Kristen Stewart Thinks Your Critiques Of ‘Twilight’ Are All Wrong

Okay. So. In fairness, Kristen Stewart said this stuff while sitting next to Twilight series author Stephenie Meyer in a promotional event for Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part Two. That’s not the ideal time or place for a substantive critique of the material. But as Stewart defended Bella and Edward’s relationship as "entirely equal," I had to wonder whether we had read the same books and watched the same movies.

As quoted on Jezebel, Stewart responded thusly to a question about whether the intensity of Bella and Edward’s love affair was sending a bad message to young women: 

Flop the roles. If Bella was a vampire and Edward was the human and you changed nothing but the genders, none of that criticism would exist. It would be ‘Wow, he just laid everything on the line for her. It’s so amazing, and it must take such strength to subject yourself to that.’ Also, the relationship is entirely equal.

Side-eye, right?

I’m embarrassed to say I’ve seen all the Twilight films thus far and read most of the books. Thus, I do think that an argument can be made in defense of Stewart’s comments if you look at the themes in the books conceptually, rather than in specifics. Conceptually, the books are about two young lovers who sacrifice everything for each other. In that way, they are equal. Bella is a resolute and passionate character and I do think she is at times unfairly criticized as "weak." 

But there are numerous specific incidents in the stories in which Edward’s behavior towards Bella is problematic — not just because it is controlling, but because it is controlling in ways men have historically controlled women. The gender dynamic between them does matter. Numerous times in the movies Edward physically prevents her from doing things, he is possessive and jealous around Jacob the werewolf, and he withholds sex from her (despite her insistence she is not physically harmed by it) because he knows what’s best. All of those are items you most definitely could find on a "cycle of abuse" chart in any domestic violence counselor’s office. And if we’re going to loop Jacob into the critique, I found it extremely disconcerting how  involved he got in Bella and Edward’s sex life in the latest film, as well. Men being possessive in their protectiveness of women is most certainly an overarching theme.

It’s not so simple to just "flop the roles," as Stewart insisted. To "flop the roles" suggests men and women have always been completely equal. It ignores the centuries of male domination which are the reason people find aspects the characters’ behavior problematic in the first place.

I personally don’t look to Hollywood actresses for critiques of gender. But in this incidence, I’m disappointed in how off Kristen Stewart got it. 

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Prayers Answered, Kristen Stewart And Robert Pattinson Back Together

Breaking news! Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, a couple that may not have actually even broken up in the first place, is back together!

This July, the Earth stood still when Stewart admitted to cheating on her longtime boyfriend with her Snow White & The Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders. US Weekly printed photos of the pair kissing and Stewart bizarrely begged for forgiveness in a public statement:

I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I’ve caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry.

Today, the UK’s Sun "exclusively" reports that after "heart-to-hearts" Pattinson has forgiven Stewart’s "stupid mistake" and the pair has moved into a new place in Los Angeles together. (Pattinson famously moved out of the couple’s pad after the scandal broke and allegedly stayed at Reese Witherspoon’s place to lick his wounds.) Says the Sun’s source:

Rob sees it as Kristen made a really stupid mistake. After a lot of long tearful talks, they’ve worked it out. Rob can see how truly sorry Kristen is and has totally forgiven her. They really do love each other.

‘course, all this is predicated on the your belief that Robsten broke up in the first place and this all was not an extremely elaborate marketing scheme for Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part Two

In any case, I know at least one person who will be happy to hear the news: Emma Clark, YouTube’s most famous hysterical Twilight fan.

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Meet Emma Clark, YouTube’s Hysterical ‘Twilight’ Fan

If you thought the hysterical Twilight fan who sobbed on YouTube over the news that Kristen Stewart had cheated on Robert Pattinson was performance art, think again. YouTube user NuttyMadam3765 is really Emma Clark of the UK and, yes, she really was that upset.

The newspaper Metro UK tracked down Clark, who has feeling filming Twilight reaction videos for four years now. When she filmed her hysterical video about Stewart’s cheating, she said she had just been totally caught off gaurd:

I thought the story about Kristen Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson wasn’t true. But then, just before doing the video, I got an email from a friend about the statement Kristen had released. That was when I realised she’d really done it. I was angry and upset – why would you cheat on Robert Pattinson? I couldn’t understand it. … I feel protective and that I should stand up for them. People were making  accusations and jumping to conclusions, which bothered me to the point where I thought I had to get involved.

So that’s how this happened:

Not surprisingly, Clark’s boss is not "massively keen" about all the attention she has attracted. But she hardly cares, because her reaction vids have even gotten Pattinson’s attention: She once attended a movie premiere and SparkleVamp walked up to her on the red carpet, said "Video girl!" and gave her a hug.

