KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — There are times when the limitations of the printed word come into focus, like when there is a need to convey how it sounded when Robert Pattinson, who stars as the vampire heartthrob Edward Cullen in the forthcoming movie “Twilight,” stepped onto a riser at the King of Prussia Mall outside Philadelphia on Thursday evening in front of more than 1,000 mostly teenage girls.In collective pitch, frequency and volume the sound would make a shuttle launching seem demure, a Jack White guitar solo retiring, a jackhammer somehow soothing. To reach into history, it may have approached Beatles-at-Shea-Stadium loud, replete with the weeping, swooning and self-hugging, and only the ambient flutter of cellphone cameras and furious texting by way of modern update. All of it was arrayed over a mostly unknown British actor who plays a character in a movie that will not be released until Friday.
“What is with all the screaming?” Mr. Pattinson asked when he came out. He absently ran his hand through his hair. Pandemonium ensued. He tugged at his white T-shirt in response, ever so nervously. Oh, boy. Then he laughed good-naturedly at the absurdity of it all. The smile was just a bit too much. A girl in a “Team Edward” shirt fell into the arms of her friend. “I can’t stand it!” she said.
And when he did, the crowd didn’t see an actor. They saw Edward Cullen, the perfect boyfriend who just happens to live on blood.Gozde:Skipping the parts about Twilight that we all know...
“The connection that I am an actor playing this character is sort of skipped,” he said, laughing during an interview before the throng was admitted to the Hot Topic store here. “They are in denial. They think I am Edward Cullen.” Mr. Pattinson, 22, said he had no idea what to make of his situation, about to meet thousands of teenage girls — and many of their mothers — who were flat-out in love with him.
“It is bizarre,” he said. “People come from three states away and walk up to you trembling. I feel that I am at a disadvantage here because I can’t provide this mystical thing that they came for in the two seconds we have.”...skipping...
“When he comes to our store and meets with these fans, he is becoming Edward,” said Betsy McLaughlin, chief executive of Hot Topic, adding that “a license like this comes along once every few decades,” mentioning Harry Potter, SpongeBob SquarePants and “South Park.”
The last movie the “Twilight” director, Catherine Hardwicke, made, “The Nativity Story,” also depicted unconsummated love between a mortal and a nonmortal, but that’s where the similarity ends. Ms. Hardwicke also directed “Thirteen,” a very different take on teenage sexuality, and “The Lords of Dogtown.” She was at the Apple store for an appearance with Mr. Pattinson and was ready for a frantic response, partly because she had seen young fans showing up to observe the frigid “Twilight” shoots in the mountains of Oregon.
“You have the story of a young woman falling so deeply in love that she doesn’t care if she dies or becomes a vampire,” Ms. Hardwicke said. “There is something so dangerous and alluring about it, and it all goes off in this very lush mountain backdrop. It’s an obsessive love that’s not that far from ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ or ‘Titanic’ for that matter.”
Back on the stage at the King of Prussia Mall, Mr. Pattinson continued to stand awkwardly but, somehow, fantastically beautifully at the same time. A local radio D.J. fed him written questions from the audience, but his answers were buried by screaming.
“Do you guys care about the questions, or do you just want to talk about nothing?” Mr. Pattinson asked.A young woman in a shirt emblazoned with the Cullen family crest spoke for many: “We just want to look at you.”