HOLLYWOOD — "New Moon" mania took over the Hollywood & Highland Center on Friday night, as one of the first stops on the movie's nationwide Hot Topic promotional tour kicked off with an event featuring concerts by bands from the film's soundtrack, laughs with the cast, and a special appearance by the film's three biggest stars.
"Thank you to you guys," gushed Robert Pattinson, taking the stage alongside Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner in front of hundreds of shrieking, black-T-shirt-clad fans. "Without you, 'Twilight' wouldn't be anywhere."
Well, on Friday night, it was everywhere. In two different storefronts, autographs were being signed by the likes of Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene and members of the Wolf pack and the Volturi. In the main courtyard, Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Skulls, Sea Wolf and Anya Marina each rocked the stage for a few songs, promoting the "New Moon" soundtrack. Fans wrapped around the enormous outdoor mall like some sort of shrieking Team Edward anaconda.
"It's a massive phenomenon, not because people are into vampires, but because it's this love story that touches everybody," Marina explained. "I just saw the final cut [of 'New Moon'] last night. It's really great!"
Judging from the ear-shattering response of the fans, the cast Q&A was just as great. Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Jamie Campbell Bower, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Cameron Bright, Nikki Reed, Chaske Spencer, Kiowa Gordon, Alex Meraz and Bronson Pelletier all jockeyed for space on the crowded stage, waving to fans and smiling as they answered questions that usually started with "What's your favorite...?"
Band? Burke loves AC/DC, Reaser chose the unlikely pairing of Jay-Z and Ryan Adams, Greene likes Jimmy Buffett, and Campbell Bower is a Queens of the Stone Age man.
Movie? Burke chose the original "Willy Wonka," Bright picked "Saving Private Ryan," Greene enjoys "Breakfast at Tiffany's," while Kellan Lutz (clad in a "Team Emmett" shirt) selected the never-before-compared duo of "Casablanca" and Tarsem Singh's trippy 2006 flick "The Fall."
"We'll talk about 'Eclipse,' because I'm actually in 'Eclipse,' " laughed Nikki Reed at one point, referencing Rosalie's minimal "New Moon" screen time. "We got to shoot my whole flashback sequence, which was cool."
Wrapping up the night, each star was asked what they would want to do in Los Angeles if their fame didn't prevent them from walking the streets unbothered. "I'd like to take a walk on the beach with Nikki Reed," teased Reaser. "I'd prowl the streets in the nude," added the always-outrageous Jamie Campbell Bower.
"I have a pretty good feeling that we'd be having game night at my house," smiled Greene, looking over at Lutz and saying they'd be enjoying a rousing round of Taboo.
Playing along, Lutz — who can work a crowd of Twilighters better than a politician at a rally — said he'd still want his several hundred closest friends to come along. "I'd invite over all you guys too," he said to approving applause.