Shrieking masses descend on L.A. for the 'Twilight' premiere

Twilightpattinsonstewart_lThere were hundreds of people lining the Los Angeles streets screaming and chanting. There were homemade signs, punny slogans, and custom T-shirts. Attendees declared whose team they were on. There were moms and daughters, men and women, couples and singles. There were even a few people so overcome by emotion that tears were shed. They stood for hours, some for days, to make sure their opinions were seen and heard despite the harsh, ashy air quality caused by the numerous nearby wildfires.

I’m not talking about last weekend’s anti-Proposition 8 rally. No, this chaotic scene, which featured more black, less rainbows, was for the Nov. 17 premiere of Twilight, the epic love story of a high-school girl (Bella) and her vampire beau (Edward) based on the hit book series by Stephenie Meyer. While the two events had several similarities, I dare say the Twilight folks were slightly more fanatical.

“We drove from the Bay Area yesterday, got in line at midnight last night, slept out here, took the day off work, and stood all day in order to fulfill a dream to take a picture or get an autograph from the stars,” enthused Cyndee Sauceda, 40, who works in a law office. “And if that doesn’t work out, it will all still be worth it if we get to touch Kellan Lutz or Robert Pattinson.”

Pattinson & Co. obliged for the most part — posing for cell photos, doling out hugs, signing books, bodies, clothes, signs, pizza boxes, any surface that didn’t cause a black Sharpie to run.  “I’m going to have to ice my autograph hand when I get home,” joked Taylor “Jacob” Lautner. Pattinson, Cam Gigandet, and a few other actors even did a victory lap to slap fan hands after they had completed their initial round of interviews and fan appreciation despite holding up the screening over 45 minutes past its scheduled start time.

addCredit(“Kevin Winter/Getty Images “)

“This is crazier and louder than I was prepared for,” saidPattinson (pictured with co-star Kristen Stewart), running his fingers through his trademark floppy locks andlooking sharp-dressed goth in his fitted black suit. “With everyweek, the fervor and anticipation seems to grow. This is my life.People know my name and ambush me in public and try to figure out whathotel I’m staying at and ask me to bite them and want to touch my hair.I have accepted it as real now, but it still feels surreal.”

His leading lady, Kristen Stewart (in a chic Balenciaga mini-dress),arrived minutes after him, her wild swept-up-and-piled two-tone hairgiving Pattinson a run for his money. They took their obligatorycouples shots, still looking slightly uncomfortable together, as ifthey are in the middle of a marathon intense-off. Stewart’s demeanor, perusual, was reserved, but she admitted that she’s fascinated by the fandevotion. “I’ve been to a lot of premieres, and none of them have everbeen as big as this. Maybe if I had been alive during the days of theBeatles it would be different, but I have never been moved enough tocamp out for someone or something. The fact that people did that forour movie is heavy. I just hope they think it was worth it after theysee the movie.”

After witnessing the phenomenon first hand, I’m not sure it evenmatters if the final product is Oscar-worthy. (In fact, two Oscarwinners, Jaime Foxx and Kim Basinger, used their influence to score thehot tickets for their obsessed offspring.) Hours in, I was still havingto shout my interview questions at the top of my lungs because the“Team Edward” cries were being matched by the howls of theJacob-supporting wolf pack. In this economic downturn, people hadobviously spent a pretty penny getting there, getting takeout fromlocal restaurants, decorating the windows of their cars, outfittingthemselves in branded merch. “I’d hate to have to be the guy who has toclean all this up afterward,” Gigandet said, referring to the discardedwater bottles, sunscreen and snack trash.

Most of the cast and crew were trying to live in the moment and notcount their chickens, so to speak, though some tentatively admitted thatthey’d love to see the saga’s other chapters on the big screen. Director CatherineHardwicke was matter-of-fact when asked about sequel plans. “It isgoing to depend on the numbers," she said. "The fans have to really come out inforce if they want to see a second movie, because that book will betwice as expensive to make than the first because of the werewolves andspecial effects. Realistically, this one has to make $150 million tomake the financiers think it is worthwhile. If this crowd is anyindication, I have high hopes, but I’m also not uncrossing my fingers.”

So, PopWatchers, who’s ready to finally see this movie? How far would you go to catch a glimpse of Pattinson in the flesh? Or maybe you can’t even read this because you’re already camped out somewhere for a premiere…?

