A conversation with Entertainment Weekly senior writer Sara Vilkomerson about Twilight, Robert Pattinson, and the plight of the pigeonholed celebrity.
Josh Benson: Can you explain Robert Pattinson to me, please?
Sara Vilkomerson: Oh well gee, where to begin! I guess we should start with Twilight. Are you familiar with it?
Josh: How about let's assume I'm not totally up to speed on it. Just for the sake of this exercise, you understand.
Sara: Mmmhmmm, sure.
In my humble opinion there is an essential part of Twilight that girls go nuts for that has got a lot to do with the whole vampire, undying-love (literally!) stuff. Which is that the main character, Bella, considers herself clumsy and awkward and not particularly beautiful, which I think speaks to at least 90 percent of how girls felt in high school. And then the coolest, hottest, most unattainable boy in school picks her out as the object of his affection. This is heady heady crack-for-girls stuff already. So then they cast Robert Pattinson in the role.
Oh look, I wrote about this in the Observer when the first one came out!
Josh: I remember that place! That piece, too.
Sara: Anyway, Robert Pattinson had the tough job of filling the shoes of a character that is described at length as being preternaturally good-looking, and he succeeded because, among other things, he happens to be preternaturally good looking. He just is.
And Twilight became a huge success. And now he can't walk down the street without people asking him to bite them, which means he did a very, very good job. And now, three films later and with two more on the way, he has a tough road ahead getting people to forget about him as Edward Cullen but to see him as Robert Pattinson, the actor.
Josh: Given the fact that he is at this point kind of the embodiment of vampiretainment, is it not slightly unrealistic to expect that people are going to stop asking him to bite them anytime soon?
Sara: If this is a delicate way of asking me if I asked him to bite me during our interview, let me state clearly for the record that I did not.
Josh: Phew. What about people who are less professional than you are, though?
Sara: I think he must get it a lot. Which must be one of those things that is hilarious the first three times but not at all the next 3,000 or so. The next two Twilight movies, Breaking Dawn 1 and 2, come out this November and next November. So he'll be living with the Edward Cullen stuff till after that. And then ... who knows? I hope for his sake it stops!
Read more of the interview here.