Robert Pattinson & The World's Vampire Obsession Explored In USA Weekend: Cover Story

With less than a month until the release of "New Moon," we're starting to see more interviews with Robert Pattinson pop up around the media realm. USA Weekend magazine ran a brief interview with the Brit as part of their breakdown for the uninitiated (are there any left?!) of the new face of popular vampire culture. Most of the information they got out of Rob was stuff we already knew — he channeled James Dean for "Twilight," he's terrified of his fans — but it was fun hearing him say it again.

"Right at the beginning, everyone just called me Edward," he told USA. "I don't really mind either way. There's something about that character that, for some reason, has sparked an interest in massive degrees in so many different people.

"If you want to compete with your own character, you have to really fight. I don't know if I could be bothered to fight," he said with a laugh. "I just let it go by."

Rob might not be the James Dean-cool of the modern era, ("I am still like a deer in headlights," he said) but his inspiration in both look and personality in "Twilight" were taken from "Rebel Without A Cause." In fact, according to USA, "to get the modern image of a vampire," Rob got more insight into the character of Edward through the classic outcast story, instead of through the typical vampire films like "Interview With the Vampire" and "Blade."

"In lots of ways, ['Twilight'] has a very similar character arc [to 'Rebel Without a Cause']: An everyday girl brings this relatively strange individual out of his slump," he said.

Fan reaction has embraced the onscreen brooding hunk, "New Moon" director Chris Weitz told USA. "It's like 'The Birds,' with teenage girls. You turn around, and there would be a line of girls standing there," he said.

But what is it that draws teenage fans to this far from classic vampire tale that has permeated popular culture in the forms of "Twilight," "True Blood" and "The Vampire Diaries"? Karen Sternheimer, a sociologist at the University of Southern California, explained to USA, "Vampires look like us, but they're different, and those are experiences that a lot of young people can relate to especially dealing with not just the physical aspects of relationships when you're young but also the emotional aspects, the danger versus the draw of that so-called 'forbidden love' that really resonates with a lot of young women."

Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels which were the inspiration for "True Blood," saw different reasons for the intrigue of vampires. "Vampires never have to go on Social Security, they never have to have a hip replacement, they're never going to need bifocals," she said. "They just won't have the problems of aging that humans face, and that's very appealing, especially perhaps to Americans."

For more from the "New Moon" cast and to see an exclusive clip from the film, check out MTV's "Ulalume: Howling at New Moon" on Friday, October 30 at 9 p.m. ET — and check at 10 p.m. to see the clip exclusively online!

What do you think of these insights on the vampire phenomenon? What keeps you interested?