As anyone who has witnessed the mass hysteria of a Twilight premiere or been within the vicinity of one of the wildly popular vampire saga’s cast members can attest, Twihards will do just about anything to get close to the actors from the film. Luckily, for fans of Jackson Rathbone, who plays Jasper in series, they’ll no longer have to claw and scream their way to get to him among the endlessly devoted Twilight faithful. Instead, from now on, they’ll simply need to log into Facebook.
The actor is starring in an interactive new web series called Aim High, in which he plays teenager Nick Green, who is a high schooler by day and a U.S. spy by night. But the twist here isn’t that Rathbone’s character is leading a double life, it’s that viewers will, quite literally, be able to get in on the action.
Aim High, which Rathbone executive produced alongside music video maven McG, allows viewers who watch the show through Facebook to post, comment, and share, as well as inject themselves directly into it. (The series will also be available for viewing on Cambio.com.) For instance, one of your profile pictures could appear on student body election poster, or your name could be found scribbled on the bathroom walls. You can’t get much closer to a Twilight actor than that.
“I thinks one of the reasons we fall in love with certain television shows is that we see ourselves in those shows,” Rathbone tells EW. “If you watch The Office maybe you identify with Pam, or if you’re a little bit more off-kilter, Dwight. That’s what gets us involved with shows, so we’re just taking that to the next level with Aim High.”
In the hopes of getting Aim High – which also features Friday Night Lights’ Aimee Teegarden and Ally McBeal’s Greg Germann – online sooner than later, particularly with the ever-evolving Facebook, the show was shot over the course of just nine days. “I’d worked on hour-long dramas and I’d worked on sitcoms before and I have to say [filming a series for the web] is entirely different,” Rathbone says. “We weren’t treating this like an average TV series. It was long days, but we put in our hours.” Still, if the hard work pays off and the show connects with tech-savvy viewers, Rathbone would like to have the series evolve even more. “There’s the option to keep going and discover what else we can do with the show,” the 26-year-old says.
But he thinks it won’t just be the technological aspect that gets people invested in Aim High, so much as the relatable, real-life aspect of the series. “Everybody feels like they lead a double life in high school to a certain degree. You’re trying to find yourself and you have several different identities. I think a lot of the characters – not just Nick – do. I think that’s the real appeal of the show.”
One could even argue that Rathbone himself is leading a bit of a double life. In addition to acting and being a heartthrob for the Twilight set, Rathbone is also a musician. His band 100 Monkeys, a multi-piece funk rock band, tours often. Although, as Rathbone revealed, it sounds like he and his Twilight co-stars could have formed their very own group over the course of the years.
“Rob [Pattinson] and I have jammed quite a bit (on the set),” he says. “Miss [Kristen] Stewart is quite a guitarist and singer herself. Nikki Reed is actually a fantastic songwriter and she is an amazing singer, too, but it’s hard to get her to sing. I think I’m one of the few people that’s ever gotten her to sing. I badgered her enough. On this last movie I was teaching Ashley [Greene] a little bit about the ukulele. Kellan [Lutz] is actually taking up the guitar…We always had a good ol’ time [playing music together on the set.]”
Of course, the good times couldn’t go on forever for the Twilight cast and crew, who have wrapped filming on the final chapter in the saga, Breaking Dawn – Part 2. “The last day of filming was bittersweet, it was surreal,” Rathbone says. “It was about three in the morning. It was wet, it was very, very cold. When they called wrap, the core Cullen clan was there and we just all kind of looked at each other and were like, ‘Man!’”
Still, the Twilight cast hasn’t said their final goodbyes just yet. When asked if they had a party, Rathbone said with a laugh, “We had a couple! You can’t have just one for finishing Twilight. It was quite the experience.” And lest we forget, there are still the red carpet premieres for both Breaking Dawn films. “Ask me again how I’m doing after the last premiere and I’ll probably be even more sentimental,” he says, mimicking a cry. “Ohhh, I miss those guys!”