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Photos: 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

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  1. Family affair

    In "Breaking Dawn Part 2," young Mackenzie Foy plays the half-human half-vampire child of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson). Jacob (Taylor Lautner) also plays an important role in Renesmee's life. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Next generation

    Mackenzie Foy, 11, plays Renesmee Cullen, whose name is a hybrid of her two grandmothers, Renee and Esme. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Super couple

    While Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's relationship progressed to marriage and a child onscreen, the actors' offscreen romance had a few bumps in the road. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Cullen clan

    Plenty of vampires, including Edward's adoptive father Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), take sides in the war between the Volturi and the Cullens in "Breaking Dawn Part 2." (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Love gives a lift

    Pattinson as vampire Edward Cullen gives Bella Swan a lift in "Breaking Dawn, Part 1." (Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Ready for a fight

    Taylor Lautner, as Jacob, gives a menacing glance as a blood-splattered Edward and his parents stand behind him in "Breaking Dawn Part 1." (Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Like picking up a toothpick

    Kellan Lutz and Nikki Reed move some trees in "Breaking Dawn, Part 1." We assume they're making a clearing for Edward and Bella's wedding. Good thing vampires have that super-strength! (Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. What lies ahead

    Smile while you can, Edward and Bella. Things are about to get crazy. (Andrew Cooper / Andrew Cooper) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Team Jacob

    In between his "Twilight" duties, Taylor Lautner found time to shoot the action movie "Abduction." (Andrew Cooper) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. If the shoe fits

    Ashley Greene as Alice convinces Bella to try on some possible wedding shoes in "Breaking Dawn Part 1." (Andrew Cooper) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Awaiting the bride

    Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser and Peter Facinelli await the "Breaking Dawn" wedding. (Doane Gregory) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Wedding night at last

    Reportedly the wedding-night scene involves Edward biting through the pillows, with feathers flying. The sex scene itself, however, had to stay PG-13. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Hot honeymoon

    Edward and Bella's honeymoon was shot in Brazil, which stands in for Edward's adoptive mother's own private island. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Baby on the way

    Bella and Edward didn't believe she could become pregnant with a half-vampire baby. Boy, were they wrong. Their daughter Renesmee enters the world in "Breaking Dawn Part 1," but the battle over her existence will mostly take place in the second film, due out in 2012. (Andrew Cooper) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. I'm getting married in the morning

    Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie Hale) help Bella get ready to walk down the aisle in "Breaking Dawn." (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Greeting the guests

    Elizabeth Reaser, as Edward's adoptive mother, Esme, greets Denali coven guests Irina (Maggie Grace), Kate (Casey LaBow) and Tanya (MyAnna Buring) as they arrive for Edward and Bella's wedding in "Breaking Dawn." (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Vegetarian vamps

    Mia Maestro and Christian Camargo play Carmen and Eleazar, vegetarian vampires from Alaska's Denali coven who come south to attend Bella and Edward's wedding. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Not going to RSVP, then?

    Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is furious when he receives the invitation to Bella and Edward's wedding. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Facing up to a star

    A fan gets up close and personal with an image of "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 24, 2010, in Los Angeles. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. The terrific threesome

    Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson arrive at the premiere of the third movie in the series, "Eclipse," during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 24, 2010, in Los Angeles. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. A childhood pal grows up -- and fills out

    While vampire Edward Cullen is Bella's true love, Taylor Lautner, as Jacob Black, who can phase into a giant wolf, is the true monster star of the third film, thanks in no small part to Lautner's abs and tendency to take his shirt off often. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Another vampire couple

    Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) and Jasper Hale (Jackson Rathbone) are two of the vampires who are part of the Cullen coven. In "Eclipse," Jasper tells how he became a vampire, when, as a Confederate major in the Civil War, he was bitten by the bewitching Maria. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Shirts? We don't need no stinkin' shirts!

