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For those of you who have not quite gotten on the Twilight bandwagon, here’s a quick summary of why it’s so popular. Edward Cullen is the most beautiful man imaginable, as author Stephenie Meyer writes it. The trouble is though, he’s not actually a man at all, but a 100-year-old vampire with perfect youth and skin that sparkles like diamonds in the sunlight. What girl could resist that?


Bella doesn’t think she’s worthy of such a creature, but Edward loves her. Their relationship is fraught with dangers. There’s the violent desire Edward must repress when he’s intimate with her. There are the other vampires who would harm her just to get at Edward. And then there’s the basic heartbreak the will certainly come when Bella grow old and dies, while Edward remains young and immortal. No wonder teenagers swoon for this. It’s like all the bad relationships you need to get out of your system when you’re young. 


Robert Pattinson became the object of Twilight fans obsession when he was cast as the film version of Edward Cullen. He says he shares more with his character than just a pretty face. 


“I guess stubbornness, in some ways, about some things,” Pattinson told Dish. “He’s pretty self-righteous. I get quite obsessive about things, and possessive as well. I have very, very specific ideas about how I want to do my work and how I want to be perceived, to the point of ridiculousness, sometimes.” 


“I don’t listen to anyone else,” he continued, That’s why I don’t have a publicist or anything. I can’t stand it if someone is trying to tell me to do something, which is probably maybe a mistake sometimes. I like being meticulous, and it’s quite difficult, as an actor, to have that much control.”


The Twilight Saga

New Moon is the second film in the Twilight saga. Edward and Bella’s relationship comes to a premature end when he breaks up with her. He thinks it will spare Bella in the long run, but it only sends her into the arms of another monster. Her old childhood friend, Jacob Black, comforts her. However, Jacob comes from a family of werewolves.


Taylor Lautner plays Jacob in the film series, and many women think he’s the better choice for Bella anyway. “I think it depends on what kind of girl you are, what kind of guy you like,” Lautner said. “Edward and Jacob are complete opposite guys. I personally love Bella and Jacob’s relationship, how they begin as best friends and it starts to grow into something more and more.  Both guys are in love with Bella.  Both guys are always going to be there for Bella, and they’re protective.  I just think it’s what kind of guy you like.”


Twilight fans already divided themselves up into Team Edward and Team Jacob based on the books. To represent his team, Lautner took on a massive physical change, putting on 30 pounds of muscle to show Jacob’s transformation into a mature man, equally worthy of Bella’s affections.


“The most important thing was the eating,” Lautner said. “Everybody thinks it was the actual getting in the gym.  That was easy. I was motivated.  So getting in the gym was easy for me but the eating was pretty hard. I was just eating a lot. I found out that I had to consume at least 3200 calories a day just to maintain, and I’m not trying to maintain, I’m trying to gain. So I had to eat more than that, and putting something in your mouth every two hours.  And, I’m busy.  I’m downtown L.A., going from meeting to meeting. There’s not time for me to be eating. So I literally would have to carry a little baggie of beef patties, raw almonds, sweet potatoes. So it’s not like every two hours I’m eating ice cream.  It was difficult.”


It definitely looks like Lautner could take Pattinson in a fight. Luckily, Edward Cullen has writing on his side. “I think it’s actually a fact that Edward would win, I think, if I read the books correctly,” Pattinson joked. “So, I guess I can hold onto that, for my ego. I did hear, the other day, that Taylor had agreed to an interview where the interviewer was going to fight him. I don’t think I’d ever agree to that. And, after looking at Taylor’s martial arts videos from when he was like nine, I wouldn’t really want to [fight him.]”


Lautner gave his on screen competitor the benefit of the doubt though. “I don’t know between me and Rob,” Lautner said. “He actually does a lot of boxing in his time off.  It might be a good match-up.  We were actually discussing this on set. It’s funny, like, who would win in a fight between Jacob and Edward?  Because there’s a scene outside Bella’s house where Edward grabs my shoulder and Jacob doesn’t take that, so he takes his arm and rips it off and at that moment Jacob would transform into a wolf.  And we’re having this discussion, it got really deep, we were like, ‘if I were to poof into a wolf right now, what would happen? Who would win?’ Our discussion points were usually, we’re with our pack so if I’m without my pack am I going to be weaker? Honestly I don’t know.  That discussion is still up in the air. We should probably get Stephenie Meyer on the line and ask her.”

