The character of Renesmee, the half-human, half-vampire baby maturing at an unnatural rate, lies at the heart of the drama in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2.
And picking the right actress was essential. “It’s a hugely important part, says director Bill Condon, who spotted Mackenzie Foy, now 11, early on in the audition process. “But this was kind of obvious. It was one of those rare times when you see something — like with an apartment or house — and it feels good and you just need to take it. I felt that way, like, ‘Oh, this is good.'”
Foy grew up outside of Los Angeles and has been working steadily — she booked her first gig, modeling for Ralph Lauren at the age of 3 — modeling, appearing in commercials, and acting on TV shows such as ‘Til Death, Hawaii Five-O, and Flashforward. She picked up some new skills while shooting Breaking Dawn, thanks to her famous costars. Taylor Lautner taught her how to throw a football and Kristen Stewart gave her tips on summoning tears onscreen. (“She said to think of something sad for a very long time.”)
The actress, who is homeschooled, just completed fifth grade. She says hopes to continue being an actress — and eventually a director — for the rest of her life. But in the near future? “I’m going to swim and eat popsicles.”
For more on Breaking Dawn—Part 2, and to see exclusive photos from the film, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on sale now.