The 'Twilight' at Midnight Saga: On the scene for the 'New Moon' DVD release

peter-facinelliImage Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty ImagesI arrive at the New Moon DVD release party in Union Square around 10:15 p.m. on Friday. The line is half a block long. The three girls at the front of the line are named Tiffany, Catherine, and Valerie. They’ve been there since a little bit before 7. I ask them, “Team Jacob or Team Edward?” Neither; they’re sworn to Team Jasper, the Cullen sibling played by Jackson Rathbone. “He almost eats Bella, which is a huge plus,” says Valerie.

Because of the cruel whims of my vile EW.com overlords, I’ve become a minor expert on the Twilight fan experience. Valerie is voicing something that fascinates me about Twilight fandom: there’s a significant Twihard population that hates, hates, hates Bella. How weird is that? I mean, she’s the main freaking character of the series! Sure, Luke wasn’t the coolest part of Star Wars, but you’ll never hear a Wars fan hate on him, even if he says the most petulant line in movie history.

The girls also have some negative opinions about dividing Breaking Dawn into two movies. “They’re getting more of my money. I’m not okay with that,” says Catherine. Note to Summit Entertainment: It’s probably not a good sign when even the pubescent megafans think the two-movie split is a shameless cash grab.

By 10:45, the line has morphed into a genuine Hooverville. People are sitting down on the sidewalk. Men with Secret Service earpieces are handing out blue wristbands. A passing hipster yells “Edward Cullen!” It’s unclear if he’s being ironic. A woman walks up and down the line, handing out flyers for Kristen Stewart’s new movie, The Runaways. She overhears me talking to another megafan, Aroob, who just turned 21. “That’s a good age,” says the Runaways lady. “I liked 21. I’d freeze as a vampire at 21.

Inside Best Buy, I got to talk to Peter Facinelli, who plays vamp patriarch Dr. Carlisle Cullen. Once upon a time, in Can’t Hardly Wait, he looked like a young Tom Cruise. The resemblance is still there, but there’s a slight gravitas, too, and a casualness that seems a bit more natural than Cruise’s ageless grinning.

When asked how he prepares to play Carlisle, Facinelli jokes “I go off and bite people on weekends. I try to eat raw meat.” Get serious here, Peter. “I always looked at him as a proper gentleman. I felt like Carlisle’s voice should be a little bit more velvety, lower-register.”

Having starred in the greatest teen film ever made, does he ever give Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner any advice about dealing with teen fandom? “I’m very grateful that Can’t Hardly Wait has had such a great shelf life, but it was never a phenomenon like this. People are still fans of it and still quote Mike Dexter lines to me.” I tell Facinelli that there is at least one EW writer who has a poster of Can’t Hardly Wait on their wall. He laughs.

What’s the most challenging thing about playing Carlisle? “He’s very still. To be still on film without being stiff is difficult. You start to overthink things. You’ll be like, ‘Why am I sitting? Vampires don’t sit. Should I be standing? Why do I have my hands in my pockets?’ Carlisle is used to putting on this human façade, always covering something.”  That the vampires in the series are pretending to be human, a kind of performance-within-a-performance, is arguably much deeper than any of the actual story elements in the Twilight movies. Clearly, Peter Facinelli is a genius.

The first 50 fans in line get to come in for a quick trivia session. Facinelli asks the questions, and looks like he’s having a great time. The questions are mostly softballs, like “The Wolf Pack kills which nomad vampire?” Everyone answers every question correctly…except for one unlucky girl, who claims Jacob’s wolf fur is Chocolate Brown. (As we all know, it’s actually Rusty Brown.)

“Get her out of here,” Facinelli jokes.

“I’m Team Carlisle,” she says.

“She can stay!”

When the trivia portion of the night ends, Facinelli goes behind the Best Buy counter and pretends to be a cashier, as the fans walk up one by one to get their DVD. On multiple occasions, after signing the DVD he’ll say, “Thank you for shopping at Best Buy.” It’s pretty funny every time he says it.