The Twilight Saga 

As “Twihards” (the nickname given to Twilight fans) speculate on Edward and Jacob, they’ve also become fascinated by Pattinson and Lautner. The actors do their best to focus on work, but that doesn’t stop reports and speculation about their love life. Pattinson flat out denies that he is romantically involved with co-star Kristen Stewart. Lautner similarly dismisses a report that he’s dating his next co-star, Taylor Swift.


“The very funny thing is that you have seen every single move I make, so I guess I can leave that up to you to decide,” Lautner teased.


Maybe the made up stuff is better than the truth. Pattinson claims he isn’t a real life romantic. “I haven’t done that many romantic things in my life,” Pattinson said. “I actually can’t think of a single romantic thing I’ve ever done. That’s terrible. I put a flower in someone’s locker when I was 15 years old. This girl, called Maria. Maybe I was 14. She actually thought it was from someone else, and the other guy claimed it as well, which was just great.”


To hear Pattinson tell it, it really is all about the work. “I guess the only thing you can do is do jobs and see if people respond to that,” he continued. “I’m always holding onto the fact that I don’t really know who I am, so hopefully I won’t compartmentalize myself because of that. I’m just completely ignorant of the whole thing. I’ve never really struggled with anything, up until recently. I’ve got to stop being so self-deprecating because people are starting to believe it. They’ll be like, ‘That guy is an idiot,’ so I’ve tried to stop doing that.”


With Jacob taking center stage in New Moon, the second film will likely bring more attention to him. There’s already a countdown to his 18th birthday online. That’s right, this hunk is still a minor.


“I don’t think there’s any way to prepare yourself for this phenomenon, just because none of us expected it,” Lautner said. “When we were filming Twilight, we didn’t expect anything.  We were just filming a movie that we wanted the fans to enjoy, and then it kind of just blew into this whole other world.  So I don’t think that there’s a way to prepare for that.  You could definitely say I felt a little bit of pressure trying to bring Jacob’s character and Jacob and Bella’s relationship alive for the fans, because this movie definitely develops their relationship and sets up the love triangle. So it’s a very important story.”


Shooting three movies in a row (Eclipse comes out in June), Lautner has not had much down time to just be a teenager. Still, he’s enjoying the opportunities the Twilight series has allotted him.


“I must say I’m having the time of my life,” Lautner said. “It couldn’t be a better end to my teenage years. I’m doing what I love and I’m spending time with the people that I love. So it’s great. I’m definitely never, ever going to forget this.”


For Pattinson, the ride of Twilight has been overwhelming. “It is just a blur,” Pattinson said. “There are random moments which stand out, but generally, you’re working so much, that you’re living in an almost alternate reality. The hours on a film set are so long that you’re doing ‘doctor hours’, and every doctor that I’ve ever spoken to says the same thing, that you have no idea what’s going on, other than working. Especially when you’re away from your family and friends, and all that stuff.”


Lautner agrees that family and friends are important to keep him from going Hollywood. “It’s definitely important to stay true to yourself and stay close to those people you were close to before, your family, your friends, and just not let that outside stuff get to you,” Lautner said. “Honestly I try to stay away from what has been written about me because if you let that stuff get to you and it’s not true, it can drive you crazy. One thing that I have heard recently, which is not true, I didn’t say it was, I was quoted as saying ‘I will never take my shirt off for a movie again’. I didn’t say that. If I have to, if the character requires it, I will.  Who knows, in ten years, I might do that.  If a character requires me to lose 40 lbs.  I’ll do it.  It’s just all what the character requires.”


Still, it’s kind of cool to have your picture on billboards all over the world, isn’t it? “I don’t think there’s a way to ever get used to it,” Lautner said. “It’s not normal to drive down the street and see your face up there, but it’s Twilight. It comes with the job.” / Issue 104 - September 2018
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