LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The "Twilight" franchise is growing up.
In the series' third instalment, "Eclipse," a dark tone pervades and limbs fly from bodies in a climactic battle involving vampires and werewolves. And the love triangle between lead characters Edward, Bella and Jacob burns with even greater intensity.
"I guess in terms of the violence and stuff, I guess that makes it a little bit more grown-up," said Robert Pattinson, who plays the smouldering vamp Edward. "And also I think it's just a more accessible storyline. The sort of love triangle thing — being torn between two lovers doesn't really happen when you're eight. So yeah, I guess it's a bit more grown-up in that respect."
Kristen Stewart, whose character Bella must choose between the two magical beings, compares the emotional trauma of making that choice to the violence of battle.
"I think there's always one person that loves the other person more. And that's so heartbreaking. In this case, you add another person," Stewart said. "And it's interesting because she actually loves them both. And so you're going to have to absolutely slaughter one of them, no matter what."
Still, Taylor Lautner's werewolf Jacob does get in one big kiss in the film directed by David Slade, and forces Bella to confess her love for him. Lautner smiles at the opportunity his character is given.
"It was different. It was weird, just that Jacob actually got to kiss Bella. It was good," he said. "I mean, it was kind of the ultimate movie kiss. Because we were on top of this mountain. There was a beautiful background. The camera is circling around us. And there we are kissing."
Of course, fans and the media are fascinated by who Stewart kisses, both on and off-screen. A fumbled stage kiss between her and Pattinson at the recent MTV Movie Awards was hyper-analzyed on blogs, and she's been getting plenty of questions about her lip-lock with Lautner in the latest movie.
"It's awesome that they're that into it. Whatever. I feel like — just the nature of the kisses that happen in this movie, they're built up in the book," Stewart said. "They're really built up in the book. Because I mean that's just the nature of the story. But yeah. So maybe they take a bit of that and project it onto real life too."
Pattinson calls his and Stewart's MTV kiss "a show" but says it was only done in hopes of entertaining the crowd and "we kind of messed it up It wasn't particularly entertaining."
Pattinson also shot down the suggestion that 'Twilight' author Stephenie Meyer's Mormon values are integrated into the book and movie series. His character won't have sex with Bella — even though she wants to — until they're married.
"I swear, the only reason any of the Mormon stuff is ever brought up, or was ever brought up, is for one thing because she (Meyer) is Mormon," he said. "And the other thing — it's because it just makes it respectable, it makes it acceptable to talk about 'Twilight' stuff in supposedly high-brow publications. Yeah, you can put us in the New York Times now, because it's about Mormonism."
Pattinson said fans aren't responding to the chastity of the characters but to the anticipation and longing that accompanies it.
"If they said at the beginning of the saga, like Edward and Bella: 'Listen, we're never going to have sex. That's just how it is. I don't have genitals,' I don't think it'd be half as successful," he concluded, laughing.
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