The "Twilight" series may have changed the lives of fans worldwide, but perhaps no one has been more affected by its success than the three stars of the film: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner.
All became overnight sensations when they were introduced to the novel's millions of fans as the faces of Edward, Bella and Jacob — the three high-school students with mystical secrets at the center of the story. Edward is a vampire, Jacob is a werewolf and Bella is the ordinary teenage girl loved by both of them.
Pattinson, 23, Stewart, 19, and Lautner, 17, went from bit parts to big stars with the first "Twilight" film. As they prepare for the release Friday of the anticipated sequel, "New Moon," the young cast reflected on the ups and downs of newfound fame.
AP: What is the best thing to come out of the "Twilight" mania for you?
Stewart: It's the same satisfaction that I get from any other movie, it's just that so many more people are paying attention. I always say I make movies for the life experience — literally, you steal from the characters you play — and to know that that's actually affecting 100 million not only little girls, but really spans the ages of people, it just feels good. It's so different from anything I've ever experienced, so that's definitely the best thing.
Pattinson: Presenting at the Oscars and stuff, it's just kind of so surreal. But there's little things, like recently I've been working on the "Remember Me" trailer and I had very little time to organize it, but the control you're given because of "Twilight's" success is kind of incredible. It is an amazing feeling.
Lautner: It's traveling the world in general and seeing this kind of fan support worldwide. We go to Sao Paolo, Brazil, and then we go to Mexico City, we go all over the world and we have fans there with the same amount of passion everywhere we go. It's just amazing to know we have that kind of fan support behind us.
AP: What's one thing you miss from your pre-"Twilight" life?
Stewart: I like being outside. I like to take walks and I could totally take walks — it's not the fans, the fans are great, they would let me walk. It's the other people, you know what I mean. It's the other people.
Pattinson: I loved driving around L.A. I know not a lot of people say that, but if you don't have to get anywhere, L.A. is the best place to drive 'round in. I used to have this little car, a convertible ... and I really do miss doing that, as the sun is going down, driving over the mountains. It's a great thing and I kind of do miss that a little bit. It's not really the same thing when you've got 10 cars following you.
Lautner: Malls and movie theaters, or me at them. You have to make adjustments but you can't let it get to you.
AP: What has been your most memorable fan encounter?
Stewart: There were two girls that wound up in Italy as extras. I had met them previously in Vancouver but they were from Minnesota, so lots of traveling and strange coincidence that they happen to have been placed right next to my mark.
Lautner: There are so many. The Brazilian fans were very passionate. We were greeted by them at the airport. Apparently there were barricades but I didn't see them. It was an interesting walk from the airport doors to our car.
AP: How is "New Moon" different from "Twilight"?
Stewart: It's very much rooted in the story. The reason "Twilight" felt sort of kinetic, like the energy was sort of hard to grasp ... was because the whole story was about not being able to grasp that energy but going after it with full force and not caring about the consequences. That sort of infiltrates "New Moon" because she's been told that she was absolutely wrong, so now it's a more mature, considerate approach to the same ideas. Tonally, "New Moon" is different in that it also becomes more dangerous, it becomes more real. She finally opens her eyes and she's like, "Oh, I've woken up in Wonderland. It's really scary. It's actually scarier than I thought it was going to be" because there are werewolves and all the bad vampires want to kill her and all of that, so tonally it could not be more different.
Lautner: It takes everything Bella and Edward created in "Twilight" and destroys it at the beginning when he leaves, and it has to rebuild it, or Jacob has to rebuild Bella and then it's kind of destroyed at the end again. It's an emotional roller coaster.
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