There are still about 100 people in line outside. Emily and Courtney are at the back, having just shown up about five minutes ago. Like everyone else I’ve talked to, they hate the idea of two Breaking Dawn movies, and they don’t think 3-D is a good idea. “Everybody’s doing 3-D,” says Courtney. “It’s not always good with every movie.” (Somewhere, Jeffrey Katzenberg is crying.)

They ask me if the scene is crazy inside. “Of course,” I say. “Peter Facinelli is in there.”

“I watched Can’t Hardly Wait the other day,” says Courtney.

“That was like our high school movie,” says Emily. She looks at long line in front of her. “And now we’re totally teenyboppers. Again.”

Comments (91 total) Add your comment
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  • Leslie

    Hahaha. I saw Peter in Riding in Cars with Boys. It was kind of werid,and cool, he was all hitting on Drew Barrymore. *Sigh*

    • Moe

      NO ONE CARES EW!!

      • Brianna

        Everybody. Please, please, please vote for Katie Stevens. Remember her auditon, she sang the song At Last by Etta James. Katie Stevens has such a bold, strong, dark and beautiful voice!!! Shes been through a lot, because the judges have given her such weird and unfair advice. She did such a wonderful job singing the song Wild Horses. Her voice is so lovely. She deserves a good career. Im voting for Katie and Siobhan. I want Siobhan to win, but I want Katie to be in the top five. Please help. Thank you. Much, much love everyone!!!!!! Have a very nice day!! :)))

      • UGH

        I wish nobody cared about this, but all of these Tweens and lonely housewives are too easily entertained.

      • Moe

        Brianna, the more you preach about Katie Stevens, the more I dislike her. And no one will vote for her because she is simply PLAIN BORING!

      • Celia

        @Moe: Not true. I love Katie Stevens. She’s adorable and has a beautiful voice. The judges are unfair to her, because they want her to sing teeny pop songs by Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus, but the girl actually has GOOD taste in music.

      • Jesse

        actually alot of people care you are just stupid cause you have to ve noticed trying to “voice” your opinion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • FH

        LOSERS!

      • Maureen

        I’m confused. Why are y’all ^^ talking about American Idol on this page?

      • Dee

        Many people care obviously. And to call everyone teens and housewives is a bit ignorant and judgmental, as I am neither.

      • brittany turner

        everyone who matters cares sweetie

  • mscisluv

    “That the vampires in the series are pretending to be human, a kind of performance-within-a-performance, is arguably much deeper than any of the actual story elements in the Twilight movies. Clearly, Peter Facinelli is a genius.”

    That just made me laugh out loud. Love it!

    • amj

      me too….

    • Celia

      Lmao. And it’s sooooo true.

      • Madd

        LMAO. Exactly!

    • Brianna

      Wow, people are crazy about this movie

      • Brianna

        Everybody. Please, please, please vote for Katie Stevens. Remember her auditon, she sang the song At Last by Etta James. Katie Stevens has such a bold, strong, dark and beautiful voice!!! Shes been through a lot, because the judges have given her such weird and unfair advice. She did such a wonderful job singing the song Wild Horses. Her voice is so lovely. She deserves a good career. Im voting for Katie and Siobhan. I want Siobhan to win, but I want Katie to be in the top five. Please help. Thank you. Much, much love everyone!!!!!! Have a very nice day!!! :)))

      • liz

        brianna…give it a rest. do you know anyone that has, or have you for that matter, ever changed an opinion based on a blog comment? people are going to vote for who they want. KS has a stable fan base. i am not really a part of said fan base, but thats just me. she will end up exactly where (or possibly even ahead of where) she should in the competition. its all going to be okay. dont forget to stay in school and get good grades.

      • Cyrano Jones

        This is one of the reality shows, isn’t it? I’m guessing American Idol.

  • BrandonK

    He is delectable. I’m not a big fan of the blond hair, so I’ll say I’m on Team Peter. :0)

    • amj

      Agree, he sure is cute. And cuter naturally than with that blonde hair. I just love Jenni Garth as well who is his wife.

  • M Weyer

    The only good thing about New Moon on DVD is that the guys on Rifftrax are able to get their holds on it and tear it to pieces in hilarious style.