Meanwhile, she is experiencing a "bereavement" (her words!) over the Twilight films coming to an end. So maybe Emma Clark is a bit nutty. She actually seems quite sweet, too.

Hysterical ‘Twilight’ Fan Reacts to Stewart-Pattinson News

Let’s just all agree that we’re soooo lucky that YouTube wasn’t around when Gwyneth and Brad broke up in the ’90s, right? Because we’d all have filmed ourselves in tears as we dealt with the unfortunate news. (I mean, I’m shocked we made it as a society into the new millennium, honestly.) Take this young lass from across the pond as an example: the internet has long been a place for us to dump all our emotions for others to view (whether they wanted to or not). On the bright side, this lady has brought oversharing to a new level. She’s basically the Marina Abramović of YouTube.

(via The Daily Mail)

Inside the Heart of Robert Pattinson

I am Robert Pattinson’s beating heart and I am speaking to you from my home within his thoracic cage. We are at rest now. I beat 70 bpm, which is fairly typical for a 26-year-old white male who, like Robert, is in good but not superhuman shape. Rob, I should mention, has been going through, what he calls, “a thing.” “I’m on an all-liquid diet,” he explains to an interlocutor in the non-plummy London accent that surprises so many people who haven’t realized that Robert Pattinson isn’t actually a vampire named Edward Cullen. "I had to be shirtless for a photo shoot,” Rob explaints, “so I asked a nutritionist what’s a diet in which you can still drink as much as you want. She said a liquid diet.” Further proof that Rob isn’t a vampire. Vampires, in general, shy away from photo shoots since their sparkle, exacerbated by the camera flash, confounds even the most skilled photographer. Also vampires rarely have body image issues and they never drink. (Their blood doesn’t circulate.)

Not uncommonly, Rob and I are alone and what few other people there are in this room–a very hot club hidden behind a Papaya King in West Hollywood which is, being a hot sunny afternoon, very quiet–are all paying attention to us. Rob is, after all, the world’s biggest heartthrob, and I am the heart that beats within. I can sense other hearts speed up when they approach us, like the heart of the hot dog jockey from out front who asks, as he delivers the mango juices and kraut dogs in their jaunty paper sleighs, for Rob to sign a strip of waxy receipt paper. “My girlfriend loves you,” he says, almost apologetically. I don’t speed up as Rob scrawls his name and hers (it’s Mallory) and hands it back like a bill of lading for a cargo ship full of unlikely sexual fantasies. Rob is dressed, as usual, according to that unwritten Hollywood code by which the higher one is paid the less attention one pays to his or her external aspect. And though we’re worth 62 million dollars, in Rob’s case, I can tell you, the nonchalance is genuine. This baseball cap, those black running sneakers, the denim shirt, the sort of young Ron Howard thing going on; these are our garments. This gangly lope, a tad idle with the same slack jaunt rhythm as James Dean in Giant; this is our gait.

We arrived here in a white SUV chauffeured by a guy named Jeff. He’s from Phoenix and he’s our driver. He showed up a few years ago wearing a boxy suit and a thick tie.“Classic temp look,” says Rob. Now he wears tight black t-shirts. From inside the tinted windows of the SUV on the way to the club, Rob scanned the stores that line Hollywood Boulevard. They read like a game of scummy Duck Duck Goose: Souvenir shop. Souvenir shop. Souvenir shop. Strip club. The latter boasts, “1000s of Attractive Girls. 3 Ugly ones.” I wonder what it must be like to be the heart of one of the ugly ones. I’ll never know. I’m one of the lucky ones. In the windows of more than one souvenir shop, Rob sees himself on calendars, on posters, on keychains manufactured in some Chinese industrial hinterland by a laborer who stares at Rob’s face and his large blue eyes and his lupine teeth peeking from behind his pouting lips and yet he has no sense of me, Rob’s beating heart. And I have no sense of the worker or his heart either. Passing the cheap junk with Rob’s face on it doesn’t make me beat faster, wither. The thought of what keys people attach to Rob’s trinketed face, what chambers they open and what secrets are kept therein, does accelerate me slightly, since we rarely meet anyone outside of the “industry” these days, and even if we did, it would never be me and only rarely be Rob they see. It would be Edward Cullen, that heartless vampire who has lorded over me since 2008 and won’t released his grasp until this November, at which point he can’t die because he’s already dead, but we can because we were made in his image, or he in ours. Either way, we’re so entwined that the separation could kill Rob and break me.

