Teen vampires take bite out of silver screen

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For as long as most of us can remember, teen angst and forbidden love have been a winning, though perhaps slightly overused, combination. For the more jaded members of the audience, the idea of watching two hours of an unlikely couple fighting for their love against all odds sounds like $10 they'd rather burn. But there are still those of us who, despite the cheese-factor, will sit teary-eyed through a movie like Twilight.

Based on the first book in Stephenie Meyer's New York Times bestselling series, Twilight is gaining serious momentum. Much like Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, the series has all the promising characteristics of a mass-media phenomenon. Making the leap to the silver screen Nov. 21, with projections exceeding $48.8 million for opening day sales, swarms of teens are expected to fork over their allowance at their local cinemas.

The pressures of taking on such a beloved role would prove harrowing to most, but lead actor Robert Pattinson (of Harry Potter fame) is very nonchalant about the ordeal.

"I thought I had no chance of getting [the part] at all," he says.

Instead of trying to live up to impossibly high expectations, Pattinson chose to show lead character Edward in a different light, an approach that won him the coveted role.

While the book has served as the major fuel for plot and characters, some die-hard fans may be a little disappointed with the liberties the cast has taken with their roles.

"I read the book. . . and the way I played him, he wasn't as strong as he seems in the book, more broken," Pattinson explains.

While Pattinson's take on Edward attempts to show the softer side of a stereotypically hardened character, the role of Bella is far more compelling than its print counterpart. Critics may call Bella a poor role model for today's young girls, but Kristin Stewart's version of the high school outcast is bound to have a few members of the Associated Press eating their words.

"Kristin brings a hardness and fierce intelligence to her, she has just as much hidden depth as Edward," says Pattinson.

The movie follows the passionate affair of Edward and Bella. Edward is an ageless vampire with a taste for forbidden mortal love while Bella is an introspective high school outcast, torn from the life she knows best when she is sent to live with her divorcee father in the gloomy town of Forks, Washington. Not too surprisingly, Edward's lust surpasses that of experimentation with taboos. But as a member of a vampire clan choosing to abstain from the consumption of human blood, Edward must fight his primal instincts to feed and protect Bella from other vampires outraged by the violation of tradition.

Oddly enough, the story was never intended to be shared with the general public, in print or on screen.

"I was convinced before I ever met Stephenie that she was a mad person who completely believed she was Bella and this was just her fantasy," says Pattinson.