On a March day in Oregon, the sun’s as bright as a California morning. That’s great news for the locals, but it sucks if you’re a vampire. For two weeks, Twilight, the $37 million film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer‘s best-selling novel, has been shooting outside Portland — a location chosen, in part, because the skies are often overcast. Vampires, in Meyer’s universe, can go out during the day but have to stay out of direct sunlight. Hence, today’s problem. Director Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown) has had to scrap an exterior shoot, and, because tomorrow’s weather looks annoyingly cheery too, she’s been forced to rush into an intense romantic scene between her two young stars. ”We were building a bedroom in 24 hours,” Hardwicke says later. ”We were just sweating it.”
Fans have been sweating it too. Not since Harry Potter has a book-to-film journey inspired so much enthusiasm — or so much anxiety. The movie will follow the novel closely: Pretty but awkward 17-year-old Bella (Kristen Stewart) moves to a small town in the Pacific Northwest and falls in love with Edward (Robert Pattinson), a heartbreakingly beautiful vampire. Edward also falls for Bella, but his desire for her barely controls his instinct to devour her. It’s this combination of passion and danger, of course, that surrounds this teen romance with a halo of epic, doomed love. The girls who have gone crazy for the book have been vivisecting the film’s development online. Two girls from the Make a Wish Foundation even requested roles as extras. ”You can’t make this up,” Hardwicke says. With a fan base like that, all of Hollywood should have been jousting for the film rights. In fact, the movie almost didn’t happen.
Fans weren’t so sure at first, and some of the blogs were brutal. ”I stopped reading after I saw the signatures saying ‘Please, anyone else,”’ Pattinson says, laughing. To prepare for the role, the actor did more than just stay out of the sun. He wrote journal entries as Edward and shut himself off from his friends and family. ”I wanted to feel his isolation,” he says. Still, Pattinson didn’t transform into Edward in all ways. ”I was supposed to get a six-pack,” he says. ”But it didn’t really work out.