Thursday, May 14, 2009

How Will Robert Pattinson Be a Powerful Twilight Presence in New Moon?

As filming wraps up in Vancouver for the upcoming Twilight sequel New Moon, Twilight stars Robert Pattison, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli and the other Twilight Saga actors will soon be looking ahead to their time in Italy where the New Moon production comes to a close. After the first Twilight film, based on the popular Stephenie Meyer series of novels, New Moon opens up the characters even more as they evolve into more diverse and emotionally concrete figures in the Twilight Saga. How each handles their characters for a second time, namely Robert Pattinson, is a powerful question surrounding the anticipation for New Moon.

For anyone not wanting to read overall plot and character points of the sequel, there are a few along the way. It’s impossible to get underneath Edward Cullen in New Moon so don’t say we didn’t warn you.

The nature of New Moon, however, sets a different tone than Twilight with its darker and more painful layers while an element of despair runs throughout the story. Edward Cullen, Bella Swan and Jacob Black each battle their own inner turmoil as they struggle with adolescence, love, the changes within themselves, and the dynamics of how they fit into the Twilight world with and without each other. Given how New Moon takes shape, the once upfront and visible Robert Pattinson in Twilight steps into the shadows for the sequel to make way for Taylor Lautner whose Jacob Black character becomes the major visible male presence.

Since the announcement and eventual 2008 release of Twilight, Robert Pattinson has quickly become one of the hottest young stars in Hollywood after his romantically imprinting portrayal of Edward Cullen, the new anti-hero of the cult fantasy world. Pattinson has proven to be one of the major, driving factors behind the success of the first Twilight film, as fans not only flocked to theatres to see how well Robert was able to inhabit Edward Cullen but also sparking near riots at some locations where Pattinson appeared for Twilight signings. But since Robert Pattinson and Edward Cullen are less visible in New Moon, how will the new Hollywood heartthrob keep the presence of Edward Cullen alive with less screen time?

Although the Edward Cullen character is less of an observable force, existing more within the conflict of New Moon, the absence of Cullen and Pattinson are integral to the New Moon storyline and the direction of Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan But while Jacob Black and Taylor Lautner step into the New Moon spotlight for a good portion of the film, Pattinson still has to bring to life one of the most popular literary characters of the past decade, and do it in less time than Twilight.

Edward Cullen will be a strong spirit in New Moon, but from an acting standpoint, Robert Pattinson will need to up the Twilight ante to make as much of an impression on New Moon as he did in Twilight. Although the events of New Moon have already been set in harmony with the novel, it’s not like Robert Pattinson can simply mail in his performance, especially since the Twilight Saga is – safe to say - twice as popular as it was before the first film. In leaving his imprint on New Moon, how will Pattinson make the most of his time for the sake of the character and the set-up to the third Twilight film, Eclipse?

New Dramatic Diversity

Featuring elements of the many effective literary love stories, Twilight characters Bella Swan and Edward Cullen were (and are) drawn together by an inexplicable pull as much as they were torn apart by their physical natures.


In the sequel, Edward leaves Bella for her own safety, which sparks deep, emotional turmoil and pain in both characters but also opens up a new form of conflict. Although Jacob makes a physical transformation in New Moon, Edward is not far behind with a change of his own that’s directly related to Bella. New Moon becomes a turning point for Edward in his view of Bella. Pattinson has already proved to the world that he can play the brooding vampire but he will need to focus on expressing another side of the character in Edward’s distress. Interestingly, given how Pattinson is still in the early stages of his career, the emotional complexities within Edward in New Moon will require more of the actor than in previous roles he’s taken on in terms of dramatic diversity.

Having recently dealt with the emotional awkwardness of the relationship between creative legends Salvador Dali and Frederico Garcia Lorca in Little Ashes, a story that sees Pattinson confront the conflict of an alleged affair between the painter and the playwright, Robert Pattinson has been honing his dramatic sensibilities beyond Twilight. Given how Edward Cullen is, and has become a new extension of Robert Pattinson’s identity, along with a better ease with the character for a second film, Pattinson should be able to maximize his time in New Moon to fullest potential in each scene he steps into thanks to Little Ashes.

Finding the Twilight Balance

As the New Moon storyline progresses, Edward Cullen’s dramatic turn will no doubt set hearts on fire, but Pattinson must be careful not to overplay his Twilight hand too much so his presence doesn’t overwhelm the scenes at the same time. But that will also be a test for first time Twilight Saga director Chris Weitz to make the most of the actor’s talents in a less is more approach.

The Evolution of Edward and Robert

New Moon showcases the delicate balance between Edward Cullen and the ancient Volturi Vampire Clan. [spoilers] Their presence and the consequences that they bring forth to Edward and Bella set up the beginning of the next novel, Eclipse. Love and life are tested in New Moon so it’s up to Robert Pattison and his second interpretation of Edward Cullen to illustrate the actions of an immortalized hero with a new sense of self-realization in regard to how he feels about Bella Swan. Again, given how Robert Pattinson is at the early stages of his career, fans will also get to see the evolution of Edward Cullen along with Robert Pattinson in “near” real time as he develops as an actor.

In many ways the question of Robert Pattinson keeping the presence of Edward alive in New Moon is directly related to Pattinson keeping alive the presence of himself, the actor, to venture into new territory and accept the challenges of Edward. There’s no question that the New Moon production is under an enormous amount of pressure to produce an even more visually stunning and fan-connecting translation of its literary counterpart than Twilight. That pressure also trickles down to the actors and everyone contributing to make New Moon.

Twilight Saga Success: Edward Cullen vs Robert Pattinson

It’s clear that Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner will carry more of the visible Twilight load in New Moon than Pattinson, which, at first glance, looks to be more of a pressure filled dynamic. However, the fact that Robert Pattinson has to make good on Edward with less time may be just as much weight as the others combined. On the flip side, Pattinson may be completely at ease with what’s expected of him in New Moon given the fact that he’s spent so much time inside the Twilight world and has the source material to refer back to at any given time. Still, it’s safe to say that the Robert Pattinson prior to the release of Twilight isn’t quite the same Robert Pattinson now on the set of New Moon. No matter how small or large, the success of the Twilight Saga has had some type of affect. How Twilight has changed him, and how any change will affect his embodiment of Edward for a second time is an intriguing thought.

New Moon is under a tighter shooting schedule with a new director. Given the success of Twilight, there’s more pressure to deliver the New Moon goods. Regardless of the final cut of the film, there is no doubt that fans of the Twilight saga, especially those of Robert Pattinson, will fall in love with Edward and the actor for a second time. How will Robert Pattinson be a powerful presence in New Moon? The real answer is hidden deep inside Pattinson himself. For the fans, waiting to see how Robert Pattinson embodies Edward Cullen for the sequel is the small price to pay for true love.


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