    The "Twilight" wolfpack is allergic to chest coverings. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Murdered by her fiance

    Rosalie Hale (Nikki Reed), shown here with partner Emmett Cullen (Kellan Lutz), is another of the Cullen coven with a tortured past. Her fiance was a drunk who orchestrated her gang rape and then left her for dead. As a vampire, she sought revenge and killed her rapists one by one. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. You only hurt the one you love

    Emily Young (Tinsel Korey) is permanently scarred from a wolf attack by her boyfriend, Sam Uley (Chaske Spencer). He lost control and didn't mean to hurt her, and forever feels guilty for her injuries. (Summit Entertainment.) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. A force to be reckoned with

    Vampire Riley (played by Xavier Samuel, center) leads a group of newly undead planning to kill Bella and anyone who gets in their way -- including the Cullens and the werewolves. (Doane Gregory) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Bella in the middle

    In "Eclipse," Bella once again finds herself forced to choose between two men she loves dearly -- vampire Edward and her childhood pal, Jacob, who has secrets of his own. (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. The Cullen clan

    Is it an ad for denim? No, just a meeting of the Cullen clan, vampires who have bonded together as a family and managed to hide in plain sight of the mortal world. Shown in a scene from "Eclipse," from left, are Ashley Greene as Alice, Nikki Reed as Rosalie, Elizabeth Reaser as Esme, Jackson Rathbone as Jasper and Peter Facinelli as family patriarch Carlisle. (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Just friends?

    Jacob grabs a rare moment alone with Bella in "Eclipse," the third film in the saga. There's one more book, "Breaking Dawn," which will be split into two films. (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Cute couple

    In the second film, "New Moon," Bella and Edward are inseparable until a major threat rips them apart. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Frail Bella

    In "New Moon," the sequel to "Twilight," Bella starts off deliriously happy and in love with the vampire Edward Cullen, but falls apart and becomes a shell of herself after he leaves her. When she realizes that she hears Edward's voice and sees visions of him whenever her life is in danger, Bella engages in high-risk activities as a way to hang on to her memories of him. () Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Three's company

    Edward watches on as Bella chats with her friend Jacob Black in "New Moon." Jake, who harbors a not-so-secret crush on Bella, brings her back to life after she is crushed from the breakup with Edward. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. A crushing blow

    After Edward breaks up with her, Bella lies in the forest in shock overnight until her police chief dad, Charlie (played by Billy Burke), scours the woods for her with his squad. When they find her, she is unresponsive and remains in a deep depression for months. () Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Boy no more

    In "New Moon," Jake transforms from a lanky teen to a beefy hunk, thanks to his new werewolf status. To prepare for the physical change the role required, Taylor Lautner started hitting the gym and eating 3,200 calories a day to gain muscle so that his physique would better resemble Jacob's. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. If you love them, let them go

    Though it nearly kills him, Edward breaks up with his beloved Bella in "New Moon" in an attempt to keep her safe from the constant dangers of the vampire world. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Give me death

    When Edward hears that Bella has died, he goes to Italy to see the Volturi, a powerful coven of vampires that governs the laws of their world. He asks that the Volturi will grant him his wish: to destroy him, as he has no desire to live in a world without Bella. Here, the Volturi tracker Demetri stands over him. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Team Edward!

    A female fan kisses a poster showing the face of actor Robert Pattinson before the presentation of his new film, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" at an HVB youth event at the Olympic Hall in Munich, Germany, on Nov. 14. (Alexandra Beier / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Playing heroine

    When Bella discovers that Edward plans to have the Volturi destroy him after coming to believe that she has died, she races to Italy to save him. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Finding love in the 'Twilight'

    Though Edward finds Bella's scent intoxicating and dangerously irresistable, he can't help but be drawn to her in "Twilight." (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Hunk with a hidden life

    English actor Pattison moved from modeling to the role of Cedric Diggory in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" before taking on the role that would make him famous, that of hunky vampire Edward Cullen in "The Twilight Saga." (Summit Entertainment, EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Muscling up but staying sweet

