Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart will not win an Oscar for their roles in the “Twilight” series and are far from the most polished actors in Hollywood. But in terms of pure entertainment, they are all consuming.
No two people have dominated pop culture quite like KStew and RPatz. Critics may consider the “Twilight” series mediocre as films go. But they have captured the imagination of legions of fans around the world.
The “Twilight” saga has held the rapt attention of a new generation of filmgoers for more than four years, and will have generated well over $1 billion at the box office, when all is said and done. Over that time, Rob and Kristen have become an industry unto themselves, generating countless magazine stories and an explosion in fan Web sites. Wherever they go and whatever they do, they generate major buzz.
So what makes Pattinson and Stewart so special? Mostly their on-screen chemistry. When they come together in a Twilight film, a nuclear reaction takes place. They generate so much heat and light, the strength of their chemistry alone makes the film’s overriding themes of passion, devotion and eternal love ring true.
Off-screen they have been an entertainment juggernaut all their own. Their mysterious, closely guarded relationship has launched a thousand headlines and driven fans to frenzy. Yet we still don’t really know for sure: Are they a couple?
There are enough clues to suggest they are. But their determination to keep their relationship private in the face of relentless fan and media attention is the biggest sign of all of their respect and devotion to each other.
When it comes to their fans, they both have shown incredible kindness and patience. Seen from their perspective, fans can be intrusive, demanding and ultimately, maddening. Yet, Rob and Kristen always seem to give beyond what’s expected, whether it’s signing autographs on the red carpet or posing for fan photos on the street.
Even more remarkable, they have maintained a sense of perspective about their good fortune and shown a dedication to their craft, rather than to their celebrity.
“I got lucky with this,” Kristen said recently of “Twilight.”
“I got lucky with Snow White [and the Huntsman]. It also happens to be a big movie, but I would have done it if nobody knew about it. I would have done it with my friends, basically.”
And so it was with the first “Twilight” film. It was never meant to be anything more than a mid-grade, indie movie, It was filmed by a then struggling studio on a $37 million budget, paltry by Hollywood standards.
But it proved one Hollywood truism; never sell a love story short. Not since the 1970 film “Love Story,” with Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, has a movie reached so deeply into the psyche of tweens, teens and 20-somethings.
“Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer infused her books with eternal themes. The films, in many ways, have ushered fans from adolescence into adulthood, right along with Bella, Edward, Jacob and the rest of the cast.
When the last Twilight film “Breaking Dawn, Part II,” hits theaters next year, it will mark the end of era for so many who have grown up with the films. They’ll hopefully come away moved by some of its life lessons; the meaning of love and devotion, the importance of family and the need to respect others, no matter how different.
And, most importantly, that, yes, it can happen to you.
It’s hard to say what will happen to Rob, Kristen, their lives and careers, once Twilight has run its course. But it’s pretty safe to say whatever path they choose, it will be on their own terms.
The ever self-effacing Rob probably said it best: “If I can get one percent of the ‘Twilight’ fans to follow my for the next 20 years, then I’ll probably have a career.”