Real Peninsula resident appears in faux Forks movie
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Carrie Bertman, left, and Heather Gustafson hold copies of their Twilight-series books Tuesday in Port Angeles. -- Photo by Chris Tucker/Peninsula Daily News

By Paige Dickerson, Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES If you think you recognize a person in the background of scenes in "Twilight," once the movie is released you might be right.

Port Angeles resident Heather Gustafson is part of the background crowd in two scenes of the film, which is based on a teen vampire book set in Forks.

"I always wanted to know what it would be like to be part of a movie," said the Peninsula College student, who served as a 2006-2007 Clallam County Fair princess.

Her friend, Carrie Bertman also tried out in Portland, Ore., for a part as an extra, but wasn't able to be in the film, which is expected to be released during the Christmas season.

"Twilight" is based on a book of the same name, written by Arizona writer Stephenie Meyer, which has become a national teen phenomenon.

Gustafson said she knew no others from the North Olympic Peninsula who were extras in the movie.

No list is available of all of the extras and their hometowns.

Filming, which began Feb. 25, is expected to be finished by the end of the month.

Two scenes
Those who know Gustafson, a 2007 Port Angeles High School graduate, may be able to spot her in a scene purportedly in Port Angeles, which actually was filmed in St. Helens, Ore.

Gustafson walks out of a building and sits on a bench as the main characters, Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, drive by.

She also walked the halls of Kalama Middle School the ersatz Forks High School doing "usual high school things," she said.

Gustafson caught a few glimpses of the main actors Kristen Stewart, who plays 17-year-old Bella, and Robert Pattinson, who portrays her vampire boyfriend, Edward.

The extras were told not to approach the actors, nor were they supposed to carry a camera on set.

"The actors weren't stuck up at all like I thought they might be," Gustafson said.

"They would smile and wave at us, even though we didn't really interact."

No filming on Peninsula
Although the book is set in Forks, and Bella and Edward's first date is in Port Angeles, none of the movie was filmed in Forks or Port Angeles or anywhere else in the North Olympic Peninsula.

LaPush was once a candidate for an April 24 scene shooting, but the production studio, Summit Entertainment, decided against it because it was too far from the Portland area, where most of the movie is being shot.

The story details the romance and adventures of Bella after she moves from Arizona to the rainy town to live with her police chief father, Charlie, and falls in love with Edward.

The book is followed by two sequels New Moon and Eclipse and the fourth book Breaking Dawn is expected out in August.

Gustafson said she hadn't read the books when she decided to try out to be an extra, but that her friends filled her in on the story.

Since her initial tryout, she has finished Twilight, the first novel in the vampire series, and has begun the second.

"I've always liked mystical and fantasy type stuff," Gustafson said.

"And they were definitely written for people around my age, with the young couple and the vampires."

Bertman on set
Bertman was on set the first day of the filming of the Port Angeles scene in St. Helens, but a cough prevented her from being on set the second day.

"They said that it could interfere with the filming and possibly endanger the actors," Gustafson said.

Bertman has read all of the books, and is anxiously awaiting the fourth.

"I already went down to Port Book and News [bookstore] and tried to reserve it, but they said that it was too early," she said.

"I really like that I know the area, and that when they say that they went to Thriftway, that is somewhere I have been."

Both women said they were surprised by the length of time it took to do one small part of a scene.

"Just one little part of Bella going down a set of stairs and some people seeing her they did that like 20 times," Gustafson said.

Bertman said she was also surprised at how informal the set was.

"I thought it would be a really uptight situation, and it was to a point, but it was really nice and relaxed," she said.

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Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or paige.dickerson@peninsuladialynews.com.

Last modified: April 22. 2008 9:00PM
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