The last place fans will find up-and-coming “Twilight” actor and 100 Monkeys musician
Jackson Rathbone?

“I don’t go to malls,” he jokes, taking a break from filming the indie flick “Girlfriend”
outside of the State Road Auto Body’s garage in Wayland. “You won’t see me in a
tabloid magazine outside of a club unless my band just played there. I keep myself
busy. I consider myself an artist and not just an actor,” he says, punctuating each
sentence with a thick Texas accent.

Rathbone, known as vampire brother Jasper Hale in the “Twilight” series, is playing a
volatile auto mechanic Russ in the made-in-Wayland flick "Girlfriend". He’s wearing
gray coveralls and is covered from head to toe with grease. Behind him is a
picturesque autumn setting with leaves changing colors juxtaposed with the harsh
metal garage set. The actor graciously signs autographs and poses for photos for the
handful of locals checking out the set.

The 24-year-old comments that he’s been filming around the clock in Wayland since
flying in from Vancouver where he’s shooting a beefier role in the third edition of the
Stephenie Meyer franchise called "Eclipse." So far, Rathbone says he’s blown away by
the New England aesthetic ... and the kindness of the locals.

“I've never filmed in Massachusetts,” he says, signing an autograph for a mechanic
wearing a “bodies are our business” T-shirt. “It’s been wonderful filming in Wayland
and Natick and in the outskirts because everyone has been so kind to us. I mean,
they shut down their auto body shop on a weekday for us. They could be working and
they've opened their garage for us.”

In “Girlfriend,” Rathbone is thrust into a bizarre love triangle with a small town single
mom (played by Shannon Woodward from “The Riches”) and newcomer Evan Sneider.
The drama centers around Sneider’s protagonist, a young man with Down’s Syndrome,
who romantically pursues Woodward’s character Candy. So far, the actor says the on-
screen chemistry has been magic.

“Every time we go back to watch dailies, we’re all silent,” he says. “If you’re watching
playbacks in a room full of producers and they’re all silent, you know something is
going right.”

Rathbone, smoking a cigarette and exuding a Johnny Depp-esque swagger when the
camera rolls, jokes with the locals who step up to shake his hand. “Be careful,” he
muses, wiping his palms on his grease-monkey getup. “You don’t know where this
hand has been.”

For the record, the scene is a sexually explosive interaction with Woodward’s character
in the State Road Auto Body office. His hand, by the way, was all over Candy for most
of the shoot.

Rathbone says he’s been able to go there as an actor because of the “laid-back,
casual atmosphere” on set. “The thing with indie film is that you have so much
freedom,” he says. “And at the same time, you have to accomplish things either
quicker or more creatively because of the budget.”

The rising star continues, “As an actor, I believe in putting yourself out there. I try not
to hold my cards too close to my chest. It’s also about being honest. The job of an
actor is to stand where they tell you stand, wear what they want you to wear, but you
always have to be honest.”

When he isn't in front of the camera, Rathbone tours with his acting-singing buddies
Ben Graupner and "Girlfriend" producer Jerad Anderson from 100 Monkeys.

“I’ve been lucky and blessed to be able to make a living since I was 19- or 20-years-
old as an actor. My dad always said you've got to have a vocation and an avocation,"
he muses. "For awhile, I thought music was my avocation. But, it’s become my
vocation as well. My avocation these days is taking a pretty girl to dinner.”
Jackson Rathbone courts 'Girlfriend' in Wayland
by Roland Hansen
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Jackson Rathbone filming Girlfriends in Wayland MA