Here, she shows off her elegant curves in high-fashion attire in a DA MAN exclusive. By Dino Moriartie
Photographs: Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
Julia Jones is a real American: she’s a descendant of the Choctaw First Nation of Northern Mississippi as well as being part the Chickasaw Native American nation.
Jones is also a scholar of some note, having graduated from the oldest high school in the U.S., the historic Boston Latin School, and later, the Ivy League’s Columbia University. Now she’s a star of the silver screen.
DA MAN: What can you tell us about the road you’ve taken from an elite Boston schooling to Hollywood?
Julia Jones: It was a blessing and a curse. I am fortunate to have the background I do because I feel that it’s grounding—to be aware of how much happened before we got here and to be tapped in to how much there is going on globally, definitely puts things in perspective. On the other hand, I experienced a fair amount of resistance from friends and family who didn’t understand why I would waste my education by becoming an actress. Ironically, I use my six years of Latin all the time reading scripts.
DA MAN: What’s the last year or so been like, as fame has come quickly?
Julia Jones: The last year has gone by so fast. It has been a whirlwind. Very exciting, rewarding, challenging, fulfilling.
DA MAN: Which of the Eclipse cast-members were/are you closest to, and why?
Julia Jones: My closest friend in the cast is Chaske Spencer, who plays my ex-boyfriend Sam. We spent the most time together filming and we keep in touch.
DA MAN: Do you enjoy meeting the fans?
Julia Jones: So far, yes. They have been so sweet and grateful.
DA MAN: Twilight fans are incredibly passionate. I recall William Shatner famously loathing Star Trek fans for being similarly obsessed with the minutiae of his show. Have you experienced any of that?
Julia Jones: Not directly. But this is the first time I’ve played a character who seems to belong more to the fans at times than she does to me. That has been an adjustment.
DA MAN: Can you share any wild stories?
Julia Jones: When we were shooting in Vancouver, someone started taking pictures of us in our hotel rooms from a building across the street. That was wild and very unfair.
DA MAN: What was your favorite Eclipse scene to shoot?
Julia Jones: One of the last scenes in the big battle toward the end. Those scenes have a great combination of action and emotional depth. Also, most of the characters are in them. I found shooting in the midst of all that chaos was great fun.
DA MAN: How do you relate to the whole sex-symbol thing?
Julia Jones: I feel it’s something I have been resisting from the moment I got to Los Angeles. It is the easiest way to get noticed, but to me it doesn’t seem like a good idea in the long run. Some people are empowered by being a sex symbol. I find it alienating and, at times, have gotten the sense that playing into it would push me along, but in the wrong direction—not to mention the fact that my mother is a feminist.
DA MAN: In addition to Twilight: Eclipse, you are starring in another movie called Jonah Hex, which has a superstar cast that includes Megan Fox, Josh Brolin and John Malkovich. What can you tell us about that film and your role?
Julia Jones: I play Josh Brolin’s wife. We have a seven-year-old son and we are killed by John Malkovich’s character early in the film. It’s a Western, but there is a fair amount of humor in it and lots of great characters. My role is small, but being on set with those guys and working with Josh Brolin was an incredible opportunity that came at the perfect time. It gave me a better sense of where I want to go and of what it takes once you get there.
DA MAN: Who is the sexiest, most alluring person you’ve ever worked with?
Julia Jones: Josh Brolin.
DA MAN: Do people get intimidated by your beauty?
Julia Jones: The other night a guy said that when I walked into the room he was “terrified.” I don’t know quite how to take that. I don’t think he was intimidated though, because he told me how he felt.
DA MAN: You’ve done some modeling, ballet and now acting, what other talents do you possess?
Julia Jones: I can write and I’m a pretty good skier.
DA MAN: What other hobbies do you have?
Julia Jones: Reading and I just started going to yoga again.
DA MAN: Playing Leah Clearwater, a Native American, is that something you relish or is it just another role?
Julia Jones: One of the best parts about playing a member of the wolfpack, all of whom are Quileute, is that I don’t think of us in ethnic terms. Each character has so many intricate layers of detail that have to do with our back stories and our individual struggles. That is something I relish.
DA MAN: What has been the turning point in your life and your career?
Julia Jones: Deciding rather impulsively to leave college with one semester left and move to L.A. I graduated eventually, but that was definitely the biggest left turn.
DA MAN: How do you want people to remember you?
Julia Jones: As being gracious and having integrity.
DA MAN: How do you push yourself?
Julia Jones: I put a lot of time into the things that I commit to and if I feel afraid of something in a good way, I force myself to do it.
DA MAN: There’s a lot of scrutiny that comes with fame and notoriety, how do you deal with your critics?
Julia Jones: I try, sometimes unsuccessfully, not to deal with them. They can definitely hurt.
DA MAN: Do you ever Google yourself and see what people write about you or say about you online?
Julia Jones: I have done that, but it is not a good idea. What people say about you usually has more to do with them than it does with you. Whether it’s good or bad, I don’t see the point of internalizing it.
DA MAN: Seeing how far you’ve come now, what would you now say to the teen-aged you?
Julia Jones: It’s funny; when I was a teenager I thought I could do anything. I didn’t start to worry about my future until a little later. So I guess I would keep my mouth shut.
DA MAN: How do you wind down after a grueling day?
Julia Jones: I go to yoga or watch a few episodes of 30 Rock.
DA MAN: When were you happiest?
Julia Jones: The summer after graduating from high school. My three best friends and I rented a house on Cape Cod, got jobs waitressing a few nights a week and went to the beach all day.
DA MAN: How did you choose this as a career?
Julia Jones: It definitely chose me.
DA MAN: What does ‘high class’ mean to you?
Julia Jones: Taste, quality and integrity.
DA MAN: What does ‘making it’ mean to you?
Julia Jones: Being able to afford the life you want, whatever that is. Working to live and not living to work.
DA MAN: Are there any things that you would refuse to perform in modeling or acting?
Julia Jones: I couldn’t be a part of something that promotes stereotypes or anything that requires blatantly gratuitous nudity.
DA MAN: What is your favorite book?
Julia Jones: Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw. It’s actually a play.
DA MAN: What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Julia Jones: Going to three movies in one day.
DA MAN: Which five people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Julia Jones: Former U.S. president Bill Clinton, former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, novelist Louise Erdrich, actress Katherine Hepburn and Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
DA MAN: What has been your biggest disappointment?
Julia Jones: The first few months of college, when I realized that I had worked so hard for so long to get there, and it was a wonderful place, but not exactly where I wanted to be.
DA MAN: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Julia Jones: Finishing college.
DA MAN: Have you seen a change in the scripts you’re offered?
Julia Jones: The scope of the characters I’ve gotten to read for has broadened. Even if I don’t fit the physical description of some roles, I’ve been able to audition for them. That’s one of the most significant changes I’ve noticed.
DA MAN: Have you admired the arc of anyone’s career in particular?
Julia Jones: There are some actors who seem to chose projects more for creative reasons than for professional ones. Some of the movies make money and some hardly get seen, but those are the careers I admire. Robert Redford and Joseph Gordon-Levitt come to mind.
To see the full feature with full-size images, click here to get the DA MAN June/July 2010 back issue.
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