Kristen Stewart comes bearing a gift. The actress — who’s gangly, strikingly beautiful, and still only 20 despite having made movies for nearly a decade — has baked her interviewer a little loquat pie, which she carries in a mini-aluminum tin, like one you’d find in a child’s Easy-Bake Oven set. Stewart and costars Taylor Lautner, 18, and Robert Pattinson, 24, have gathered to talk about Eclipse, which opens June 30 and is, of course, the third installment in the phenomenally successful Twilight saga. The movie, rated PG-13 and directed by David Slade, finds Jacob (Lautner) and his werewolf pals joining forces with Edward (Pattinson) and his vampire clan to defend Bella (Stewart) against an army of new vampires. At the moment, however, no one wants to talk about the movie — the darkest and most compelling of the franchise so far. They just want to try the pie, which features fruit from Stewart’s own backyard. ”It’s not warm and there’s no ice cream, and those are really the two things that would make it exceptional,” she says. ”But it will be fine.”
When Twilight hit theaters a year and a half ago, Stewart never would have baked something for a reporter. Back then, she was a nervous 18-year-old who fretted over every syllable that escaped her lips and seemed terrified of the publicity circuit. Today, Stewart and her costars exude considerably more confidence. The last two Twilight movies have earned more than $1 billion worldwide and supercharged their careers. Stewart is about to shoot an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Lautner’s embarking on John Singleton’s action thriller Abduction, and Pattinson’s starring alongside Reese Witherspoon as a veterinarian in a traveling circus in Water for Elephants. The actors make an extremely tight trio: honest, protective of each other, and warmly familial. In person, as on screen, Pattinson and Lautner’s mutual affection for Stewart is the tie that binds.
How do you think Eclipse ranks against the other two films?
Taylor Lautner It is definitely my favorite.
Robert Pattinson I don’t like it as much. [Laughs] Could you imagine if I meant that?
Kristen Stewart It’s always hard because you’re so close to it. I run this really intense list of, like, checks and balances to make sure everything has come across. But I know I pulled less of my hair out [watching] it.
Speaking of your hair, you definitely don’t play with yours as much in this movie.
Stewart [Laughs] No, because it’s not my hair.
Lautner Nope, it was a wig.
Stewart I’m just going to be really honest right now: Yeah, I finally dropped my tic.
The emotional scenes in Eclipse really play well, I think.
Stewart This is the first time that Bella actually indulges Jacob and sees that there are two very desirable paths ahead of her and not just one. It takes kissing him to see that.
Lautner [To Pattinson] Are you lifting weights?
Stewart Actually, he has been.
Lautner Seriously, he was just [flexing], and the bicep was bulging.
Is this to compensate for everyone talking about Taylor’s body so much?
Pattinson It is a desperate attempt. I’ve got body dysmorphia. I am stuck with my belly.
One scene fans have been dying to see takes place in the tent during the snowstorm. Jacob warms up Bella with his body because Edward is cold-blooded and can’t do it himself.
Lautner The tent scene is probably my favorite, because it’s the first time Edward and Jacob are actually able to connect and understand each other.
How many takes did you go through to get that scene?
Lautner Two days originally to film it, and then a full day of reshoots.
Pattinson [The director] wanted it to be more erotic. Seriously.
Stewart It’s true. In the book there’s a serious sexual tension. As I’m sleeping, Jacob is staring over my vulnerable body, and he’s naked in this f—ing sleeping bag because you heat up faster that way, and Jacob and Edward are leveling with each other.
Taylor, you and Rob have some pretty serious confrontations in this movie.
Lautner Some of those scenes were pretty hard for me. I think we ruined a couple of takes in front of the house and in the tent. It’s just, I don’t know, I have a hard time looking at him…
Stewart Ha! ”I have such a hard time looking at him”!
Lautner [Laughs] I wasn’t finished. He and I were thisclose to each other — we are literally, like, an inch away — and we’re screaming at each other.
Stewart And about to kiss…
Lautner A couple of moments it felt like that.
Pattinson Every single time we had to do a threatening thing to each other — for one thing, you always have your shirt off, and so in the tent scene I literally grabbed your breast. And it’s very difficult to remain in the moment. Also, in that tent scene, I can’t really get over the fact that the word thought sounds like fart.
Stewart The word thought does not sound like fart.
Pattinson It does.
Stewart Maybe because you are an English person.
Pattinson The opening line of that scene is ”Can you at least keep your farts to yourself?” I couldn’t quite get over that.
Taylor, you worked so hard to get the body for New Moon. Can you ever let it go? Are we ever going to see a paparazzi shot of you eating a dozen doughnuts?
Lautner Yeah, hand me some of that pie. I will eat that right now.
Pattinson I will eat the container.
Lautner I cheat all the time. I’ve got to be a lot more strict while we’re actually filming, or when a photo shoot is coming up, but I’ll eat some ice cream, some cake.
Rob, what’s the secret to not having to take your shirt off?
Pattinson Don’t work out. I just kept telling everyone why I needed to take my shirt off in a scene, and everyone else had to think of reasons why I shouldn’t. ”No, I don’t think so — Edward is much more chaste than that.”
Stewart ”He is modest. He is much more modest.”
Pattinson Then I’d say, ”No, seriously — I would like to wear a really tight tank top and have my belly come out of the bottom. And have some sweat on it, too.”