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Walking the red carpet

LOS ANGELES – “It was even crazier than I thought it would be,” said Kiowa Gordon, Hualapai, about the Hollywood premiere of the much-anticipated “New Moon,” the second installment of the “Twilight” saga.

Kiowa, 19, who plays werewolf Embry Call, spoke by phone just hours after walking the red carpet with his mom Camille and his manager Dan Spilo at Mann’s Village Theatre in Los Angeles.

“It was awesome. It was pretty exhausting though just walking the whole red carpet for an hour-and-a-half and doing lots of interviews. Fans lined up everywhere and they just steal your energy.” He claims to have given 600 interviews in the last week.

According to his mom, the female fans knew who her son was but didn’t always know how to pronounce his name. “Girls were screaming Kiowa or Kee-oh-wa. I’d say ‘it’s Ki-oh-wa!’ It was crazy with all the girls screaming. It definitely was a night to remember. There must’ve been 1,500 girls and they came from different countries,” Camille said. The night before the premiere, Kiowa and another actor surprised fans who camped out for days to witness the big premiere.

Kiowa Gordon was swarmed by fans camping out the night before the premiere.

“We went out to the street and we wanted to say ‘what up?’ We wanted to show our love for them. They got up out of their tents. They mobbed us. The security came out and had to rescue us. We went around the block and saw more fans. We were there another hour. I did three more interviews with local TV stations,” Kiowa said.

Life hasn’t been the same for him and the four other young Natives who were cast earlier this year as werewolves. The movies are based on novels by Stephenie Meyer. “Twilight” is about a teenage girl named Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart) who falls in love with a boy named Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson), a vampire. She befriends a Native American teenager named Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) who is a member of the Quileute Tribe and unbeknownst to Swan is part of an ancient line of werewolves, enemies to the vampires.

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In “New Moon,” Black and four others, including Gordon, emerge as werewolves. The other werewolves are Alex Meraz, Purepecha-Tarasco; Chaske Spencer, Lakota; and Bronson Pelletier, Cree-Metis. Of special note is the fact that members of the Quileute Tribal Council attended the premiere as special guests.

Each actor was allowed to bring four guests to the premiere and after party. Gordon lucked out with five tickets. He brought four of his seven siblings, his mom and his manager, but only two walked the red carpet with him. His 17-year-old sister, Lakota, and the rest of the family had a front row view of the stars arriving.

“It was cool, we took pictures. I met Taylor Lautner. He was nice and (I met) Cameron Bright. He plays one of the volturi vampires (characters who enforce the laws of the vampire world). Fans swarmed the main actors. They were rushed out,” said Lakota, who bumped into and said “Hi” to Jennifer Love Hewitt at the after party.

As for the movie, everyone including Kiowa who has a few speaking roles gave it a thumbs up. “I loved it. It was surprising. It turned out so awesome. The whole wolf pack was awesome.” Lakota agreed: “I thought it was so good. I wanted to see more of the wolves. The volturi vampires took away from it.”

This movie is a big break for young Native actors like Kiowa who until now were unknowns. “I was so proud of him and I thought he did a great job. This has opened up other doors for him. I’m really glad. He (recently) auditioned for a Disney movie and it’ll be that way for other wolf pack members. It’s exciting to see so many Natives get an opportunity to be a part of this series,” Camille said.

Kiowa, now suffering from lack of sleep, agreed. The movie has changed his life. He’s now involved in three movie projects and just finished filming the next “Twilight” installment, called “Eclipse,” due out next June. “I feel really blessed.”

Kiowa even revealed a little tidbit about “Eclipse.” “It’s the same stuff, different place, but you’ll see more of the CGI (computer generated image) wolves than you will the real people.”