'Twilight' Stars: Once Bitten, Now Beloved

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart step into roles from the "Twilight" series

Nov. 21, 2008— -- Getting a starring role in a movie is daunting enough. But when the role is associated with the best-selling "Twilight" book series that has already sold more than 10 million copies, and hundreds of showings of the film have sold out even before the film's opening it can be downright intimidating.

"It feels like if you go to enough cities where people scream at you, that's what your job is," actor Robert Pattinson, one of the stars of the film "Twilight," told ABC News Now's "Popcorn With Peter Travers."

And that's before any of the fans have even seen the film, which opens today. The film's other star, Kristen Stewart, told "Popcorn" that she feels almost outside all the hoopla. "I didn't create it," she said. "I had nothing to do with it."

It's true that "Twilight" already had a built-in fan base long before cameras rolled on the film. The first book in author Stephenie Meyer's popular series came out in 2005. There have been three others since -- "New Moon," "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn," which was released in August.

When Pattinson and Stewart were named as the film's stars, playing Edward and Bella, the immediate reaction on the Internet was overwhelmingly negative.

"I feel like everybody who reads the book, they're going to think they're appropriate to play her," said Stewart, who played Jodie Foster's daughter in "Panic Room" and was most recently seen as the love interest of Emile Hirsch's character in "Into the Wild."

Stewart was unfazed by the criticism. "My desire to do the movie comes from everything that I feel passionate about in the book," she said.

Pattinson, who plays the vampire Bella falls in love with, said he identified with the fans. "If someone else had played it, I would have been, 'What is that guy trying to do?'"

The British actor, who played Cedric in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," first had to figure out how to audition for the role of Edward, whom the script described as the "ideal being."

"I decided the Fonz was the way to go," joked Pattinson. "Luke Perry and the Fonz, that's my perfect man."

Twilight Fans Can't Get Enough of Vampires

More seriously, Pattinson said the audition consisted of several of the film's key scenes, including when Edward tells Bella that he is a vampire and they try to kiss. Afterward, Pattinson lobbied the film's director, Catherine Hardwicke, for the role -- the first time he had ever done so. "It's the biggest job I've ever got," he said. "So yeah, it worked."

Getting the vampire's look just right, however, took some time. "I had really long hair extensions down to my waist and literally clown makeup," Pattinson said. "I looked like a very scary drug addict. The producers freaked out."

After getting rid of the extensions, letting Pattinson's naturally pale skin shine through and adding contact lenses, Edward was ready for the big screen.

Both stars described tension on the set, which they said they used to fuel the tension between their characters. Bella, a 17-year-old high school student, is human. When she falls in love with her classmate Edward, the characters realize they can never consummate their relationship.

"It's such a strain. It's always hard, never easy. It's always very difficult for them," Stewart said about their characters. "The fact that I was feeling that was probably right."

"Also we're like the most annoying people to work with," Pattinson said, looking over at his co-star, who didn't say anything.

"I feel like I'm digging a hole for myself," he said, trying to break some of the tension that appeared to surface between the actors.

"We're kind of annoying to work with in the sense that this is how we behave," Stewart agreed. "We were driving each other crazy. Hopefully, it comes across in the movie and it works."

And if it works, Stewart and Pattinson said they would be back for more. After all, there are three more books in the series.

"I typically only get to be with a character for six weeks," Stewart said. "I've never been with one person for so long. I feel pretty responsible for her. Sure, I would like to do more."

Added Pattinson: "I just don't want to have the same hairdo."

The movie "Twilight" opens nationwide today.