November 15, 2012

'Twilight' phenomenon defies explanation

By NICOLE SPERLING McClatchy Newspapers

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From left, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Peter Facinelli, MyAnna Buring, Casey LaBow and Christian Camargo in a scene from “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.”

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PREVIEW

"TWILIGHT," starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Directed by Bill Condon. Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity. Running time: 1:55

The story line gave Stewart the opportunity to bring a new dimension to a character who'd always considered herself ordinary and clumsy; with her supernatural powers, she could be graceful and beautiful, lightning-fast and lethal.

"I played her as human for so long, so the enhanced version of her made so much sense to me," said Stewart, her long limbs folded under her on the couch. "Everything so perfectly fit that I was so amped to do it."

Meyer recalled standing in front of the monitor on the set of the film when Stewart shot her first scene as vampire Bella, nervously anticipating the outcome.

"We were dancing by the monitors -- 'Look at her go,"' Meyer said as Stewart pretended to leave the room, not wanting to hear the compliment. "It was such a huge weight lifted. It wasn't a different character. It was Bella, but it was a totally different Bella. It was so exciting."

The 700-page-plus "Breaking Dawn" novel was released just a few months before director Catherine Hardwicke's adaptation of "Twilight" reached theaters in 2008. The book was met with controversy, even among Meyer's loyal fans. Renesmee's birth is an especially gruesome sequence -- one that Condon had to carefully navigate for the previous PG-13-rated movie -- and some readers complained about Bella's choice to carry the child to term despite obvious risks to her own health.

There was also grumbling about an ending that felt too soft, too anticlimactic.

"I had a lot of concerns about making 'Breaking Dawn' a movie," said Meyer, who holds final approval on the scripts for the "Twilight" films. "There were a lot of things they wanted to change. There were some serious problems."

It was Meyer herself and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, who has written each of the five scripts for the films, who devised a new ending over dinner one night in Vancouver while the second "Twilight" movie, "New Moon," was filming.

Of course, neither Meyer nor Stewart will reveal the new conclusion, but Meyer believes the solution is one fans will embrace.

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