Hot Topic, the teenage, faux goth store, has been running a series of events across the nation with the stars of the Twilight movie. Some of the appearances include just supporting cast from the film; others feature Robert Pattinson, who plays the lead, Edward Cullen.
Most of the events featuring Pattinson have gotten out of control and quickly escalated to the point at which they became safety concerns and either had to be canceled or had to have their rules about lines/when people could begin waiting, etc., changed for the benefit of everyone there. Clearly, it's a phenomenon bigger than anything mall-chain store Hot Topic is equipped to handle.
Now, anyone who ever was a teenage girl or who has ever lived with a teenage girl knows that nothing can match the frenzy of a young woman in freakout mode over some obsession—especially if her budding hormones are involved.
But I just find this particular freekout so interesting: The movie hasn't even come out yet. This actor has done very little of note for American audiences. He played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter films, a dashing but small role. He's handsome ... but so are many young men in Hollywood. And he has received a lot of media coverage lately, but at least from what I've seen, most of it has been visual, and I've seen very few interviews with him speaking more than a few words at a time.
It seems to be based on media hype and the fact that he is the human personification of this literary character that so many young women have fallen in love with.
So what is it about this character? In many ways he is written as the perfect boy. He is supposed to be gorgeous to a fault—beautiful to draw in human prey, since he is a vampire after all. At one point in the first novel, he gets irritated at his love Bella for saying that she feels more for him than he does for her. Once he meets the girl, his life quickly becomes all about protecting and loving her.
But I also wonder, is there some allure in Edward being a dangerous vampire? Does it make life seem more important and virile that he reminds all of these teenage girls of their potential for mortality?
Whatever it is, I am starting to feel sorry for young Mr. Pattinson and the road he seems destined to travel as this object of strange, fixated obsession by people who know nothing about him.