UNIVERSAL CITY, California — A year ago at this time, a small independent film was shooting in Portland. It starred the little kid from "Panic Room," the jerk from "Can't Hardly Wait," the best friend from "Thirteen" and the fast-talking girl from "Rocket Science." It also featured a little-known actor, best remembered for playing Cedric Diggory in the "Harry Potter" films.
Now, "Twilight" is a worldwide phenomenon and actors like Kristen Stewart, Peter Facinelli, Nikki Reed and Anna Kendrick are all celebrating their recent big night at the MTV Movie Awards. But it's hard to imagine any actor, ever, whose life has changed as dramatically in 12 months as Robert Pattinson's.
When we spoke with them on the red carpet over the weekend, his "Twilight" saga co-stars told us that they're as amazed by the transformation as they are impressed with how RPattz has handled it all.
"Rob cannot be in public and be static for more than five seconds without being mobbed," marveled Mike Welch, who plays Mike Newton. "If he's in a room and he looks down and he looks back up, [in that instant] everyone in the room will be staring at him. It's kind of ridiculous. [That level of fame] is literally Rob Pattinson and Barack Obama."
"It's so funny but it's true," agreed Christian Serratos, who plays Angela. "There's a love for Rob, which is completely understandable. But despite all that, he's still completely relaxed and completely laid-back. I don't know how it's possible, but he's really just chill."
As the days got closer to the release of "Twilight," there were signs that Pattinson's power over fans was reaching a Beatles-esque level. But when the "Twilight" cast recently went overseas for work on the sequel "New Moon," they saw that the insanity has become even wilder.
"Italy was intense," Ashley Greene marveled. "We literally all had two bodyguards and drivers, and we couldn't walk and had to be driven around the set. It was because there were thousands of girls that came in from everywhere in the world to see [Pattinson]. ... They would sleep over and stay the night outside our hotel gate. It was nuts."
"Every second of Rob's life is watched now," Kellan Lutz added, saying that Rob has had to adjust some habits to handle the increased scrutiny. "I'm sure he's careful for everything he's doing."
"I've talked to Rob about it, and he's just paranoid all the time now," Peter Facinelli revealed, admitting that the newfound fame does sometimes become difficult for his onscreen son. "Like, even to go down to the Starbucks, he's ducking behind cars and does a roll-flip to the coffee shop. Then he gets up, and there's nobody there — but then the one time that he doesn't do that, that's when there's like 10,000 paparazzi jumping out of the bushes."
"It's hard," agreed his onscreen wife, Elizabeth Reaser.
But still, despite a level of attention that has driven other celebrities (Britney, Lindsay, etc.) down some crazy paths in recent years, Rob's "Twilight" stars insist that he hasn't changed a bit.
"Rob cracks me up every time I hang out with him," Lutz said. "He's just such a great, easygoing guy."
"[His fame] is always growing," Cam Gigandet added. "But Rob is still Rob — which is a good thing."
"He's the same guy that I met before he was world-famous, which is just a really laid-back, quirky, funny British dude," Welch grinned. "[But his notoriety] is crazy. I don't know how he does it. I'm glad I'm Mike, dude."
Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.