    Kellan Lutz plays Emmett Cullen in the "Twilight" movies. He's considered Edward's brother in the film and books, but in reality, the young vampires aren't related -- they were brought together by an older vampire and present themselves as a family to the outer world. Lutz bulked up for the films, but insists it hasn't interfered with his addiction to gummy bears, gummy worms, chocolate and other sweet treats. (Paul Buck / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Leading the vampire clan

    Peter Facinelli (husband of "90210's" Jennie Garth) and Elizabeth Reaser play the Cullen parents, Carlisle and Esme, in the "Twilight" movies. Carlisle, a doctor, managed to gather his small band together as a family and convince them to kill only animals to slake their bloodlust. They occasionally clash with other vamps who aren't quite as compassionate where humans are concerned. (Summit Entertainment, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. So my daughter's in love with a vampire ...

    Billy Burke plays Bella's father, Charlie, and serves as the chief of police in their small rainy town of Forks, Wash. The Cullen vampire clan resides in the damp town because it's low on the bright sunshine that would reveal their non-human identities. Vampires in the "Twilight" universe sparkle brightly in direct sunlight. (Paul Buck / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Hanging with the wolf pack

    Bella's pal Jacob (far right) has a secret of his own, and it involves a wolfy transformation often associated with the full moon. His dad, Billy Black (Gil Birmingham, in wheelchair) is good friends with Bella's father, Charlie (Burke, in blue shirt). When Bella's relationship with Edward puts her father in danger, Billy and his community protect Charlie. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. Bella, Bella

    Beautiful Bella Swan leaves her mother in sunny Arizona and moves to the Pacific Northwest, where she stumbles upon Edward Cullen and his vampire clan. Instead of being horrified, she confesses her love for Edward, and wants him to change her into a vampire as well, something he tries to resist doing. (Summit Entertainment, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. This sister's trouble

    Nikki Reed plays Cullen sister Rosalie, a gorgeous vampire who resents her status and takes some of her anger out on Bella. She doesn't want her brother's human girlfriend to join her clan, leading to trouble in the second book of the series, "New Moon." (Vince Bucci / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. Look out for Laurent

    Edi Gathegi, seen here with Peter Facinelli in a scene from "Twilight," plays Laurent, a vampire from a group of nomad vampires that does battle with the Cullen clan. (Summit Entertainment, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. It's tough to be a bloodsucker

    Jackson Rathbone plays Cullen brother Jasper. The newest vampire in their clan, he must constantly struggle to fight off his urges to kill humans, Bella included. His fascinating backstory includes a history as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War and years spent training newborn vamps to learn to control themselves. He has the power to feel and manipulate the emotions of others. (Vince Bucci / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. On the prowl

    Vampire James, played by Cam Gigandet, is considered a "tracker," and once he discovers Bella's human scent, plans to pursue her until her death. In "Twilight," he convinces her that her mother is in danger and thus forces her to sneak away from Edward and meet him in the Arizona ballet studio where she studied as a child. (Summit Entertainment, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. The hunt continues

    Fiery-haired Victoria makes up the third and final member of Laurent and James' coven. Her mate dominates the action in the first book, "Twilight," but by the third book, "Eclipse," Victoria takes center stage to try and wreak bloody revenge on Bella and the Cullens. Rachelle Lafevre, center, plays Victoria in the first two films, but when she needed time off for a movie, she was fired and replaced by actor Ron Howard's daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, right. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  51. Team Jacob or Team Edward?

