EXCLUSIVE: Twilightish Interview with Billy Burke (@billy_burke)

Billy Burke, also affectionally known as Papa Swan, talked to Twilightish today about Breaking Dawn ending, Music and what's next... oh yeah, don't think we forgot to ask about the famous Papa Swan 'Stache!

Twilightish: How does it feel to see the end of the Twilight Saga? Are you happy to move on?

Billy: It's weird you know? Cause it's kinda like being on a television show for the last three years. It was a steady gig for me you know? I can't say that I'm heart broken about it but it was a good gig for me. I'm a little on the fence about how I feel. I think that it has run its course, and we as artists and audiences have gotten everything we can possibly get out of it. Always happy to be moving on.  I have no idea what is next for me.

Twilightish: Do you wish for more movies?

Billy: No, no I don't wish for more Twilight movies. Anything beyond this would be pushing cartoon level.

Twilightish: When you look back on Twilight, would you do it all over again or pass?

Billy: Of Course! Absolutely! Actually, I enjoyed playing Charlie. I liked him!

Twilightish: What will you miss the most (or the least) about the Saga?

Billy: What I won't miss is the facial hair! It was a cute idea at first when I brought it up during the filming of the first movie. Then I had no idea we were going to make 5 movies. What will I miss? Charlie. I like playing him, I felt comfortable in his skin, even though he is nothing like me. I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities for parodies down the road.

Twilightish: Of all the character's you've played, where does Charlie rank?

Billy: Well in terms of career gigs, probably in the top 3, but I have a couple of my own personal favorites. I'm probably not going to tell you what they are cause I feel weird about that.  Although, Dill Scallion (1999) was more fun than people should be allowed to have making a movie. We shot it guerrilla style, sneaking into gigs and filming concert scenes.

Twilightish: Do you have a favorite moment from any of the 5 films? Either on camera or off camera?

Billy: I think my favorite moments are yet to come in the next two movies, I can't tell you what they are but they are yet to come!

Twilightish: Did you find it emotional to watch Bella get married?

Billy: You know what? It wasn't so much that it was emotional. Those days we were shooting the wedding, in all honesty, there was something about them that brought stuff up not only in me, but in other people on the set. Something that was visceral. We ended up saying "this is kinda weird isn't it?" I can't explain what it was, it wasn't like my daughter was getting married, but there was definitely something that was quite touching going on.

Twilightish: Were you ever Team Jacob? Or do you think Charlie would have chosen Edward between the two?

Billy: I have never played that game. I suppose had I ever read the books I may have had a stronger opinion, but I just don't care. Sorry!! It's not my thing. I think Taylor and Rob are great guys but I don't get into the fantasy world of picking a favorite boy character.

Twilightish: How much of yourself did you put into the character of Charlie?

Billy: Charlie has a sort of reserved nature, that I'm told I have as well. Beyond that he's a cop and I couldn't be further away from a cop, in attitude and daily actions. He also loves to watch sports and I don't really. It's a world of make believe, originally Charlie didn't read like he does now. Those ticklish funny moments came out by accident when I started working the part. So I guess Melissa (Rosenberg) took that and ran with it for the rest of the series. That was nice!

Twilightish: If you could (or did) take a prop or costume piece of Charlie's, what would it (or what was it) have been?

Billy: Not really into Charlie's wardrobe at all! If I never see another flannel shirt I'll be fine! But I may have saved the 'stache for the Smithsonian.

Twilightish: More recently we saw you in Red Riding Hood, how was it working with Catherine Hardwicke again?

Billy: Catherine and I have a great working relationship. We have an understanding and language to communicate with each other, she knows what she can get from me and I know how to get what I want out of her too. Super, great, interesting, artistic lady. I'll work with her again if she ever asks.

Twilightish: Do you have other projects on the horizon?

Billy: Nothing lined up, I'm just looking at stuff right now. I have to say, a lot of the stuff I've seen has not been great. I'm really going to focus on working on the new album, concentrate on doing that. And then the next movie gig that I do, I want it to be something that I love. It may take awhile.

Twilightish: When can we expect the new album?

Billy: I would imagine probably not until the end of the year or next year. It could come together a lot sooner but I'm super lazy. (Laughed)

Twilightish: What was the first record you ever bought?

Billy: Bought with my own money? It was The Cars, who strangely enough are on tour again. It was the The Cars - "The Cars" album.

Twilightish: Where do you pull some of your inspiration for your music from?

Billy: Inspiration? Observations! I do a lot of my writing by looking around, its very "Oh look at this, look at that, this situation I'm in, look at them over there, that's weird!". Music is where I can throw out my philosophies and people can choose to listen or not, I'm not in peoples faces about it. As far as musical influences go, Tom Waits, Troubadour Poets like Bob Dylan, David Bowie. I like a lot of the new stuff that is coming out, love Band of Horses, Mumford and Sons and stuff thats got stuff to say.

Twilightish: Last Question: Was there an official burial for the Swan 'Stache? Will it make an appearance at a Twilight Hall of Fame?

Billy: Every time we're about to start shooting I have to grow it back, takes about a month to grow in. Then immediately upon wrapping it comes off! I may or may not have been lying about where the 'stache is... it's a mystery.

Thanks to Billy Burke for taking the time to chat with us! Can't wait for that new album!


  1. LOVE BILLY!! He cracks me up!

  2. Definitely 'something' going on during the wedding, huh, Billy? Hmmmmm... What could it possibly be? A practice run for R&K? The real thing? Something they may never do, but had fun playing? [I'm going with the 1st one] ♥

    Billy [Charlie] is one of my favorite characters in the movies. His line delivery is perfect, and he's so handsome!!! ☺

  3. Great interview! Nice job. :)

  4. Great interview and thanks for sharing!!! Always love reading new stuff about/from BB.

    I knew he wouldn't answer the "Team Edward/Jacob" question, though! ;)

    Did you talk to him on the phone, meet him, chat with him online?
    And how did this interview opportunity come to be? Did you approach him about interviewing him?

    BTW you all should check out the movie Dill Scallion (if you haven't seen it yet)... it's hilarious and Billy is amazing in it (and he sings... a lot!).
    I wrote a blog post about it after I saw it for the first time:

  5. "Billy: I have never played that game. I suppose had I ever read the books I may have had a stronger opinion, but I just don't care. Sorry!! It's not my thing. "
    I wish he'd stop doing interviews, he's horrible. Between saying any more of this Saga would be "cartoonish" and "if I'd read he books..." way to act like you are only there for a paycheck. Eat it up, because this is pretty much the only real career you'll have.

  6. Although like everyone else I ADORE Rob..... as a near 50 year old, Billy is more my age group... think I will start a Charlie Team. Charlie is SO funny and handsome!!!! <3 xx


  8. I thought your character as Bella's Dad, Charlie, was very natural and real. Everything a Dad of a teenage daughter is -- overprotective, doesn't have a clue about what ,why, etc. and always loving and supporting.

  9. Great interview!! Love Billy Burke. Think he's such a talented actor/singer/musician. Looking forward to his new album and will be watching to see what future movies he has in store for us.

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