Robert Pattinson Owes Edward Cullen's Cool To James Dean

Actor draws parallels between 'Twilight' and 'Rebel Without a Cause.'

With his signature hairstyle, brooding good looks and angsty teen movie role, [movieperson id="365131"]Robert Pattinson[/movieperson] has certainly solidified himself as a teen heartthrob. Half a century before Pattinson hit the screen, James Dean was firing up the passions of young ladies with his own signature locks, brooding good looks and angsty teen movie role. Naturally, it was Dean's style that Pattinson looked to when he needed inspiration to play Edward Cullen in "Twilight."

" 'Rebel Without a Cause' was a big influence on the first ['Twilight' film] — it influenced the hairdo and stuff," Pattinson told USA Today. "In lots of ways, it has a very similar character arc: An everyday girl brings this relatively strange individual out of his slump."

Pattinson said he doesn't understand his appeal to young women, and even as his star continues to shine brighter and brighter each day, he's still not used to all the attention. "I'm not entirely sure what it is," he said. "I'll probably realize afterward how I could have controlled it a little bit more. But I am still like a deer in headlights."

"New Moon" director Chris Weitz was astonished by how many girls flocked to the set to catch a glimpse of the 23-year-old actor. "It's like 'The Birds,' with teenage girls," Weitz told the paper. "You turn around, and there would be a line of girls standing there."

Although Pattinson is uneasy with the attention, he is willing to let it go when people almost forget that he's not actually his onscreen vampire persona in real life. "Right at the beginning, everyone just called me Edward," he recalled. "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."

Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."

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