nikki Reed patiently awaits her turn in the Twilight scheme of things. Her character, teen vampire Rosalie Hale, is a minor movie character until Stephenie Meyer's third book in the series, Eclipse, becomes a movie in 2010. • "We just finished shooting Eclipse and, yes, Rosalie has more to do," Reed said during a telephone interview. "I got to film her backstory, her engagement, some awesome 1930s stuff. I'm not eager to run the show; it's not my show to run." • Unlike some of her co-stars, Reed had Hollywood stardom before Twilight. In 2003, she was labeled Hollywood's next big thing, after co-writing and starring in thirteen, an acclaimed drama of troubled teenage girls — a good place to begin our telephone conversation:
As someone who wrote so incisively about teenage girls, why are they such rabid fans of the Twilight saga?
There's a lot of passion behind the teen spirit. I don't know what it is, exactly, except that it's a love story. Young people are fascinated with the idea of love, maybe because they haven't experienced it. The older you get, the more jaded you become with this, like, mystical love thing. It's not as exciting because it's not unknown.
I think kids are fascinated with this idea because part of them wants to believe this story is true, that people do fall in love like this. Edward is, like, the epitome of perfection and he has fallen in love with a very average girl, which is what Bella is. It gives hope to a lot of these girls in high school who are feeling rather average. Maybe I shouldn't be, like, hitting this on the nose like I am.
But I have to say that it's not just tweens. There's just as many, like, moms and aunts in their 30s and 40s who love this series just as much, if not more. It's not just one demographic. It sort of goes all across the board.
What has been your strangest experience with Twilight fans?
The problem is that whenever we speak about the fans it always ends up sounding like it's in a negative light when it's not. We're very excited and happy to have such a strong fan base because they make these films successful. None of us are — well, at least I'm not — totally oblivious to that. It has nothing to do with us. It's entirely the fans and the characters we play.
That said, I've had some interesting experiences. People definitely wait outside my house, hotel, apartment, whatever, asking for hugs or autographs. I've considered a restraining order or two just because I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. . . . I mean, it's totally connected to this. There's nothing wrong with me saying that some bizarre things have happened, you know?
Forget your role for a minute and choose: Team Edward or Team Jacob?
I'm definitely Team Jacob, although I don't like choosing because I love both characters and both boys so much. But I do have a weakness for Jacob because I think he's good for Bella. It's a more mature love, not like such a codependent love, which is like Edward and Bella. It's very obsessive. For young girls that's appealing because we all have that obsessive first relationship. But I don't think it's realistic. I think Jacob is a much more realistic option for Bella.
Especially since Jacob is a hunk now. How did Taylor Lautner get so ripped in a year's time?
All I know is that he kicked a--. I've never seen anyone so dedicated and devoted, not only physically but mentally. You have to see the movie to see what I'm talking about. Right now, all of the questions center around Taylor's body because there was such a total transformation. I totally get it, but when you see this movie you'll be blown away. He's so talented, you're like in a trance when you watch him.
Steve Persall can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8365. Read his blog, Reeling in the Years, at blogs.tampabay.com/movies.