen. Or "The Great Escape."
But I don't think they should make any of them.