Photos by Jack Siegel
After half a life as a model, 25-year-old Noot Seear is now a vampire. And not just any vampire: a Twilight vampire, the true proof of immortality, film and otherwise. In the forthcoming New Moon, the second installment in the rabidly popular teen series, Seear plays Heidi, a crazy-hot bloodsucker who lures tourists to her coven. When we sat down with her, the British Columbia native admitted she's more grunge than Goth. She spilled a few details about her show-stopping scene in the film. She told us the amusing story behind her name. And she assured us she's not going to let a childhood full of embarrassing Halloween costumes get in her way.
DARRELL HARTMAN: So, what did you have to do to look the part?
NOOT SEEAR: I didn't tan for two months. It was awful, and totally unnecessary because they painted me white anyway. And I had these crazy contacts that I couldn't see through. It was like skiing in a total snowstorm. I could see about two feet in front of me.
DH: What about the wardrobe?
NS: It was this red, flowy dress with high gloves and big old heels.
DH: A dress? It's a miniskirt in the book.
NS: I know! I didn't get to show much leg.
DH: Heidi's scene, in the book at least, is short but awesome. Tell me about filming it.
NS: The sets were breathtaking. Huge, like palace-sized. I think the scariest part for me, out of the whole day, was that they had given me lines to practice, and when I showed up they gave me completely different lines. I freaked out. Dan [Cudmore] was like, "Calm down, it's okay." They're so protective over the script. But it was really cool because the day I shot everyone was there: Dakota, Rob, Kristen. I got to meet everyone and they were so nice to me. I was scared they were going to not be nice.
DH: You've been a model half your life. How did you get into it?
NS: Looking back on it, I was way too young to be in New York on my own. I was 13. I'd just finished eighth grade, and I hated school. I'd gone to maybe 13 different schools in eight years. I met this agent and we went to New York and I started working right away, with Mario Sorrenti. And that was it. I was a stubborn little girl; I didn't want to go back to school. I started home-schooling and stayed in new York.
DH: Do you feel like you missed certain key parts of adolescence?
NS: I definitely missed out things like prom and spring break, but I think I gained a lot more by traveling all around the world. I feel like I had a head start on life. I've had 12 years of working in and adult world, being taken seriously, having to show up to work on time, whereas if I'd gone through the school system I'd just be finding my own feet right now. But there were cons.
DH: Such as?
NS: You're thrown into this adult world and you're alone all the time. You go to work alone, stay in hotels alone.
DH: And—I have to ask, since we're talking Twilight–maybe not much opportunity for teen romance?
NS: No. That's one terrible thing about this industry: there's a lot of predator men. You have to be very careful. But I was very lucky. I've had the same manager for 12 years now, and she guided me and made sure I was making the right decisions.
DH: When did the acting thing start?
NS: I always wanted to be an actress. I've been taking acting lessons for years with Alan Savage. But he would never let me audition for anything. He was like, "You get one chance with these casting directors, and if you go in there and do a bad reading they're never going to call you in for anything else." So he made me wait, and he was right. Instead of having to play some hot girl on some dude's arm, this role came along.
DH: I hear you're moving to the West Coast.
NS: I am. This movie has opened up so many doors for me: I'm working on a couple indie movies I think are going to happen. And I got my driver's license two months ago, so I can finally drive.
DH: Are you going to miss New York?
NS: I've had this crazy-long successful career in New York. Twelve years! Most models, they come in and get so overexposed. They're shooting every campaign, they make a lot of money, and then two years later everyone's done with them. My agent always turns down jobs for me because she wanted to make sure I was always fresh. I never became a name.
DH: Speaking of: You were born Renata. How did you become Noot?
NS: It was from a nursery rhyme my mom used to sing. Am I gonna have to sing it?
NS: I have been trying to be Renata forever. I still try to be Renata. Every time I would change schools, I would always start as Renata and somehow switch to Noot. And when I moved to New York, there was a really big model named Renata and she was at my agency. Now I can't get rid of it. It's the most ridiculous name.
DH: On the Web somewhere, a commenter pointed out that it's Dutch for "nut."
NS: It is! Everyone thinks I'm Dutch, but when I go over to Amsterdam they're like, "What? What's your name? Nut? Like, a crazy?"
DH: Did you ever have a Goth phase?
NS: Definitely grunge, but not Goth. But there are parts to being a vampire that I can really relate to. My character's 300 years old and sometimes I feel like I've lived that long.
DH: What have you dressed up as for Halloween?
NS: Pris, from Blade Runner. That was two years ago. My mom is British. They don't do Halloween there and she always thought it was very silly and refused to spend money on Halloween costumes. So when I was a kid, I was a bag of garbage. I remember her cutting two holes in the bottom of a garbage bag and sewing it to the top of my pants and then sewing garbage to my shirt. And one year she gave me an umbrella with streamers on it: jellyfish. So I'm kind of traumatized by those.
DH: That's hilarious. What books did you read as a teenager?
NS: I was a bit of a comic nerd. There was a comic I read called Battle Angel Alita. She was amazing—this half-girl, half-robot who used to race, but with fighting. And I really liked Robotech and Japanime, stuff like that.
DH: You were just at Comicon to promote New Moon, right?
NS: It was amazing. I think it was that point where it actually hit me, what a big production I'm involved in.
DH: What did it, exactly?
NS: The screaming. The pitch of the screams. I've never heard screaming that loud, by so many girls, at once. There would be screaming, and then if Rob would just move his hair or Jacob would gesture to someone, the pitch would go up a little.
DH: Did anyone recognize you when you walked through the convention center at Comicon?
NS: No, but I was with a couple people from the cast, and they had to wear disguises. Like, wigs and glasses and hats.
DH: And it worked?
NS: Yes! Surprisingly.
DH: Was Robert Pattinson with you?
NS: No, he didn't stay. But he would have to wear disguises, yes, or he would get swarmed by screaming women.
DH: And were any of the fanboys, Trekkies, etc. surprised to see a fashion model there browsing comic books?
NS: Not really. I think they were so amazed by the video games and new high-tech toys that the last thing on their mind was a pretty girl.