When I asked Twi-hards at a recent Twilight convention in Arlington, Va., why they loved the saga, these words came up in every response.
And who can blame them? The plot allows for Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and the Quileute Wolf Pack* to spend a large portion of the movies with their shirts off wielding rock-hard abs.
*By the end of the Twilight book series, there are 10 shape-shifters in the Quileute Wolf Pack – Jacob Black (Lautner), Sam Uley (Chaske Spencer) , Embry Call (Kiowa Gordon), Quil Ateara (Tyson Houseman), Seth Clearwater (Booboo Stewart), Jared Cameron (Bronson Pelletier, pictured above), Paul Lahote (Alex Meraz), Collin Littlesea and Brady Fuller. The pack has one female member, Leah Clearwater (Julia Jones), Seth’s sister, who manages to stay covered up in the books.
For Taylor Robeson, 14, of Fairfax, Va., Edward Cullen (Pattinson) was her favorite character until the movies came out. That’s when she had to switch to Team Jacob (Lautner). “Because of the abs,” says her friend and classmate, Nina Lucas. “Yeah. When his shirt’s off,” they agree, giggling.
The Official Twilight Convention Tour — featuring live Q&As with the actors, photo ops, autographs, karaoke, a monster ball, and a costume contest — will travel around the country for another year bringing Twi-hard fans everywhere their fix of vampires and werewolves. In the meantime, there are movies to flock to: the first part of Twilight: Breaking Dawn is released in theaters Nov. 18, with the final chapter out a year later.
Read below for more of my experiences from my Twilight convention, including interviews with two Twilight stars.
Photos by Marie Lindberg
For Ashley Carter, 26, of Sumter, S.C., this Twilight “con,” which is hosted by Creation Entertainment, says this was her third and favorite yet. “I’ve had so much fun just seeing different people. Seeing Gil [Birmingham, who plays Jacob's dad, Billy Black] again. I love Gil. Leah [Gibson, who plays Nettie in Eclipse] is amazing. She’s so sweet. I took an eight-hour train and two subways and a shuttle and finally got to the hotel.” It was worth it.
“I like that I can step into a different world for a while. I don’t know how to explain,” she says.
She wasn’t alone. Erin Blackwell, 29, of Pennsylvania can’t help wishing for some of the fantasy world. “Everyone just wants that perfect man [like Edward]. He’s everything. God, I wish my husband was like him. Well, no, just the things that he does. Just the debonair attitude that he has. The thoughtful, sweet kind of person that he is. I think every girl wants someone to come sweep them off their feet.”
The women at the con, anywhere from age 10 to 50, laughed hysterically at the Q&As, with Gibson, Spencer and Pelletier. The few men that I saw there had to have been true fans to handle all that giggling.
George Torres, 39, of Alexandria, Va. (pictured at right), was one of them, who said he was Team Jacob, even though his wife, Cynthia, 37, went the other way.
“I like to work out a lot, so we had a lot in common,” says Torres, clad in a tight Twilight shirt. He sure looked like he could have been in the Wolf Pack. “I hoped he would have Bella, but obviously he didn’t.”
I didn’t get to see the Q&As with Birmingham, Charlie Bewley (Demetri of the Volturi Guard), Bill Tangradi (Randall, the nomad) or Patrick Brennan (Liam of the Irish vampire coven), but I did get to meet with Tangradi and Bewley separately, who were humorous and arguably even more handsome out of costume.
This will be Tangradi’s first appearance in the saga as one of the many new characters being revealed in the Breaking Dawn movies. Bewley has been at it since the second movie, New Moon, when the audience learns of his place among the Volturi as a tracker, the vampire gift that makes it easy for him to find people and vampires.
When I ask the two “Team Edward or Team Jacob”? they both laugh. A lot.
“Oh God,” Bewley says. “Don’t ever ask that question again.” For fans, it’s a fun way to debate and discuss Twilight, but not for Bewley. “I’m a member of the cast. I would be doing my character a disservice answering that question. I’m Team Demetri. I’m a vampire. I work for myself. I’m alpha.”
If it’s possible, Tangradi was even more skeptical of the popular question. “It’s not like there’s an open end. I know who she’s going to end up with.”
So then I ask them, if it’s safe to assume that most the fans are going to know what happens in Breaking Dawn because they’ve read the book, why should they see the movies?
Despite knowing the ending, Tangradi says, there will probably be some surprises. “From what I’ve heard from the fans, it’s like, “What are they going to keep and what are they going to get rid of?’ You can’t film everything that’s in the book. It’s like 700 pages. I do think they’ll be pleasantly surprised and it should be a fun roller coaster.”
He couldn’t reveal much more than that, but, he assures me, “it will be chock full of action.”
So there I was hanging out with some of the cast of Twilight. I had to ask what Pattinson was like in real life. And the guys ran with that one.
“He’s really dreamy,” Tangradi quips.
“He moonwalks on water on one foot,” Bewley jokes. “Can you imagine?”
Then they got serious.
“I found Rob to be really charming,” Tangradi says. “I didn’t have too many encounters with him because I left him alone. He was really self-deprecating and giggly. He laughs a lot under his breathe.”
“Unfortunately, he’s in this position where he has to entertain everyone around him all the time,” adds Bewley, who has gotten to work with him a lot longer. “He takes that burden on him and I’ve seen it kind of progress, from the first time I chatted with – him being like, ‘What is this thing around me? This is so ridiculous. I just want to go home and make music’ – to where he is now. He’s a stand-up guy and he’s completely comfortable in his surroundings wherever that might be.”
And where you have Rob, you have Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella, Pattinson’s on-screen love interest — and reportedly off-screen as well.
“I’ve always found her kind of endearing,” Bewley says. “Her awkwardness is wonderful.”