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Capone and a couple hundred of his closest friends say 'Hi' to the cast of NEW MOON at Comic-Con!!!

Hey, everyone. Capone in San Diego here. It's NEW MOON on Thursday (that was a great Duran Duran song, wasn't it?). Anyway, I was one of about eight million journalists lucky enough to attend the pre-panel NEW MOON press conference this morning, featuring Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner. There was a lot less screaming than the usual TWILIGHT-related events, which doesn't mean the questions were any better.
There's not any real news from this event, but there were an ass-ton of photos taken, including the ones below. Perhaps the one thing they revealed that I hadn't heard before was that, since Edward (Pattinson) is absent from large sections of this book, the filmmakers decided to feature him as a hallucination to Bella (in the book, I guess, she only hears his voice).
So those of you concerned that Pattinson and his hair would be absent from NEW MOON have nothing to worry about. I'll give you a few highlights from the press conference. One of the funniest aspects to the press conference was watching the geek press operating side-by-side with "Access Hollywoods," "Extras," and "E! Entertainments" of the world. (Yes, Ben Lyons was there being dumb and handsome.) The geek press had questions about the film; the others were chomping at the bit to ask personal questions. It was all fairly inane, but I was there to take a hit for the team. You're welcome.
The highlight for me was getting a close-up look at Kristen Stewart's Joan Jett haircut. I think it looks kind of great, actually. And, yes, she frequently tugged, swept, and otherwise manhandled her hair throughout the event Pattinson's answer were pretty generic and not particularly revealing. I was most impressed by Taylor Lautner, who is clearly aware how lucky he is to not have gotten kicked off the franchise.
Of course we've seen images and footage, but compared to how he looked at last year's TWILIGHT panel, he's a different person entirely--boy to man in one year. He also just seemed more prepared for encounters with the press than the other two. His answers were articulate, thought out without seeming overly prepared or scripted, and he just didn't seem dizzy (you know what I mean).
Here are a few verbal highlights from the NEW MOON press conference (by the way all photos on this trip for my stories were taken by my old friend and constant antagonist, who has chosen to got by the name Ness. Enjoy, if you dare!
Taylor Lautner: I think last year's Comic-Con was a big eye-opener for us, and it's awesome to be coming back and seeing all our fans again. I do think the Jacob character changes a lot since TWILIGHT, both emotionally and physically. When I was filming TWILIGHT, knew that Jacob's character changed a lot, so if wanted to continue portraying him correctly, I had a lot of work ahead of myself. So as soon as I finished shooting TWILIGHT, I started hitting the gym, got a personal trainer, started eating a lot of food--good food, of course, proteins, good carbs, cut the sugars. It was a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it. None of us saw this coming, and it's definitely been a ride for all of us. But it's awesome because this is an opportunity to thank all our fans for everything they've done for us and TWILIGHT. We're so thankful, and it's awesome that we get to see them all a year later with the same, or definitely more amount of passion and dedication. I'm a little nervous, but it's really exciting. I think everything is kind of crazy about this franchise. That's why we love it, and that's why he fans do as well. There's definitely a lot of fans that separate into teams [Jacob vs. Edward]. Sometimes it gets me a little nervous because I'm trying to live up the fans' expectations, and I want to represent Team Jacob in the right way [laughs]. I don't want to disappoint them, which is why I've worked so hard to not only mentally and emotionally, but also physically change for this role as well, because this guy [Pattinson] is some pretty good competition. I'm excited there are werewolves involved now, because the werewolves step up the action. There's double the action in this movie than their was before. And then there's also a different dynamic. Now it's not just this romance between a girl and a vampire; it's the beginning of a love triangle. It's exciting.
Robert Pattinson: I'd like to think I haven't changed that much [in the year since the last film was released]. But when I walk down the street, I look down more. There's something wrong with my neck [laughs]. It's been extraordinary, and things seem to keep building, building in terms of the magnitude of this franchise. Comic-Con last year was the eye opener, and it's only gotten bigger and bigger, which is an interesting thing to deal with. I live an almost identical life [than I did before TWILIGHT], apart from being recognized, which isn't the worst thing in the world. I never did anything normal before this, and now I just get other people to do it for me [laughs]. It wasn't just the director that made this one different. We kind of knew what kind of animal we were dealing with more, and I was much more of a supporting role. I started three weeks after we started shooting. A lot of my first scenes were apparition scenes, involving maybe one word of dialogue. It was actually one of the most relaxing jobs I've ever done. It was great for me; all the pressure was on Taylor.
Kristin Stewart: I wouldn't say [preparing for this film compared to TWILIGHT] was more difficult than the other. This is definitely a more severely emotional movie. This movie isn't a discovery or about falling in love; it's an intense emotion but this is like the low. There are high points too, so she's a manic depressive. To have a character who is able to pull her out of that, I think is a hefty feat, and I think [Taylor] he pulled it off. She's more mature, she's older, and more to deal with. There's more to think about. There have only been a couple of images from the movie released so far, and they've been received really well. I'm really excited for people to see some of [the new footage]. It's a little overwhelming to have all these people here, but I guess it's a good thing. The apparitions of Edward are how [Bella] remembers him, not necessarily how he actually is. That's what this movie is about, that empty, dark place where Edward is absent.
A couple hours after the press conference, came the big panel, which once again featured an enthusiastic audience or underage fans, who seems slightly more behaved than last year. At least this year, the fans stopped screaming enough to let the panel members answer questions. Also on stage this year were co-star Ashely Greene (Alice Cullen) and director Chris Weitz. But more importantly, the energetic crowd were treated to two extended clips of NEW MOON, including a very boring sequence involving Jacob teaching Bella how to ride a motorcycle, punctuated only be Taylor taking off his shirt at the end and showing off his enviable six pack. The second clip was far more interesting, and it involved Bella in Rome running through the photogenic, ancient buildings looking for Edward, who is slowly stripping off his own clothes, in what feels (and certainly looks) like a suicide attempt. It's a much better-paced sequence than I've seen from this franchise as yet, and while it didn't make me any more interested in seeing the film, it did make me realize that Weitz was probably the absolute right director for this movie. Anyway, that's enough NEW MOON/TWILIGHT stuff for the day, week, month, until November. More soon from Comic-Con…
-- Capone

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