SAN DIEGO — Thus far, the toast of Comic-Con has been “Twilight,” Stephenie Meyer’s fast-growing franchise, which exploded into a true Hollywood phenomenon yesterday in Hall H , in front of the assembled media of the world and thousands of crazy fans who looked straight out of “Hard Day’s Night.”
But if the film’s young stars are the new Beatles of the vampire world, Robert Pattinson is Lennon and McCartney rolled into one. Mere moments before he took the stage to shrieks of “We love you!” and questions like, “Boxers, briefs or nothing?” the 22-year-old hearththrob spoke exclusively to MTV News. He revealed his self-deprecating charm, his love of spandex and the fears that he would soon be whisked away by the audience’s warm reception.
MTV: Welcome to Comic-Con, Rob. Have you had time yet to look out at all the people?
Robert Pattinson: No, I haven’t. I’m terrified that they’re all the hate-mail people [laughs], and I’m going to get killed.
MTV: Oh, but they love you now.
Pattinson: Hopefully. I guess I’ll find out. This is the first time, really, that I’ll be confronted with a bunch of Twilighters. I guess I can see for myself. But I’m kind of nervous about it.
MTV: I don’t know if you’ve seen them yet, but the crowd stretches three-quarters of a mile, just to get into the “Twilight” panel.
Pattinson: Oh. [Laughs uneasily.] Thanks for letting me know.
MTV: We interviewed some girls in the line, and they said all they wanted to do is get a glimpse of you.
Pattinson: Wow. When I was entering the building, I saw a girl, and she was so baffled [by me]; she just looked so underwhelmed. I’m like, “Don’t worry. I get that all the time.”
MTV: There’s a certain name many of the people here at Comic-Con are often called. Do you consider yourself a geek?
Pattinson: Yes, sort of. I kinda like all this stuff. I went to a few of these things in England, like “Dr. Who” ones, and I always found them really interesting. I guess I was a geek. But I was more of a computer-game geek; I wasn’t really a comic book geek.
MTV: They have a “Dr. Who” booth on the convention floor. You’ll have to check it out.
Pattinson: Really? I might have to do that, actually.
MTV: There are also people here dressed up as Batman, Superman, you name it. Would you ever want to play a superhero on screen?
Pattinson: Yeah. Who have I always wanted to play? Batman would be really cool, but Batman is a boring guy; like, Bruce Wayne is kind of boring. I haven’t seen the [“Dark Knight”] yet, but in the comics he was always straight-laced. Spider-Man was quite cool, but he had to be a geek. And then there was Superman. But I always liked Gambit from “X-Men.” Gambit would be cool. Has he ever been in an “X-Men” movie?
MTV: He hasn’t, but supposedly he’s going to be in the “Wolverine” spin-off film.
Pattinson: I might have to get my foot in that door.
MTV: There are a lot of big movies down here, from “Watchmen” to “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” But what’s the one thing “Twilight” has that none of the others do?
Pattinson: Well, I’m in it. [Laughs.] That is one thing the others don’t have.
MTV: Well, surely, Stephenie’s writing skills are a big advantage.
Pattinson: Yeah, yeah. I think it’s very different; it’s very intimate. With all that other stuff, there’s something much bigger going on. It’s the end of the world, or there are a million superheroes. But at the core of “Twilight,” it’s a love story. It’s a very intense love story, which differentiates it. Everything else just goes away.
MTV: You’re about to head downstairs, where you’ll appear in front of 6,500 screaming Twilighters. What’s your game plan?
Pattinson: Umm … try not to wet my pants? Try to be the tiniest bit as articulate as I can? Try not to look like I’m crazy? I don’t know if I’m even capable of doing any of those things.
MTV: Are there any questions you fear? Like the super-geeky ones?
Pattinson: No, I’m fine with those ones. Specific questions I’m fine with, about any topic in the world. But things like, “What’s the movie about?” and “What character do you play?” I always stumble. I crumble when I get those; I just can’t explain it.
MTV: By now, we’ve all seen these clips of you fighting Cam Gigandet, who is such a bad-ass in “Never Back Down.” Did he try all those mixed martial-arts moves against you?
Pattinson: I kicked his ass, because I don’t hold back. I fight like a little bitch. I’d bite and pull his pants down and stuff.
MTV: Last question: If you ever came to Comic-Con as a normal fan, who would you dress up as?
Pattinson: Charlie Chaplin? That’s not really a Comic-Con thing, actually, is it? What am I talking about? Maybe I just want to dress up as Charlie Chaplin.
MTV: Any heroes, perhaps?
Pattinson: Spider-Man. I like the outfit; I like a little bit of spandex.
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