Classic Romantic Triangle Takes Monstrous Form in 'New Moon'

Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart

Pretty-boy vampires? That's so the last issue of Vanity Fair.

Time for a seismic shift in the Twilight heartthrob universe as a different type of sexy beast takes over when New Moon rises in theaters Nov. 20.

The scene that seals the deal arrives about a third of the way through the second gothic romance based on author Stephenie Meyer's cash machine of a supernatural soap opera.

TRAILER: Viewing the 'New Moon'

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GEOMETRY OF LOVE: Triangles through the years

Distraught teen heroine Bella (Kristen Stewart) has become quite the daredevil ever since bloodsucking beau Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) decided he was no good for her and ran away. Seeking an adrenaline rush, she ends up sprawled on the side of the road and bleeding after crashing her motorbike.

To the rescue is childhood friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), the sweet Native American lad who has bulked up into a buff Adonis ever since his werewolf urges started to kick in.

When he suddenly pulls off his T-shirt to tend to Bella's wounds, beefcake is definitely served.

VIDEO: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner talk about New Moon.
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"Did you know you're sort of beautiful?" she asks while dizzily gazing upon him with fresh eyes.

As Lautner, 17, speaks on the phone, you can practically feel him blushing. "It's kind of awkward for me and a little embarrassing," he says of exposing his new physique, the result of packing on 30 pounds of muscle to continue playing Jacob. "But it was what was required for the character."

Where once there were two, now there are three as a love triangle begins to form between Bella and her potential monster mates. And, despite the horror-flick trappings and inherent dangers, the conflict in the Twilight saga is as classic as anything found in Jane Austen's novels.

Edward is the first love, an obsession fueled by the flames of desire and the torture of heartache when he isn't near. Jacob is the loyal buddy, the guy you're at ease with and who knows you better than anyone, who slowly evolves into something much more.

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Choosing Teams

It's a fantasy that many find irresistible. "We want to be fought over," says relationship expert Gilda Carle. "It makes us feel more like a prize. And a suitor wants to fight over us, so he feels he has won a prize, something not so easily gotten. In real life, triangles are horrible. But by vicariously enjoying them in books and movies, we can deal with them more appropriately."

And more competitively, too. Ever since New Moon was published in 2006, fans have been declaring themselves members of either Team Edward or Team Jacob.

Attachments have only deepened now that Edward and Jacob have been made flesh on the big screen by attractive actors. "It's been amazing to watch this group of relative unknowns now on the front of magazines on a weekly basis," says TwilightMOMs media director Kirsten Starkweather, 40, of Clovis, Calif. "A lot of people who didn't care for Jacob in the book have changed their opinion of him because of how Taylor plays him. I do think this movie will bring Jacob and Taylor to the forefront."

There are pros and cons on both sides. Edward is an immortal who looks like a brooding male model, will never age even though he's over 100 years old, dresses like a rock-star poet and whose skin sparkles in the sun. Drawbacks: A "vegan" vampire who feeds on the blood of animals, he is no fun in restaurants. And he's icy to the touch.

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