'New Moon' turns Michael Sheen into a vampire
Michael Sheen plays Italian vampire Aro in Twilight: New Moon.
By Susan Wloszczyna, USA TODAY
If Michael Sheen isn't doing something biographical, chances are it's supernatural.
He has left his mark on the horror genre as Lucian, the leader of the werewolf rebellion against the aristocratic vampires in the Underworld trilogy.
But now he's switching teams as Aro, the head of the Italian vampire cult known as the Volturi in New Moon, the latest big-screen chapter of the Twilight saga that opens Nov. 20.
Why join the bloodsuckers?
"I wanted to see how the other half lived," Sheen explains with a grin. "Or unlived."
Actually, Lily, his 10-year-old daughter with Underworld actress Kate Beckinsale, had something to do with his decision. "She is very, very into the books. I know how obsessive she was about them, so I was already predisposed wanting to be in it."
After he read the first two books himself, Sheen realized why the literary phenom causes teen girls to swoon. "What it has tapped into, at least in the first book, is how it feels to fall in love for the first time. I don't think you have to be a girl to relate to that.
"The second book captures the utter desolation of losing that first love. I went through that myself, and Stephenie Meyer invokes that brilliantly."
So what kind of vamp is Aro? "I suppose the Volturi are like the royal family of vampires, and while he is more their spokesperson in the books, he is their leader in the film. He's got a sort of regality about him.
"I like the way director Chris Weitz describes him. On the surface, he is very charming and very warm, sort of likable and soft. But underneath, you get the sense he is a psychopathic killer. I love playing with that idea."