I started running when I was 15. I was at secondary school and there was this big cross-country event that all the boys had to run in. The race went by the netball courts where the girls were playing. I knew they were watching, so I wanted to be with the fast runners. And I was. I think I just willed myself to be a good runner and it worked.
When I was 27 or 28, I moved to Vancouver. I drove a taxi to pay the bills. I was overweight and my girlfriend dumped me, so after that I took up running and got obsessed. I lost over two stone. I’d run along the sea wall with the snow-crusted mountains in the distance. Vancouver was epic.
The backstory I created for my Twilight character, Demetri [a tracker in the Volturi guard], involved being impossible to capture. I regard Demetri as the most physically capable of all the predators in the underworld.
I never get recognised by people on a run. I have a normal life, I take buses, I get messy in pubs.
The Hollywood Hills are a great place to run. You get the sea breeze. The other night I ran in the hills under the Hollywood sign during a full moon.
I like to run on the beach. It’s a totally different exercise as well when you’re in sand, a different kind of training. I run on Venice beach and Santa Monica and Zuma, which is a great one for triathletes.
When I run, I work the hip flexor muscles to elongate my stride and keep it flowing and low. If that makes sense!
If you believe Born to Run, running is our primal weapon. But if Armageddon was around the corner, most people wouldn’t be able to run 10 metres. I’d like to help kids and older people take it up.
I ran the BC Cancer Foundation’s Underwear Affair 10K last July (in Vancouver). I took my clothes off and ran. It was liberating. I’d had a lot of beer that week, so the photos aren’t very flattering. But I got a good time – 37:40 [he won].
Being a runner can be detrimental to acting. I’m fit, so I’m very calm, and [as an actor] that’s not interesting Sometimes, I’ll do press-ups before a scene so I’m a little out of breath.
Running helped me become my own person. It gave me a competitive edge.
If we all ran every day, it would solve a lot of problems. We’d have world peace.