How to explain The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2? Let’s hear Robert Pattinson give it a shot. The actor, 26, says this final installment of the franchise — rated PG-13 and in theaters Nov. 16 — is ”stranger than all the other films put together.” He pauses. He sighs. He stammers (charmingly, British-ly) before arriving at a surprisingly simple resting place: ”Vampires are weird.” And getting weirder all the time. Pattinson’s larger point is that while the previous Twilight movies have always kept one foot in reality (girl-meets-vampire reality, anyway), Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn, the fourth and last book of the Twilight series, is a 754-page tonal departure, so packed with plot twists and new characters that Summit Entertainment split it into two films. Part 1 covered a lot of ground in the lives of Bella (Kristen Stewart), Edward (Pattinson), and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) last November: There was the long-awaited wedding of Bella and Edward and an even more anticipated, feather-flying marital consummation, which resulted in a halfling fetus growing inside Bella and a mind-bogglingly bloody delivery for our heroine, culminating in her death. But considering the film ended with Bella coming back to sorta life by opening her glowing, telltale-red vampiric eyes, fans knew things were just getting started. What you will see in these pages is an exclusive first look at Bella and Edward’s daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy, 11), the halfling child over whom all manner of hell will break loose.
”Let me tell you, this movie is so weird,” confirms Stewart, 22, clearly intending this as a compliment. ”It. Is. Bizarre.” Bill Condon, who directed both installments of Breaking Dawn from scripts by Melissa Rosenberg, says he’d always been excited by how different the two movies would be. ”I always thought of Part 1 as having two distinct halves: the romantic and the horror,” he says. ”But this one is epic. This is a whole different thing.”
Let’s begin with one of the more obvious differences between Breaking Dawn — Part 2 and all that came before. (Yes, yes: spoiler alert.) Bella has now left the mortal world behind and joined the sparkly-skinned Cullen clan both physically and spiritually. Says Lautner, 20, ”That’s kind of the huge thing that fans are waiting for — to see the clumsy teenage Bella that Kristen did so well suddenly become this super-sexy vampire who’s athletic and graceful. She took it very seriously and pulls it off.” Condon agrees: ”I don’t think you can grasp how major an achievement it is till you see it. Her transformation from high school girl to fierce warrior is amazing. She’s a different species now.” Stewart says that years of watching her castmates helped inform how she played Vampire Bella. ”I know every single version of vampire, and I took a little bit from everyone,” she says with a laugh. ”But I wanted her to be the best one.”