Twilight fans camp out for days ahead of première


Under a glaring California sun, Twilight fans took shelter in camping tents on Tuesday, as they awaited their date with Robert Pattinson and other stars from the latest film in the vampire romance series.
Some 550 devotees of The Twilight Saga, many of whom have camped out since Sunday night in downtown Los Angeles, are being rewarded for their patience with guaranteed spots on the red carpet for the Thursday movie première of Eclipse.
“It’s just worth seeing all the stars. They bring the characters that we love so much to life, so we want to see them in person and cheer them on,” said Yolanda Rodriguez (36) an unemployed graphic designer who came from San Francisco for the event.
The fans, virtually all female, are living on the concrete plaza of an entertainment complex, surrounded by blankets, tents, umbrellas and cardboard cut-outs of the film’s stars.
The Twilight books by author Stephenie Meyer have been a publishing sensation and spawned a Hollywood movie franchise.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse opening June 30 and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, will likely be one of 2010’s biggest blockbusters. The first two films made over $1,1 billion combined at box offices worldwide.
Jen Yamato, film critic and Twilight expert with, compared fan fervour to the emotions caused by The Beatles in the 1960s.
“It’s really akin to Beatlemania back in the day, in terms of how ardently Twilight fans really love the property, and camping out outside of the premiere is just one way to celebrate that love,” Yamato told Reuters.
Melissa Rivett (25) came from Chicago to Los Angeles to wait for the premiere. That is not the only sign of her devotion to Twilight.
On her calf is a tattoo of the fictional crest of the Cullen clan of vampires, the same group of bloodsuckers that Edward belongs to. Her arm bears the American Indian-inspired emblem of the “Wolf Pack,” the group of werewolves Jacob runs with. On her wrist in black are the words “Be safe,” which was the advice that Edward had for shy student Bella Swan.
Rivett, who said she saw the 2008 Twilight film 15 times in the theatre, calls herself a “spoilers-free girl” because she has not watched any trailers for Eclipse, not wanting to ruin the experience of seeing it.
Dawn Sirtak, who met Rodriguez camping out for a previous Twilight movie and has remained friends with her since, said waiting for the première has been fun.
“It’s a giant slumber party, what’s not to love?” she said. “You get to visit with your friends from all over the country and even from other countries and you make new ones.” — Reuters