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The Breaking-Dawn Line at Comic-Con and Edward’s “Little Bit of That”

July 26, 2011

My 12-year-old daughter and I arrived Wednesday afternoon to stake out our spot with another Twi-demic (Twilightacademic) colleague of mine.

Shortly after we arrived, Reelz Channel asked to interview my colleague and I, but when we revealed ourselves to be academics, the reporter derisively called us “moles” and moved away, as if anyone with serious interest in studying fandoms are some sort of traitors. My colleague then shared that MTV.COM had asked to interview her, but when they asked her age (37), they were no longer interested. Ah yes, because post-twenty-something females are so uninteresting! Does MTV.COM realize the number of fans that are above the mid-thirty mark?!?

Other than disappointing encounters with the mainly male media covering the line, the experience was as positive as sleeping on Astroturf on a rather chilly night could be.

In the early morning hours, a crew of volunteers passed out Breaking Dawn coffee mugs and posters. Then, Ashley Greene, Boo Boo Stewart, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser, and Julia Jones made there way through the lines, signing autographs. My daughter was thrilled to bits to get all the autographs, as well as a picture with Boo Boo Stewart. Reaser asked her why was wearing a “Team Wilson” button, and she explained her mom wrote a book on the saga. Here’s hoping that news spreads! J

This was the first time I saw Kristen Stewart speak in person (though I have viewed many videos before), and, indeed, she is as awkward and hard to read as other interviews indicate. When asked about the birth scene, she said “I thought it was sooo cool.” Hmmm, really? Cool would hardly be how I would describe it. More like bloody and horrific.

She characterized Bella as a fighter, saying “She’s able to fight harder than any human really would be able to because a little bit of that [here, she gestured towards Robert Pattinson] in her. Literally.”

After this rather awkward suggestion that Edward’s sparkly member led to her having “a little bit of that in her,” she became embarrassed and flustered, as if backing away from the sexual innuendo she had made. Hut, it seems the underlying abstinence narrative of the books has seeped into the stars brains as well, or else been hammered into them, as if admitting that SEX HAPPENS is just so, ummm, embarrassing.

Stewart later characterized Bella as a momma cat in a  corner protecting her kittens. This was an interesting characterization of her as animal, especially given the historical tendency to frame women as mere animals designed for reproducing the species, but certainly nor for thinking, or, for instance, college. Though KStew was not making this type of critique and instead championing Bella’s mama-cat protectiveness, the link is nevertheless apt.

As per any indication she thought it was unrealistic or problematic to frame 18-year-old marriage and motherhood as THE happy ending for Bella, there was no indication of that. Absolutely zilch. In fact, she talked of the wedding with awe and of the birth scene with reverence, a sentiment echoed by a pregnant fan who came to the mic to ask a question wearing a “Little Nudger” shirt.

Tune in later this week for more on Stewart talking about being “locked into” the wedding dress and Robert Pattinson claiming Bella is the true hero of the saga.

Until next time…

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Taure permalink
    July 27, 2011 5:13 am

    I’ve watched a lot of interviews with Kristen Stewart, and she does come across as awkward and fidgety, but I actually think she’s gotten more comfortable and her jokes don’t seem as non sequitur as they have in the past. Or, at least, she seems less reluctant to talk about things. Granted, I was not at Comic-Con and am basing this off a 6 minute clip from her “Snow White and the Huntsmen” panel. The instance you described sounded unbearably awkward, so maybe not much has changed. I haven’t done any sort of in-depth analysis, but I feel that, in earlier interviews, KStew and RPattz spoke about the Twilight series and their characters much more ambivalently than they do now. Not like they ever openly critiqued Bella or Edward, but some of their passing comments made me think they recognized some of the ways in which the series is problematic. From more recent interviews, though, Stewart seems to really find a lot of power in Bella’s character and sees her as someone with an incredibly strong sense of self. I wonder if this is the product of becoming really wrapped up in a character and trying to reframe Bella’s characterization in a way that falls in line with KStew’s own values, or if those are talking points for publicity reasons to counteract the accusations of “anti-feminism” in the books, or due to something else entirely. Obviously I don’t know Kristen Stewart and can’t speak to her values, but I quite like her, and she herself seems to have a pretty good sense of self, despite whatever awkwardness may surface in interviews/public appearances. I don’t know if that made sense, but basically what I’m saying is that Kristen Stewart seems less like she’d make so many sacrifices/compromises for romance than Bella does that maybe she’s begun describing Bella in ways that reflect her own take on the world. I’m really just thinking out loud because I have a hard time reconciling my like for KStew with the fact that she seems to really like everything about the series.

    • Ana Bastow permalink
      July 28, 2011 2:20 am

      It could just be that she understand Bella’s choice even if she wouldn’t do them herself. As an actress playing a character is a lot about entering someone’s else shoes, so she doesn’t have to be like Bella to like Bella, YMMV.

      • Taure permalink
        July 28, 2011 6:37 am

        I agree that acting is about playing someone who might be entirely different from oneself; that’s a good point. I do think actors have to find some point of relatibility with their characters (even if it’s just a small point) and, at least rhetorically in interviews, it seems like KStew found that point by interpreting Bella’s choices/character arc as ultimately empowering. But this is all just my ponderings–your point is well taken.

    • Natalie Wilson permalink*
      July 28, 2011 11:28 pm

      Yes, I agree that the actors seem to be much more positive about the series lately. It will be interesting to see what they say in 10 or 20 years time… I like Stewart as well, and I do wonder how much of what she says is due to being “under contract” and how much she truly likes the character/books.

  2. feministcupcake permalink
    July 27, 2011 4:34 pm

    Oh my…to be honest, feeling a little creeped out.

    • Natalie Wilson permalink*
      July 28, 2011 11:29 pm

      By KStew’s quote? Or….?

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