Valley teen finds rising fame in ‘New Moon’ - East Valley Tribune: News

Valley teen finds rising fame in ‘New Moon’

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Posted: Thursday, November 26, 2009 4:58 pm | Updated: 12:26 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

 It’s no question what team local actor Kiowa Gordon is on: It’s Team Jacob. The former Mesa resident portrays Embry Call, Jacob Black’s best friend and werewolf pack brother in the popular movie “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

 It’s no question what team local actor Kiowa Gordon is on: It’s Team Jacob.

The former Mesa resident portrays Embry Call, Jacob Black’s best friend and werewolf pack brother in the popular movie “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

Gordon auditioned in an open casting call in Phoenix in January. The unnamed movie was searching for Native American actors. Gordon is a member of the Hualapai tribe.

The 19-year-old already knew he was trying out for the second movie in the “Twilight” series after he was tipped off by none other than Stephenie Meyer, the writer of the book series the movies are based on. Meyer goes to church with Gordon’s family in Cave Creek.

Gordon moved to Cave Creek with his mom after living 10 years in Mesa, where he attended several Mesa schools, including Mountain View High School, Highland Elementary School and Stapley Junior High School.

Gordon secured an acting coach an hour before the audition, and a week and a half later, he was told he got the part through an e-mail and then through a phone call from director Chris Weitz.

“It’s been crazy,” Gordon said.

Just two months later, Gordon was in Vancouver shooting the popular vampire and werewolf movie starring several teen heartthrobs, including Taylor Lautner, who portrays werewolf Jacob Black, Bella Swan’s best friend.

Halfway through “New Moon,” Gordon’s character goes through a sort of werewolf puberty and changes into a werewolf. The werewolves are there to protect the reservation and Bella from vampires.

Most of Gordon’s scenes are action scenes, and he is usually half-clothed, along with his other pack brothers.

“We bonded quite well,” Gordon said. “We’re like brothers.”

The premiere of the movie was Nov. 16 in Westwood, Calif. Gordon walked the red carpet and saw the movie for the second time. The first time was a rough cut at Meyer’s home.

Since then, Gordon has traveled the country doing press for the movie, sometimes sitting down for 100 interviews in a day.

“Our fans are really passionate,” Gordon said. 

The third movie in the series, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” was filmed in October, and Gordon portrays the same character. The movie is slated to come out in June 2010.

“My wolf character in ‘Eclipse’ has more fighting scenes,” Gordon said.

After the massive success of the ‘Twilight’ movies, Gordon has already been offered several movie roles and appeared in many magazines.

In January, he’ll start filming “Murder for Dummys,” a thriller/comedy. In May or June, he’ll travel to Tennessee to star in “Into the Darkness,” a psychological thriller about a group of friends who go camping, discovering caves where people start dying.

Gordon is no stranger to the movie set. He’s been in several smaller movies and a commercial, but “New Moon” is his biggest break.

On Saturday, Gordon and two other “New Moon” actors will host the “Saturday Slashers” horror movie marathon on MTV. Last week, he starred in a skit on “The Jay Leno Show.” 

His mom, Camille Nighthorse, has been bringing her eight kids to various movies she’s been a part of as extras. “Ki,” as she calls Kiowa, is the second youngest.

“I’m very excited for him because I’ve been trying this for years,” said Nighthorse, who helps manage her son’s career. “For him to get into a character with such a huge fan base, it’s just been such a blessing. Ki has always had that rare talent.”

On Wednesday, Gordon signed “Twilight” books, calendars and even arms for adoring fans at the Biltmore Borders in Phoenix.

Darcy Fowler, a junior at Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix, is a big fan of the movies and was excited to meet Gordon.

“He was really good in the movie,” said Darcy, 16. “He held himself up even though he may have been younger than the other actors. 

“It’s just really cool that he’s here today,” she said. “I really appreciate him coming out and meeting his fans.”

For more information on Kiowa Gordon, including his band Anything and Everything, visit www.kiowagordon.net.

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