    While Jacob Black is a Native American in the books and the films, actor Taylor Lautner himself is not. He was nearly replaced for the second film when moviemakers thought he couldn't convincingly pull off the bulk required for the role, but an impressive workout routine changed that. (Summit Entertainment, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  52. Life with the vampire royals

    Young actress Dakota Fanning plays Jane in the "Twilight" sequel "New Moon." Jane is a member of the Volturi guard, working with the royal family of vampires who reside in Italy. Jane has an especially cruel power that allows her to create the illusion of pain and thus torture others. (Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for NAACP) Back to slideshow navigation
  53. Waiting for 'Twilight'

    "Twilight" fans are among some of the most devoted around, with numerous Web sites, fan clubs and conventions gathering groupies to discuss and debate both the books and the films. Here fans reach for free T-shirts at the Los Angeles premiere of the first movie, in November 2008. Stores such as Hot Topic offer plenty of "Twilight" merchandise, including "TEAM EDWARD" and "TEAM JACOB" shirts, allowing fans to declare their allegiance to one of Bella's suitors. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 11/16/2009 10:17:57 AM ET 2009-11-16T15:17:57

Fifteen-year-old Chloe Bates is in love.

A 10th-grader at an all-girls Catholic school, she lights up when she talks about her handsome 17-year-old honey. Chloe doesn't know too many boys, so she still gets a nervous, buzzy feeling whenever she thinks about HIM. Her friends know all about this guy — he's a regular text and telephone topic between school, homework and dance practice.

Chloe keeps a few pictures of him on her bedroom wall, scattered among snapshots of her and her friends. She also writes about him in her journal. But she can't really get close to him. It's like he doesn't know she exists.

Chloe is in love with Taylor Lautner, one of the hunky stars of the "Twilight" films. And she's not alone.

Girls have been falling in love with movie stars since the dawn of cinema. When teenagers became Tinseltown's prime marketing target, Hollywood delivered handsome heartthrobs any girl could love.

James Dean. Frankie Avalon. David Cassidy. Rick Springfield. Johnny Depp. There are teen icons for every generation. For Chloe and millions of girls around the world, it's Lautner and Robert Pattinson of "New Moon," the latest installment in the "Twilight" series.

These girls aren't just experiencing a movie-star crush, they're participating in a uniquely female rite of passage: the birth of romantic fantasy. And today's technology — online fan forums, Twitter, an endless Web stream of photos and videos — lets them get closer than ever.

First love
Before real boyfriends and first kisses, girls' imaginary relationships with their heartthrobs provide a precursor to adult romance — a love before they know what love might be.

"They're practicing feelings of love and attachment and attraction and romance," says Los Angeles psychologist Wendy Walsh, whose own 11-year-old daughter also loves Lautner. "These are all new feelings, and what a safe way to play them out — in the privacy of their own room with a poster of Taylor Lautner."

Enter the world of ‘Twilight,’ ‘New Moon’The "Twilight" series itself is about first love. "New Moon" centers on Bella Swan, an ordinary teenager in love with the mysterious Edward Cullen (Pattinson), who comes from a family of vampires. Edward is romantic and otherworldly, and though he literally hungers for her, he's gentle and protective. But he leaves and Bella finds comfort with her loyal, longtime friend Jacob Black (Lautner), whom she later discovers belongs to a lineage of werewolves.

"It would be so fun to be Bella," Chloe says wistfully. "I love the idea of having two super-hot mythical creatures fighting over me. I just think that would be incredible."

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Chloe hasn't had a real boyfriend yet, but she thinks Lautner would be perfect because he's "that fun, hang out, let's-play-video-games kind of guy that I think would be really fun right now."

Like practically everyone at school, Chloe has read all four novels in the "Twilight" series. She spotted Lautner when she saw the film last year and recognized him from a kids' movie she'd seen a few years earlier.

"Now he's hot," she says. "He's really hot."

Besides his looks, Chloe loves the character he plays: A kid-next-door type who's sweet, funny and just a tad awkward.

"I like him because I can feel like that might actually happen, like this guy could be real," she says.

Pattinson is really hot, too, but Chloe finds his character's infinite devotion to Bella "kind of unrealistic."