Rob and I spend a lot of time sitting in the back of cars these days, shuttling from press junket to interview to set to press junket. So much sitting makes me slightly nervous. A sedentary lifestyle is a leading cause in cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. So is smoking which, happily, Rob just quit. Now he carried these silly glowing electronic cigarettes and sits in the backs of cars sucking them, watching this face, still in the reflection and gliding by outside, as he is driven around. Rob does, of course, know how to drive. He took a ten-hour course in Oregon for, I think Breaking Dawn. I could be wrong; they all blur together. He’s a terrible driver. “I learned by people crashing into me,” he explains. Funny story, this is how he tells it: “The first time anyone said anything about my being famous was when I tried to buy a car a few years ago. It was an ’89 BMW convertible for $1,000 I found on Craigslist. I went out to the hills to take it on a test drive and, of course, almost crashed. A few days later I went back to pick it up. I had said I was an actor and the guy had looked me up. When I went back, he said,’Dude, do you realize you’re #2 on IMDB?’ I thought, ‘Shit, now I can’t ask for the 200 bucks off.’”

Our latest film, Cosmopolis, also takes place largely in the back of a car, albeit a very long one. David Cronenberg directed it. Rob plays Eric Packer, an exceedingly bored, borderline autistic billionaire who traverses Manhattan latitudinally from east to west in a specially designed limousine. During this commute he loses many of his billions in ill-advised currency speculation on the yen while the world descends into chaos around him. This chaos, of course, is largely due to his ill-advised currency speculation. He spends a lot of time watching his face, still in reflection, and the chaos is causes, gliding by in silence. (The car has been “Prousted,” with cork. Google to understand the reference.) In the end he is either shot to death or not shot to death by a disgruntled former employee played by Paul Giamatti. Whether he is or isn’t doesn’t matter a whole lot. Eric doesn’t really care since he has a hard time connecting to the world beyond numbers. He does, however, have lots of sex. Some of it is with Juliette Binoche. That scene got me going when we filmed it, but less from thrusting than from laughing. “Juliette kept on hitting her head on the top of the car,” recalls Rob. I can feel the rush of endorphins as he breaks into a wide smile that instantly turns him from a brooding heartthrob into another nice English lad you’d meet down at the pub. For that reason, he rarely breaks into it. Smiling isn’t on brand. The film is based on a book by Don DeLillo, so it’s confusing.

The first line is like all those that flow from it, both profound and absurd. “We want a haircut,” says Eric, stepping from an office building. Confusion, though, we like. “I’m easy to please,” Rob says. “When I don’t understand something, I’m immediately interested.” Confusion piques me. So does confrontation. When Cosmopolis premiered at Cannes in May, I beat the hardest I have in a long time. “I was kind of shitting myself,” says Rob. Having spoken to his colon, I’ve concluded this is a bit of hyperbole. Nonetheless, it was exciting. There’s a caesura between when the credits finish rolling and when the lights go up, a moment of silent grace, punctuated only by my deafening thrum. This is the instant before which the audience either claps or boos, when our post-Twilight career was, like a Shrodinger’s cat, simultaneously both alive and dead. And in that moment, I pittered, pattered, and battered in Pattinson’s chest a million times a minutes. “I lost my mind,” Rob says. “I was preparing myself to fight with 1,500 people. I was so amped up.” The stakes were high for him. He had fallen into Twilight by what he calls “luck.” And, since he had signed a contract, he was carried by the tide. You might say he was chauffeured, or at least driven.“I was just kind of running around with my pants down and my shoelaces untied and, amazingly, not falling. Until this. I thought, ‘Oh fuck!’ Most people get 15 years of doing movies nobody sees. Now I’m at Cannes.” In that moment, before the wave of equation of our career collapsed into actuality, it’s worthwhile to note that Rob’s very callowness is, in part, what landed him the role of Edward Cullen. As the authors of the essay “Twilight and the production of the 21st Century Teen Idol” notem that was kinda the point. “[The studio’s] marketing strategy is to develop Pattinson’s celebrity as a commodity, produced and marketed by media and publicity industries. The commodification took the form of fusing Edward’s appeal to Pattinson’s celebrity… The actor’s lack of public recognition was used by [the studio] to fuse the real people to the Twilight characters they were hired to portray, thus making them celebrities.” So, that moment after the final credit rolled at Cannes and before judgment had been passed was the moment of painful divorce between Edward Cullen’s bloodless heart and me, Rob’s beating one. I had no idea how long credits were. There was a pause and then a clap, a clap unleashing a torrent of claps until the entire auditorium was applauding. Were they applauding us? Were they applauding David? Were they applauding Paul? I didn’t care. One thing was certain: they were not applauding Edward.

