Move over, Harry Potter. Now that everyone’s favorite wand-toting wizard is getting ready to bid the world adieu, a brand new phenom anxiously waits to take the throne. That dizzying epidemic would be known as Twilight, the first in a series of record-breaking, best-selling books by Stephanie Myer. The film arrives Friday, and it’s going to be huge.
Could anyone have expected the madness to be at such an incredible level of intensity? Robert Pattinson, who plays central character Edward, certainly wasn’t prepared. Thousands of fans have lined up coast to coast, waiting hours just for a glimpse of the star, and there were actual riots in San Francisco. “It’s been a surreal experience,” Pattinson says. “I know it can’t be to do with me personally, because the movie isn’t even out yet. I think it (the intense turnout) must have to do with the idea of chivalry.”
In the book, Edward is prone to the idea of chivalry and gentlemanly conduct. He’s also a vampire. Scratch that, he’s a teenage vampire who’s taken to Bella (Kristen Stewart), a girl who literally becomes infatuated and obsessed with him. Thus, he vows to protect her no matter what the cost against the evils of his kind, who obviously see her as fresh meat. Viewers hope Edward will be able to retain his primal urges as well, which could also place her in great danger.
When speaking about the relationship between Edward and Bella in the film, Pattinson had this to say: “There was definitely some kind of connection. I don’t know if it was sexual attaction.” Oddly enough, Pattinson explained that he and Stewart hardly knew each other or spoke outside of filming, and when they did there were many awkward silences. This factor didn’t detract from the process, however. On immersing himself into the situation, he commented: “The more depth you give to the part, the more your life becomes intertwined with it and the more you see of yourself in the lines, and it all just kind of binds. You’ve got to make sure there is separation between their (Bella’s and Edward’s) relationship and everything else in the movie.”
Twilight is also a highly physical movie, with vampires flying through the forest and Matrix-like fights between good and evil. Pattinson, however, stresses the importance of handling a movie with a great deal of physicality. “I think most fantasy films that flop are ones which aren’t consistent in their law, and so we went through a lot of stuff about physicality, and ended up making it much more simple than complicated, whereas we started out with really complex ideas. We ended up playing much more human than we started out, which I think is better, scarier.”
Finally, with Twilight fans foaming at the mouth just waiting to see how this book translates on the screen, you’d think Pattinson would be worried if his interpretation of Edward was on the money. However, series creator Stephanie Myer has alleviated those fears. “It’s weird because I thought I was doing something different (with the character), but now that Stephanie’s seen it she’s like, ‘You did it exactly how I imagined it.’ If anything, Pattinson said he concentrated on the consistency of Edward’s character, perhaps revealing a bit more instability. In the book, there is a general notion that although he has vowed to protect Bella, his instincts may lead him to harm her. “I kind of like the idea of him being a little less in control of himself, ‘cause I think for one thing it makes it sexier, makes him more attractive. I thought I made him a little more unpredictable.”
Originally, Pattinson approached the project on a whim, just for the heck of it, thinking he wouldn’t get the part. Things have definitely changed now with outright pandemonium surrounding a film that has yet to be released. That said, Summit has already signed two more films, with Robert attached as Edward. Twilight is looking to have very healthy box office returns, and with its star-crossed Romeo and Juliet theme and group of hot young actors, it’s shaping up to be the movie to see this holiday season.