Saturday, March 2, 2013

‘Twilight’ Stars Surprise Kids at Children’s Hospital

‘Twilight’ Stars Surprise Kids at Children’s Hospital

It’s always nice to see stars give back. And before “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” is released on DVD at midnight on March 2, stars from the film surprised kids at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Friday.

Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, and Jackson Rathbone all popped in to surprise kids who just thought they were getting a special screening of the film. The “Twilight” stars passed out signed DVDs, posed for pictures, and spent time talking with many families inside the hospital.

“When we were filming [Breaking Dawn] we went and gave our time at the Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge and it feels good to be able to give back,” Facinelli told omg! during his visit. “I know a lot of these kids are going through a hard time and anything you can do to put a smile on their face or make their day better, gives them positive energy and keep fighting the good fight to get better.”

Facinelli lit up the room by telling a few jokes to the patients and explained what went into filming some of the difficult scenes like the big showdown at the end. (Did you know they had to film with cardboard werewolfs?)

“If we can come down here and give them a DVD and make them feel special, we want to do that,” Reed told omg!, adding that it was a no-brainer to stop by.

Rathbone agreed: “We want them to just be in the moment and have them try to forget about anything that’s bad.”

One 19-year-old patient, Elain, seemed to make a lasting impression on the cast.

“Elain was so smart — and not just because I was her favorite character,” laughed Reaser. “No, she was a real fan of Esme and she said I was the best mom, which I just felt to be really touching, flattering, and the sweetest thing someone can say. All of the kids were hilarious!”

“I think initially the kids were a little afraid to talk to me because Rosalie is so mean!” joked Reed after chatting with the group of teenagers. “After 10 minutes in there one of the girls, Elain, was like, ‘Hey you seem really nice! So Rosalie likes Bella, right?’”

“It’s so sweet, I love when people say that,” she continued. “I love that moment of recognition where they realize I’m not the character.”

“I just realized it last week!” Rathbone chimed in.

“That’s because I stopped wearing my blonde wig to your house when I come over!” quipped Reed.

For two stars, the visit to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles struck close to home.

“My middle daughter was here for four weeks, she had a fever of unknown origin, and the care they gave her, the doctors — you could tell it’s a really good hospital,” Facinelli shared with omg!. “But they need funds and they need participation and they need people to commit not just with money, but with time.”

Rathbone — who welcomed his first son this past summer — echoed similar sentiments.

“Being here definitely hits home in a way that is greater than it used to be,” he said. “It always hits you on a primal level, but now I feel a little more for the parents than perhaps I understood before.”

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A dozen children gathered around a TV at Children's Hospital Los Angeles March 1, watching a Blu-ray Disc of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2, a day before it’s released to the public.

Keaira Lomas-Lee, 13, was answering trivia questions about the “Twilight” franchise before the movie began, smiling wide after getting one of the questions right. Her smile got a lot bigger when “Twilight” star Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen) walked through the door.

“What are you guys watching?” he joked, as Elizabeth Reaser (Esme Cullen), Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Hale) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie Hale) followed him through the door.

“Can we just sit down and watch all the extras together? I haven’t seen them yet,” Facinelli said.

“Have you guys seen all the movies?” Reaser asked. Most had.

The stars spent a solid half hour signing DVDs, T-shirts and tote bags, before taking pictures with the kids. Facinelli walked the kids through some of the copious bonuses Summit and Lionsgate included on the DVD and Blu-ray. The four then visited sick children in their rooms.

“I was surprised when they came [in],” Lomas-Lee said, as she looked through the autographed goods she was given. Asked what she planned to do with her signed DVD, she replied: “I’m going to keep mine!”

It was just one of many events Lionsgate is holding to mark the disc release of the final film in the multibillion-dollar franchise, with every major retailer holding midnight release events, with their own exclusives.

Best Buy has an exclusive collectible locket key chain and a special Blu-ray collection of all five “Twilight” films with digital copy and exclusive packaging. Target has a three-DVD special edition of Part 2 and a Part 1 DVD gift set with a flower prop. And Walmart — which is starting its midnight release at 11 p.m. — is offering Parts 1 and 2 in one case on DVD or Blu-ray.

The Blu-ray and two-disc DVD include a seven-part making-of documentary, an audio commentary by director Bill Condon, a “jump to” feature that allow fans to watch their favorite scenes and more.

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