PORTLAND, Oregon — As this story goes live, Twilighters, you have 234 days, 15 hours, 47 minutes and 12 seconds until the movie hits theaters. You’ve watched the new behind-the-scenes video, read about the set visit and even voted on Stephenie Meyer vs. J.K. Rowling.
But the main question remains: Do “Twilight” stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have the chemistry to pull off Edward and Bella’s timeless romance?
After reading this article and watching the attached videos, you may very well have your answer. Below, the two stars speak exclusively to MTV News about running through treetops like spider monkeys, planning out their kissing scenes and bonding over Brando.
MTV: So last night, we saw you guys shooting a romantic scene that had Edward and Bella sitting in a meadow. Was that the same famous moment Stephenie Meyer dreamed five years ago?
Robert Pattinson: No, no, that wasn’t it. That was the precursor to that scene. The big scene where she dreamed [the "Twilight" premise] is the one where I’m in a meadow, and I’m demonstrating my vampire powers to try to scare her off. But that’s not for a while. That’s the big key scene in the book. I think that’s the last scene we’re shooting.
MTV: So, what was going on in the meadow last night?
Pattinson: That was one of the scenes that’s supposed to be me and Bella getting to know each other. It’s when we’re essentially dating, after she finds out I’m a vampire. I’m trying to figure out how far I can let this relationship go and how much I can tell her. There are a few times when it’s safe for us to be around each other, where we’re just seeing what the other person’s like, like a normal relationship.
MTV: Edward and Bella are an iconic love story for a whole generation. How do two actors meet, and then begin building a chemistry that the whole film will depend on? Any favorite movies, authors, books that helped you bond?
Kristen Stewart: Yeah, “Last Tango in Paris.”
Pattinson: That’s kind of what we’re basing the entire [Edward and Bella] relationship on, in a lot of ways.
MTV: So you guys get together and watch NC-17 Marlon Brando movies?
Stewart: Just that one. And what else did you give me? “Doomed Love.”
Pattinson: Yeah, I gave her a book of Virgil.
Stewart: “Doomed Love” by Virgil. It was good.
Pattinson: [Laughs.] We don’t really get on at all.
MTV: What’s something each of you have noticed about the other’s acting style that really impresses you?
Pattinson: Kristen’s the best actress of our generation, and that’s why I wanted to do this movie. I don’t know why she is. She’s just better than everybody else.
Stewart: I think he’s really handsome. He can’t lie. He’s, like, incapable of lying.
Pattinson: What she means is acting. [Laughs.]
Stewart: Nope. That’s so not what I mean.
Pattinson: [Teasing] “He doesn’t really understand the concept of, like, reading somebody else’s words out and pretending to be somebody else.” [Laughs.] I’ve always found that about myself.
MTV: Some “Twilight” fans get angry if you compare the franchise to “Harry Potter,” while others see the similarities. How do you guys feel?
Stewart: I think they’re both big moneymakers. That’s the only similarity. Two big ole machines, pumping out movies.
MTV: They both empower teenagers who’d dream of having superpowers.
Stewart: Well, they’re both fantasies, but they’re different ones. And they’re about kids, so kids are going to be drawn to them.
MTV: And they’re both somewhat tied to the real world.
Pattinson: It’s an essential growing up-story. It’s about gaining confidence as a human being.
Stewart: Which is what every story is about.
Pattinson: [The difference is that each are] using different metaphors for things. The strange thing about this is it’s so deeply entwined with sexuality, much more so than “Harry Potter,” as virtually all vampire things are — mainly because it’s a love story. “Harry Potter” isn’t really a love story, so a lot of the metaphorical stuff [in "Twilight"] is about teen lust. It’s a very erotic movie.
MTV: Along those lines, I wanted to ask you …
Stewart: Do vampires have sex?
MTV: Um, you can answer that one too. Do they?
Stewart: Oh no, what was your question?
MTV: Well, people want to know, Kristen: What’s it like kissing Rob?
Pattinson: Whenever we kiss, I just try to kill her all the time.
Stewart: And I love that. [Bella] is a total sadomasochist, if you think about it.
MTV: So are all the kisses these intense, violent things, like something out of a Michael Douglas sex thriller?
Pattinson: No. It starts off very kiddie, very tame. It’s supposed to be very sweet.
Stewart: They’re testing each other’s limits.
Pattinson: Then it turns into, like, hell. [Laughs.] Like all kisses do.
Stewart: What are you talking about?
MTV: When you plan out a kiss, do you say, “I’m gonna come in with my head tilted right, you stay left,” so that you guys don’t bang noses or something?
Pattinson: Kristen doesn’t have any idea what she’s doing at all. [Laughs.] So it’s always going to be difficult no matter what the direction is. It was kind of difficult. All the kissing scenes are the key relationship scenes as well. They’re not just kissing scenes.
Stewart: They can’t just make out. They can’t just kiss each other like normal people.
Pattinson: The whole thing about both of them is that they think they should be able to, but there’s always the elephant in the room. I always want to kill her, like all the time.
MTV: Do you guys carry the book around the set, or just the script?
Pattinson: For the key dialogue scenes, it’s always handy to have the script. We’re just playing the core element of the story, I think.
Stewart: It’s a semi-long book. It needed to be condensed.
Pattinson: A lot of the feel of the scenes is different to the book, I think, in a way.
Stewart: But overall, it’s the same intention.
MTV: The filmmakers have expressed their desire to make “Twilight” into a film series. What is the one scene from “New Moon” or “Eclipse” you most want to shoot someday?
Stewart: The second book opens pretty cool. It opens with a birthday party, and I cut my finger, and the whole Cullen family goes into a frenzy. And then it’s like, “OK, we need to figure out how to make this work, because this isn’t.” I think that’s going to be a cool visual.
Pattinson: I want to do the killing myself scene in Italy. That’ll be fun. I think that’ll be quite exciting.
MTV: Stephenie has come to the set several times. What questions did you have for her?
Stewart: Me and Stephenie got along pretty well. She’s a warm person. But I didn’t speak to her about my character or the books. I asked her how she got to write them and what other kinds of books she likes and stuff like that, but I didn’t talk about the story.
Pattinson: The main thing I asked her is why Edward has accepted Carlisle as he has. He sometimes treats him as his father and sometimes as a sort of partner. I was just wondering why this 108-year-old guy would pretend to be a 17-year-old boy to someone who knows that he’s not 17. And she said that Edward has judged Carlisle to be a good enough person to deserve him acting like his son — which I thought was very interesting. It’s a very, very strange thing to do, if you have absolutely no relation to someone, and [to keep up the charade], just because they’ve stolen your soul against your will. Edward has found it within himself to forgive him to such an extent. … There aren’t many scenes that show that, but I thought it was an interesting dynamic.
MTV: Kristen, people are always saying you’re an old soul. I interviewed Jodie Foster recently, and she was saying you’re wise beyond your 18 years. Are you looking forward to the day you’re no longer the youngest person on a set?
Stewart: I feel like age is completely relative and irrelevant. I’ll be fine being the oldest person. People’s connections don’t always have anything to do with how old they are, how long they’ve been here on this earth. So I don’t mind.
MTV: We had a big controversy break out back in January, when you told me up at Sundance that you were running over treetops. So settle this once and for all: Are Bella and Edward running on top of trees or through them?
Stewart: Through treetops, but then ultimately on top of them. We go through the trees. He pushes me out his window, and he scurries up to the top of the trees, and we’re sort of jumping on branches. And at the end of the scene, it becomes overwhelmingly beautiful when we go up on top, so we can actually see the sky and the sun, and he sparkles — so both.
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