Though I set other hearts athrob, there are very few things or people or activities that affect me. The chemical imperative of fight-or-flight, brought on by confusion and confrontation, do the trick. Then there are a few other things: I got going recently when Rob learned how to skateboard. But wasn’t really the landing of a kickflip that set me a-flutter; it was, as Rob says, the absurd fact that “I could have been sued for $800 million.” (Vampires don’t wear casts or sprain their ankles.) I was also recently excited about peeing. “I was so impressed with myself yesterday,” says Rob, “I took a pee that was four minutes long.” Cindy, his bladder, tells me it’s the liquid diet. We get thrilled with scandals, too but, as Rob laments, these days they’re hard to come by. “I once started a rumor on Entertainment Tonight that there was a deleted scat sex scene in Twilight and it didn’t even get picked up. I thought, ‘What the fuck? I’m giving you this stuff!” The scat thing, by the way, was especially close to me since when we first moved to Los Angeles we lived in the Oakwoods, an apartment complex between Burbank and Hollywood off the 101, populated almost exclusively by washed-up child actors who hang out all day by the pool. It was, also unsurprisingly, where Screech lived, and also where his own scat video was filmed. What else can one do to keep me going at press junkets, those brutal gauntlets of recycled air? As Rob laments, “You try to say things in the perfect way but you know unless you say something stupid, from which people will make you look like a dick, you’re not going to have sound bites. And if you don’t say anything stupid, someone’s going to make something up anyways.” 

Take Rob’s girlfriend, Kristen Stewart. She is one of the few things that does get me racing. Our romance is, happily, sanctioned by the Twilight Industrial Complex. As “Twilight and Production” puts it, “Fans appear willing to accept a romantic involvement that takes Pattinson off the market if it literally translates into their beloved characters.” And so Kristen’s heart and I get together nearly everyday. But we’re not sworn to each other until death do us part. Rob read that in a tabloid recently and he thought its ridiculous. “There was a magazine, with these pictures, saying I was getting married. No one ever knows what is true or what isn’t,” he says exasperatedly. “Even my own mum called to ask me if it was true.”It’s not. At least, not yet. But it is true that Kristen has always done something to me that others haven’t.

Though Lord knows Rob hasn’t been a missed when it comes to carnal love, even when we laid with others, I have remained behind a closed door. When he first came to Los Angeles, he went out with a coterie of very attractive women he knew to divey places like the Bronson Bar, but Rob would shun the madly batting eyelashes to smoke outside with a hoodie pulled over his eyes. He was writing songs for Kristen Stewart. At the time, I was filled with yearning to the point of breakage, so they were sad songs that sounded as if they could have been lifted off a Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. “In fact,” admits Rob. “I was just trying to rip off Van Morrison.” Sometimes he took these songs to open mics at places like the Pig ‘n Whistle and the Rainbow Room to perform them in front of two or three performers, plus of course, the waitresses who, he says, became his only friends. I still get nostalgic thinking of those days, and it makes me light and tender to think if only those two-sad sack singer-songwriters yelping through “Hallelujah,” or those waitresses with the Oklahoma accents and nice tits know he was or what Rob would become. I wonder if he knew.

After Twilight hit, things changed. Rob, as they say, broke. “My circle of friends narrowed pretty quickly.” Says Rob, “I like to be the parasite, not the other way around.” We stopped going out. We stopped performing at open mics. Now I hardly ever race anymore. Now, when he’s not being Edward or Eric or someone else, Rob lives like the Hermit of Silver Lake. He wakes up and makes himself some juice. He reads synopses of books on Amazon for a few hours. He makes himself soup and peruses some scripts. Largely these are just words, congealed and bland like day-old porridge, microwaved rehashes of other supernatural epics. Ocasionally, I spike when something he reads intrigues me. Like his next drama by the French-Liberian director Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, whose last film, Johnny Mad Dog, is about Congolese child soldiers. This one will be filmed entirely in Iraq. We leave next month. Perhaps there, the bullets whistling by, or at least the possibility that a bullet could whistle by, will cause me to throb. Until then, we’ll bide our time in the back of a car, idling at an intersection and waiting for the light to change. Jeff asks if we’d like to go anywhere in particular, but we’re not sure. “I never go anywhere.” Rob says matter-of-factly, “I don’t even know where anywhere is.”

