Cast of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Photo: Summit Entertainment, LLC
It all began as a dream. One night while she slept, Stephenie Meyer, a mother of three, envisioned a beautiful male vampire and a human girl having an intimate conversation in a meadow. When she awoke, she jotted down the scene on a piece of paper. This vivid dream became Chapter 13 of Twilight, the first book in Stephenie's best-selling four-part series.

In 2005, readers were sucked into Stephenie's fantastical world of vampires and werewolves and swept off their feet by the epic love story that's central to the story. In Twilight, a headstrong teen named Bella Swan falls for Edward Cullen, a tortured vampire who doesn't age. Edward and Bella become intertwined in a heated love triangle with Jacob, Bella's best friend who also happens to be a werewolf with abs of steel. But, to protect Bella from evil bloodsuckers, Jacob and Edward must join forces.

Read more in our Twilight 101 synopsis.

The series' old-fashioned romance, action-packed battles and passionate depiction of first love have fans hooked. More than 85 million copies of Stephenie's books have been sold, and in 2008, the first book came to life on the big screen.

The first two installments of the Twilight Saga film series have shattered box office records around the world. Almost overnight, the young actors who play Edward, Bella and Jacob in the films—Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner—have become some of the most sought-after actors on the planet.

The very mention of these names sends some fans—sometimes known as Twi-hards—into a frenzy. In anticipation of the release of the series' third installment, Eclipse, Oprah talks about the worldwide phenomenon with the stars themselves, Robert, Kristen and Taylor.
Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
Taylor, an 18-year-old who got his big break in the film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, says he's had the time of his life since landing the role of Jacob Black. "I couldn't be more thankful," he says.

When he's not transforming into a mighty werewolf and vying for Bella's love onscreen, Taylor is a straight-laced teenager who tries to keep his phenomenal popularity in perspective. "It's almost like you live in two different worlds," he says. "You go into that world, and then you completely vanish, and you go back to your regular life."

At times, the screaming fans, camera flashes and excitement can feel like being in the eye of a storm. When this happens, Robert, a 23-year-old British actor whose first big role was playing Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, says he feels separate from the phenomenon.

"We've been sort of central to the whole thing since the beginning. It started, really, when no one knew anything about it," he says. "I still, to this day, can't really connect to the craziness, and it's a great position to be in. You walk in a room and everybody's screaming, and it's not really about you, so it never really goes to your head. You can kind of participate in it."
Kristen Stewart
Photo: Summit Entertainment, LLC
Kristen, the 20-year-old star who plays Bella, has been acting since she was 8 years old. Before landing her life-changing role in The Twilight Saga, Kristen starred in movies like Panic Room, In the Land of Women and Into the Wild.

She may have more acting experience than her co-stars, but when it comes time to do an interview, Kristen says she get nervous and is notoriously shy. But Kristen says she's just trying to choose her words carefully because she's come to understand how important this series is to the fans.

"This means a lot to you guys, and it's the same deal for me," she says. "I understand that your words have weight, and I mince them when I know everybody's waiting for them."

When Kristen steps in front of the camera and becomes Bella, she says she lets go of herself more than she has in past roles.

"I feel like I probably bring more of myself to Bella than I have to any character, but that's all I can do," she says. "You really project yourself onto her because it's a very vicarious read. I mean, you are her. And I can also completely relate to the fact that she's totally awkward but that she owns it. She's not going to say anything she doesn't mean."
Robert Pattinson
Photo: Summit Entertainment, LLC
As millions of women would agree, Robert has the physical attributes required to play a dashing vampire who's described as "impossibly beautiful," but he did have to work on his accent. In the series, Edward is American, born in Chicago in 1901. In real life, Robert speaks with a British accent.

To get the pronunciation down, Robert relied on skills he taught himself when he was a teenager. When he was 14, Robert says he practiced American dialect in hopes of achieving a different dream—he wanted to be a rapper!

Watch Robert discuss his hip-hop aspirations. Watch

"I swear to God," he says. "I have a lot of recordings of it. ... I used to do an American accent and transpose my voice down."
Taylor Lautner
Photo: Summit Entertainment, LLC
Between the first and second films, Taylor also had to undergo a transformation. In New Moon, his character, Jacob, goes from lanky boy-next-door to buff vampire slayer. Since he's shirtless for most of the movie, this werewolf-in-training had to hit the gym. "When I was filming Twilight, I knew where my character went physically, and I definitely wasn't there," he says. "It was about a year's worth of work."

