Time was, girls were in short supply at Comic-Con, San Diego’s annual comic-book/science-fiction/fantasy conference. Now they’re packed into Hall H (capacity 6,500), waiting super-patiently through all the dork stuff—the endless Tron Legacy preview and a panel where all the geeks in the audience got worked up about some weird, tricked-out, like, car. Then The Final Destination, in which a bunch of people get impaled, decapitated, and churned up by escalators and cars. Um, that’s mature. Now Astro Boy is zipping around the screen, chirping, “I’ve got machine guns … in my butt?” The girls are so not LOL. After all, they’ve been lined up since five this morning to catch a glimpse of Robert Pattinson, otherwise known as “The Pattz” or “Edward Cullen,” the really hot vampire he played in Twilight, and by now the super-cute outfits they picked out for him—short-shorts and Twilight T-shirts—have gotten sweaty, and their makeup needs to be re-applied.
At last, the moderator’s voice reverberates dramatically throughout the darkened hall, “And now … ” The shrieking begins—deafening, glass-breaking, amusing for about three seconds, until it becomes excruciating. The moderator continues with a joke: “What would you do if I said, ‘That’s it. Thanks for coming’?” Some of the guys, hostile to this new Comic-Con element, roar in approval, “Yeah!”
The moderator relents, however, and introduces the cast members of New Moon—the second installment in the Twilight saga, opening this month—as they take the stage to increasingly loud rounds of applause: Ashley Greene (Edward’s vampire sister, Alice), Kristen Stewart (Bella, Edward’s human girlfriend), and Taylor Lautner (Jacob, Bella’s hunky friend who’s sometimes a werewolf). “I think we have one more backstage … ” he says at last.
Pattinson, in jeans and a well-worn flannel shirt over a T-shirt, ambles onstage with a pleasant but befuddled smile and some friendly waving. The girls are no longer just shrieking. They are hyperventilating, tittering deliriously, grabbing one another by the arms so that they don’t pass out. “Omigod, omigod, Oh my God!!!!!”
Sitting on the panel, the rumpled, unshaven idol starts looking a little ill at ease. He seems to be in a fidget-off with Kristen Stewart, with whom everyone believes he is having a tortured offscreen romance. She’s hugging her knee, pulling at strands of her new, black, rock ‘n’ roll shag. He’s rubbing his neck, moving his malleable hair from left to right, and tugging at his eyebrows. But his every odd tic, his every self-effacing, British, fumbling answer to the questions thrown his way, is merely a new reason to be charmed.
Q: I love your music. Would you consider doing any more open-mike nights?
Pattinson: “Uh, um, yeah, I mean, I would. I’m just too, I’m kind of, uh, a pussy, I guess.”
Read the rest on VanityFair.com