Photography by Autumn De Wilde

Morning Links: Kris Humphries Is Not Happy, 50 Cent Is Rapping Again

● Kris Humphries is predictably nonplussed to have been cast as the bad guy in Kim and Kourtney Take New York. [NYDN]

● Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sargaard are pregnant with their second kid, meaning Jake Gyllenhaal is going be an adorable uncle twice over! [LAT]

● With Rob’s season over, Dancing With The Stars producers are said to be warming-up Mama Kardashian Kris Jenner for the next season. [Huff Post]

● Watch a giddy and giggly Beyoncé get excited about her baby on the set of the "Count Down" video. [Vulture]

● 50 Cent is rapping again! The noted young-adult novelist dropped "Stop Crying" last night, and he’ll release nine more songs this week to round out something of a mixtape, Big 10. "I got something for a haters ass it called hits lol," he tweeted. [Rap Radar]

Breaking Dawn‘s violent vampire-birth seems to be a problem for more than just Bella, as at least two movie-goers have suffered from seizures during the jarring scene. [THR]

Afternoon Links: Kim Kardashian’s No Good Holiday Cards; Nicki Minaj at Work on a Sophomore Album

● Kim Kardashian must have figured she would be married at least until the new year when she ordered her holiday cards, all of which feature her and Kris Humphries’ wedding portrait. [NYDN]

● If neither Kim nor Pippa are to your taste, you might try Kristen Stewart’s Breaking Dawn wedding dress on for size. Carolina Herrera is readying the copy-cats, set to retail for $799. [MSNBC]

● Oops! Courtney Love let one slip, a nipple that is, at the premier of Martin Scorsese’s otherwise PG-rated kids film, Hugo. [E!]

● Errol Morris made a short documentary for the New York Times, exploring the story behind the stories of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It is the most interesting six minute documentary by an award-winning filmmaker you’ll see today. [NYT]

● Barbs is back! Cash Money CEO Birdman says Nicki Minaj is back in the studio with a new album in the works, from which we can start looking for the first single "maybe this year." [The Fader]

● Wu-Tang’s GZA will be lecturing at Harvard next month, during the school’s Black Men’s forum. He’ll then skip on down the Charles to MIT where, according to a statement, he plans to seek inspiration for his next album amongst MIT’s scientists and thinkers. [RS]

● Michelle Williams says she didn’t feel particularly sexy playing Marilyn Monroe, but maybe these three Marilyn impersonators could giver her a hint or two for the next time. [Radar/Nerve]

Vampire Wedding and Vampire Childbirth in ‘Breaking Dawn’ Scare Away Dudes

The newest Twilight film was a hit, but not that big of a hit. While Breaking Dawn: Part 1 brought in a ton of money during its first weekend–$139.5 million, to be exact–it didn’t meet box office expectations. Experts agree: dudes don’t want to go see the new Twilight movie.

E! reports that the film still holds the record for the fifth biggest opening weekend (that’s some insidery Hollywood info that will surely impress your uncles at Thanksgiving dinner this week!), but fell behind New Moon, the second film in the series. The experts at E! have the obvious reason: Breaking Dawn is too much about vampire-human relationships and loooooove, which is definitely a turn-off for guys who’d rather see super manly stuff, like shirtless Native American teenagers morph into giant werewolves. 

The movie has also been making some headlines for the rough childbirth scene, in which Kristen Stewart’s Bella gives birth to half-human, half-vampire baby. While some argue that it’s a good way of scaring teens away from sex, it’s not really a good preventative measure if Brittany and Bethany can’t get Chad and Brad to sit through the movie with them. 

Morning Links: Taylor And Selena’s Sing-a-Long, Mila Kunis Goes To The Ball

● One of the most memorable moments of last night’s American Music Awards happened in the audience, when BFFs Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez were caught singing along with Nicki Minaj’s performance of "Superbass," a moment for which they’ve been practicing.  [Jezebel]

● Bruce Springsteen announced on his website yesterday that the E Street Band is heading out on tour and that 2012 will see new music from the boss. [AP/Huff Post]

Breaking Dawn pulled in a huge $139.5 million in its debut weekend, earning just less than the Twighlight franchise record, $142.8 million, set by New Moon. [EW]

● After seven months off the air, Oprah’s new show, Oprah’s Next Chapter, will premiere on January 1st on OWN. [NYT]

● As promised, after a YouTube proposal, Mila Kunis showed up at the Marine Corps ball this weekend in North Carolina. [WNTC]

● Lil Wayne spent his weekend doing good and handing out turkeys in his hometown, New Orleans. "This is amazing, especially experiencing it now from the point of view of 29-year-old person with the things that he needs in place," he said of the experience. [RapFix]