It's not uncommon for fans of major franchises to devote several hours, days and weeks to the stories they hold so dear, but there's something almost indescribable about the devotion of the "Twilight" fanbase — a devotion that was on full display Thursday night (June 24) at the world premiere of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
"This is beyond insane. It's, like, ludicrous madness. You can't describe something like this," actor Justin Chon, who plays Eric in the "Twilight" series, told MTV News on the black carpet of the "Eclipse" premiere. "These are some of the most dedicated fans that you'll find on planet Earth."
Sarah Clarke, who plays Bella's mother Renee Dwyer in the "Twilight" films, echoed Chon's sentiment: "You never get used to this. I think there's an Elvis quality, you know?"
Clarke pointed out that many of the fans in attendance had been camping outside the theater for almost a week just to make sure they were able to see all their favorite stars. To thank these fans, Peter Facinelli and some of his castmates paid a visit to the dedicated "Twilight" supporters earlier in the week.
"A couple of us came down and signed some autographs for them, because they've been camping out for five days and we wanted to make sure the wait was worth it," Facinelli said. "It's humbling to have this much fan support. I definitely appreciate it, and I know that the cast does. We don't take it for granted. This whole franchise has been successful because of those fans."
In addition to the numerous fans and "Twilight" castmembers themselves, many other notable Hollywood personalities and surprising celebs came out for the "Eclipse" premiere. Athletes like Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez and L.A. Lakers newcomer Ron Artest were two of the more unexpected celebrities in attendance, with Artest throwing his support behind Team Jacob and the rest of the wolf pack. Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, in contrast, declared her own status as a proud member of the Team Edward faithful.
"I tried to meet [Robert Pattinson] last year, and I waited on line for an hour and a half to meet him, and just as I got to the front, he left," Hewitt recalled of a previous opportunity to meet the hunky Edward Cullen in person. "I was so sad. But he didn't mean it — he's Edward!"
Although she fully supports the sexy vampire, Hewitt said she has difficulty relating to Bella's romantic dilemma. "[My love life] sometimes feels more complicated [than hers]," she said. "Nobody ever just says, 'Can I bite you?' And if they did, I'd be like, 'Yes!' And we could just move on with our lives, and it would be amazing!"
One of the most anticipated personalities attending the "Eclipse" premiere was none other than "Twilight" author and mastermind Stephenie Meyer herself. "I'm so not used to this," Meyer admitted when asked about the size and scope of the "Eclipse" premiere. "I only do this kind of thing once a year. The rest of the time, I am totally incognito. It's nice to be the author, let me tell you. It's so much easier than being the actor!"
There's no question that Meyer was able to navigate through the crowd with more anonymity than the film's three leading actors, as Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart couldn't travel from point A to point B without cheers and applause following them every step of the way.
"This energy is always undeniable," Stewart said of the crowd's unbridled enthusiasm. "I feel like I'm one of them. I feel like we share the exact same passion for this thing, and it feels a little weird to be at the head of it, but it's cool."
Lautner said that when he first stepped onto the red carpet, there was only one sensation going through his mind: amazement. "It's absolutely incredible and so exciting," he said. "It's a little bit of pressure, because you definitely want to live up to their expectations, but at the same time, we luckily have the most supportive fans in the world. Sometimes, this is just like extra comfort."
"Anybody who says they're tired of this is completely crazy," Pattinson agreed with his co-star and onscreen romantic rival. "If I ever said that [I'm tired of this], someone just has to remind me of what I was doing before: sitting around doing nothing!"
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