  • Kalie

    “Can’t Hardly Wait” is the greatest teen film ever made?! Yikes.

  • rebecca in wonderland

    Why does EW.com have to comment on stupid twilight all the time!!??? What are you? A tween girl? please grow up and start watching real movies!

    • liz

      twilight in a pop-culture entertainment craze. of course they are going to comment on it, because there is a huge fan base for it. whats really exciting though, is that as it turns out, we as readers, are NOT required to read everything thats posted! i know! i could hardly believe it either!

      • Carissa

        LMAO. Nice.

      • MW

        HAHAHA! Awesome.

  • Rebecca

    This is a great article! Funny, informative and insightful. Thanks for the good (albeit quick) read Darren. Thanks for the Can’t Hardly Wait references too. Peter Facinelli will always be Mike Dexter to me.

  • Tim

    Very good article, great job.

  • filmfan

    Being a moviebuff, curiosity got the best of me and I rented ‘New Moon.’ It’s 2 hrs and 10 min, and literally nothing happens.

    • @filmfan

      You should have watched it online and saved your money my friend. That movie is not worth 2 cents of money.

    • Amanda

      I watched it last night. Found myself fast-forwarding through a lot of it. The acting was HORRIBLE (Kristin Stewart mostly)! I don’t understand the appeal…. *sigh*

    • Kat

      You said it filmfan. NOTHING happens in NM. It’s souless yech. TWILIGHT on the other hand, was cool. I loved that; it was the reason I saw NM. But I couldn’t stand NM. I think it’s literally the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my life. So I’m done with the Twi film series. NM makes me shudder when I think of it. YUK.

  • Eli

    Kinda of pathetic. Really… what some people would do for something that ten years from now would seem like Menudo.

    • Lauren

      I don’t like Twilight either but the fandom experience has value to people in and of itself. Many of the girls quoted in the article came there with other people. If it wasn’t Twilight it would be something else. It’s a nice casual social thing. Certainly no less of a time waster than going to bars and dancing with strangers.

  • Christine W.

    Oh! I was there! (Story time!)
    Me and my friend had actually gone to the Borders near MSG for their release “party,” because I thought that’s where Peter would be. I soon realized that was not the case. It was just, plain, odd.
    So, I checked my twitter and saw that he was actually at the Best Buy in Union Square! We hopped on the subway and rushed on over-we were maybe, the 200th in line. Wah wah.
    While waiting, a guy from Moviefone asked us some questions, we had to deal with some very LOUD theater geeks, and a strange man almost pickpocketed us. Odder, still.
    Then, the line began to move and of course, I squealed. But only a little!
    Peter was staggeringly handsome. And in the literally 20 second encounter, seemed so nice! I told him I loved him on Six Feet Under and Nurse Jackie and he asked if I was “going to watch on Monday!?” Of course I am!
    All I can say is, thank god for twitter! Otherwise, I would’ve been stuck watching awkward teens debate hypothetical Twilight situations and paying 29 bucks for New Moon. Instead, I walked away with a signed DVD, a pic with Peter-freaking-Facinelli, and some extra cash in my pocket. An interesting night to say the least…

    • LIVEITUP

      Very cool…How lucky!

  • valerie

    Hey! This is Valerie from the article, I’m so glad you used my “He eats Bella” quote. Thanks!

    • joe

      you’re so annoying.

      • june

        Die.

    • Jesse

      and that is coll because…?

  • Catherine

    Had a blast. Thanks for interviewing us! I complained how Jackson’s character doesn’t get enough recognition– thanks for writing about him!

  • Lauren

    This article was better written than all four Twilight books combined. Which I know sounds catty but is really suppose to be more a compliment to the blogger than anything else. I genuinely enjoyed reading this post about something I have no real interest in.

    • Jesse

      Oh please i bet you have never even read all 4 books or even 4 words in your life they were written well

      • steve

        Those are pretty scathing accusations, Jesse, considering you don’t know how to spell or use punctuation. Derrrr… ur teechers 4got to hold u bak… wat a shaem.

  • angeljake

    Fun article glad everyone had a great time! :)

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