To achieve the abs that inspired some fans to declare themselves members of "Team Jacob," Taylor says he worked out for about 90 minutes five days a week and ate a high-protein diet.

"I basically ate a lot, as much as I could," he says. "If I was busy or if I was on set or I was in L.A. in meetings, I would have to carry around this little miniature cooler. I would carry around like beef patties. ... It's so weird. I'll be like talking to somebody and all of a sudden I'll just be like: 'Can you hold on one second? I've got to eat a beef patty.'"
Robert Pattinson
Before landing the role of a lifetime, Robert says he considered quitting acting all together.

"If you say you're an actor and you're going to auditions and not getting parts, then you're not an actor. I guess that's what my predicament was," he says. "When I came out to L.A. to do the Twilight audition, I was flat broke. Everything was kind of rubbish in London."

After Robert says he blew an audition for another role, he called his parents to tell them he was quitting. But then, before returning to England, he went to one last audition. That's where he met Kristen and Catherine Hardwicke, the director of Twilight. "It went really, really well, and that was the only job I wanted to do for years," he says.
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
When Kristen met Robert, the last actor to audition for the role of Edward, she says she instantly knew he was the one. "I guess it was just a gut thing," she says. The final test? Robert says he and Kristen had to kiss during the audition, which he wasn't expecting.

Since these actors first brought Edward and Bella's epic love story to life, rumors have swirled that this onscreen couple is romantically involved in real life. Oprah tries to get to the bottom of things, once and for all.

"There are all these rumors about the two of you dating," Oprah says. "Is it true?"

"Kristen's pregnant," Robert jokes.

"He really loves to shock people because he thinks it's funny. No, we've actually had this conversation. He's having the baby," Kristen jokes.

When it comes to romance, Taylor says he's looking for a girl who isn't afraid to embrace her inner dork. "[I look for] loyalty, honesty," he says. "But what's really important to me is somebody who can totally let loose and pretty much just be themselves and have fun."
Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
They might be three of the most popular actors in the world, but on a typical Saturday night, Robert, Taylor and Kristen aren't living it up at Hollywood hot spots. Most nights, they stay out of the spotlight all together.

If you peered into his window on Saturday night, Robert says you'd see him sitting at home, trying to make plans. "[I'd] probably be desperately calling up everyone in my phone book," he says. "[Seeing if] anyone I had ever met was doing something, because no one would have called me."

Since Kristen isn't home very often, she says she'd choose to spend Saturday night with a special fellow—her cat, Max. "I'm obsessed with my cat," she says. "[We] have a very Edward-and-Bella relationship; it's, like, very co-dependent with my cat."

If it were Tuesday or Wednesday night, Taylor says he knows exactly what he would be doing—watching American Idol. "Sunday I'd be watching Celebrity Apprentice," he says. "Saturday's a little difficult for me. I don't know. I'm bored on Saturdays. ... Most likely I'm just spending time at home. I'm seeing if anybody wants to hang out with me too."
Dakota Fanning
Photo: Summit Entertainment, LLC
In The Twilight Saga, actors like Anna Kendrick, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Peter Facinelli and Elizabeth Reaser also light up the screen as Bella's human classmates and members of Edward's vampire coven. And in Eclipse, Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of famed director Ron Howard, assumes the role of Victoria, an evil vampire out to get Bella.

The films also feature a famous young actress in her first villainous role. Sixteen-year-old Dakota Fanning plays Jane, a child vampire who uses her mind to inflict pain on others. Since she read Stephenie's entire series in one week, Dakota says she's been dying to bring this bloodsucker to the big screen.

"It's obviously a different role than I've ever played, and I loved that I got to be one of the bad vampires with the red eyes and the cool costume," she says.

Dakota says she loves the series because it appeals to people of all ages, including her little sister. "My sister is 12, and she and her best friend are obsessed with everything [Twilight]. They have the cut outs of Rob and Taylor. They're actually making a robot at school, and they named it 'Rob-ot Pattinson.'"

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