More on Twilight:
Robert Pattinson answers your questions
EW’s ‘Twilight’ Headquarters!
Stephenie Meyer: 12 of My ‘Twilight’ Inspirations
Entertainment Weekly’s cover story: Will ‘Twilight’ be a hit?
Kristen Stewart talks ‘Twilight’
‘Twilight': The EW Photo Album
Team Edward or Team Jacob? Weigh in now!

Comments (191 total) Add your comment
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  • Boogie

    I’ll be there opening night! I can’t wait!!!!

  • Jenny

    Well I’ll be rushign down ot London to see Rob Pattinson which will cost me a fortune so I guess you can say in this harsh economic times I’ll do a lot to see him. Dont give a stuff about the other cast members to be honest.

  • clark

    this movie will make over 250 million. so long as they didn’t biff the movie. if they did then its making around 180 million. either way a sequel is happening.

  • Bev

    I have to wait ages to see the film in the UK but I’ll go and see the film a lot so I can enjoy Rob Pattinson as Edward for years to come.

  • Team Edward

    Oh, Carrie Bell, why didn’t you punch those Team Mouthrapist fans in their fat faces when you had the chance? Tsk tsk. Unless you support the sexual assault of young women as well… Hm.
    Team Edward

  • Caz

    The lainey gossip columnist said the followign in an article abotut Rob and Kristen
    “The buzz around them is that when they are interviewed alone, without each other, they are completely natural, totally eat ease, and speak wonderfully of each other. However when they are together it gets weird and awkward. Weird and awkward. Everyone’s observation on Saturday was weird and awkward.
    On Saturday during our interview, Kristen could not look at Rob. She was so nervous, she was trembling, she was blushing, she was painfully uncomfortable. Off camera it was all she could do to stay away from him, clinging to Rachelle and Nikki, almost afraid to be left alone with him.”

  • caz

    Lainey went onto say in her article:
    Then there was that moment when we were rolling and she was asked about Rob’s audition, when she knew that he was Edward. It took place on the director’s bed. Needless to say – it was a hot situation. While describing her chemistry with Rob and why she enjoys working with them and why he was such a great partner, as he looked on beside her intently waiting for her answers, she stumbled and stammered, becoming more and more embarrassed, still incapable of meeting his eyes, especially when he jokingly pressed her on her explanation that “Rob for the most part cannot lie”.
    In analysing it afterwards, and watching back the tape, to us it was the textbook behaviour of a girl – to borrow from Stephenie Meyer – in love with a guy trying desperately not to show it. Finally they changed the subject.

  • DL!!!

    I can’t wait to see the film, already pre-bought my tickets and I plan on going again…just to make sure I didn’t miss anything the first time..and ROb and Kristen looked AMAZING last night!!

  • Anonymous

    Third bit of Lainey’s article on Rob and Kristen:
    “Of course it was adorable. But …
    She didn’t think so. For whatever reason, she was mortified about those few minutes. And I can tell you exclusively that immediately after the interview, she requested that the segment be removed from the cut piece. Which means it will not air.
    If there’s nothing there, why get rid of it, right?
    Kristen has a boyfriend. She’s been with him forever. Photo attached of the two together back in LA this weekend. But to all those Twilight superfans who are pining for a real life romance between the actors playing Edward and Bella, it’s probably not a stretch to believe in the possibility.
    And if I were to indulge in a little squealing myself, they would totally make a great couple.”

  • ali

    Cant wait to see Rob in this film but even more excited to see him play Dali in Little Ashes. Great to see a short clip on E online last night. EW need to do the same.

  • Michelle

    I have my ticket already. I’d give just about anything to be at a premiere. I’m a pro at camping out, so it’s no skin off my nose. It’s all in the planning. But yeah, Rob’s totally worth it.

  • ruthie

    Rob is twilight as far as I’m concerned and I’ll be supporting the film for his sake as much as I can. Mutliple viewings for me.

  • Kim

    I have my tickets for six crazy Twilight fans! Most of use will see it at least twice.

  • Anonymous

    Why didn’t somebody do this sooner? There is a whole market of disaffected teens who pretend to be vampires, goths, emos, etc and who would spend every cent of their parents’ money to dress up in black and see movies like this 200 times or more. They can try and appease parents by including subliminal messages in the movies for the kids to start dressing normally and go back to church.

  • Jennifer

    I’ll be seeing it five times opening weekend beginning with the midnight showing Thursday!

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