I’m no fan of the meadow, really, but I agree with Bill here that it absolutely made more sense to have this scene in the meadow vs the cottage. The meadow had been established in the previous movies and had some emotional connection. The cottage is new and really pretty irrelevant. Interesting that SM didn’t like the change, though.
This is something that some of the actors have talked about too–the challenge of playing a statue-like vampire. Nikki Reed has talked about being frustrated with critics saying they seemed stiff when they were being stiff on purpose to convey SM’s concept of vampires being very still. Peter Facinelli has talked about being very conscious of it too, and described it as a performance within a performance in that they’re playing vampires playing humans.
I think at the end of the day it’s something that doesn’t translate very well from the books. Perhaps if they had had an explanation like they do in this movie–where they teach Bella how to act human–earlier in the series, people would have understood WHY the vampires seemed so stiff and still.
In the original version we had a thing we called Female Power were Rosalie, [Bella] and Alice got together and were badass with a lot of people but it was a little too separated and a little too show-offy. And it was almost redundant because this is about female power.
Bill Condon on Alice’s vision of the fight (he actually says Jane, I’m pretty sure he meant Bella).
I made a strong pitch that we needed an additional scene […] which was that Jacob would come with the wood having sort of moved between the two campsites, the Quileute campsite to the vampire campsite since he’s the person now kind of moving between those two worlds and it would be a chance for us to see those all of those characters in human form and also to give some resolution. Just the sense that [the two packs] were united again against a common enemy and just a little sense of resolution for Leah that she’s sort of accepted as an equal by Sam and seen in a new way with more respect.
Bill Condon, BD 2 Commentary (there’s no picture of this scene so I’m posting it this way. Thought Leah fans would be interested!)