Team Edward and Team Jacob
Fans of the series fall on two sides: Team Edward and Team Jacob. Chloe aligns firmly with the latter, but "it's pretty much half and half at my school," she says.

Each has his charms. On screen, Pattinson plays a dashing vampire. Off-screen, the British actor is shy and soft-spoken, humbled by all the "Twilight" attention. He's 23, lanky and pale, with thick, tousled hair he constantly runs his fingers through.

Lautner is buff and bronzed, with a gregarious personality, dark eyes and an easy smile. To reprise his character in "New Moon," he packed on more than 20 pounds of chiseled physique.

Pattinson and Lautner may be slightly sexier than teen idols past, but they're cut from the same teen-heartthrob cloth as their predecessors: Smooth-faced stars who seem wholesome — and just a touch away from attainable.

Heidi Hurst, executive editor of teen pinup magazine Tiger Beat, notes that since the magazine was established in 1965, the guys on its pages have been "non-threatening, more on the boyish side of good looks." The November issue features Lautner and Pattinson on the cover.

Most Tiger Beat readers, who range in age from 8 to 16, "still aren't dating boys in real life and this is their first exposure to boys as in `They're cute. I like them,"' Hurst says.

Chloe buys Tiger Beat when it has a good Lautner spread. She'll also Google him from time to time and, until recently, kept a "very hot, shirtless picture" of him as her computer screen-saver. But she's not as obsessive as some of her friends, who check YouTube for him daily and follow various "Twilight" fan sites.

She and a dozen of her friends are planning to make their own Team Jacob T-shirts and see "New Moon" when it opens Friday.

Chloe's mom, Jill Mullikin-Bates, approves of her daughter's love for Lautner, calling the young actor "a wholesome, realistic role model."

"He's the right age and super cute," says the 47-year-old mother of two. "It totally brings me back to when I was that age and having those fantasies."

Mom's teen heartthrob? Leif Garrett, a late-1970s icon adored for his feathered, Farrah Fawcett-style hair.

Fawcett, of course, was the most popular pinup of her day. But the boys who bought her iconic poster related to her in a completely different way than Chloe does, because they typically don't have relationships with their on-screen idols the way girls do. Most guys want to get physical with their love objects, where girls fantasize about their heartthrob becoming their boyfriend.

"Pinups are more explicitly eroticized where a heartthrob ... is about feelings, being able to imagine romance rather than just sex and sexuality," says Karen Tongson, a professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California.

Heartthrob crushes
Former heartthrob Rick Springfield says he never believed his adolescent female followers were attracted to him sexually: "If they were confronted with this older man and they saw all this body hair and whiskers, they'd probably completely gross out."

He theorizes that young, screaming fans are merely responding to fledgling feelings of attraction they can't yet define. "They're just letting out all this new energy that they're discovering," he says.

Chloe says if she ever met Lautner in person, she'd be "freaking out on the inside but trying to act cool on the outside." Sometimes when she's with her friends, "we pretend what we'd say to him if we were more confident."

As if adolescent emotions weren't enough, today's heartthrob crushes are supported by all manner of merchandising and gadgetry.

"It's so much more elaborate than it used to be," says USC cultural historian Leo Braudy. "Every movie comes fit with its posters and its icons and its bobbleheaded dolls."

Where Chloe's mom had to wait for the latest Tiger Beat to get new photos of Leif Garrett, the media empires that create the latest teen idols are ready with an array of products for every Zac Efron around — albums, posters, ring tones, T-shirts, tote bags and more. Then there's the life-sized cardboard cutout of Lautner that Chloe's mom and dad recently bought for her.

One day the doorbell rang at Chloe's San Fernando Valley home and cardboard Lautner was standing there, wearing a T-shirt and jeans and his trademark sweet smile.

He now stands in her bedroom, near the window and the little table where she writes in her journal — her first vision every morning and the last thing she sees each night.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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