NEW Interview From London Free Press With Rachelle Lefever aka Victoria.
At the centre of the pop-culture tsunami are Stewart and Pattinson, magazine cover mainstays whose real-life rapport (romance or no romance?) at times eclipses their fictional one.
"They have fantastic chemistry together on-screen and you know that's the kind of thing that becomes the source of rumours," Lefevre says.
"People want them to be together. People would love to hear that -- that they fell in love on the set and so they read that into everything they see.
"But all I've seen are two people who have beautiful chemistry on-screen and are bonded. Kristen, before Twilight, already had a huge resume and had worked with some heavy hitters, but she had also flown under the radar.
"And Rob, he was in Harry Potter (and the Goblet of Fire), so he had some experience with fame, but it was nothing remotely like this. So when two people go through that experience together -- the fandom and everything -- it's going to bond them."
Usually when a film succeeds, a studio clings to its creator. But in the case of New Moon, Catherine Hardwicke is out, replaced by Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass).
"It could have been bad," Lefevre admits. "But I think because Harry Potter went through it first to their benefit, we were like, 'The Potter kids went through a director shift and they were OK, so we'll be OK, too.'
"And we were. Chris came in with such a clear idea of what the movie was. And he paid respect to what had come before -- so it was kind of seamless."
A third transition will happen later this year in Vancouver when another director, David Slade (30 Days of Night), takes the reins of the next sequel Eclipse.
"It's perfect timing for David because Eclipse is darker than the other two. There's more action. It's not a horror movie, but it is darker."
And just as the series evolves, so does Lefevre's role as Victoria seeks to avenge the death of her lover, James.
"In the first movie, because I didn't have as much screen time, I wanted to be very clear. I wanted to convey energy and be very present, but also very playful. And that's because (Victoria) enjoyed stalking Bella with James.
"But when James is killed, it becomes about exacting revenge, which comes from a totally different place. It's not just a game any more."
Also beefed up -- literally and figuratively -- is Lautner. The 17-year-old actor, who played Jacob in Twilight, nearly lost the part because producers worried he was too young and skinny to embody the tougher, more mature Jacob of New Moon.
But Lautner "completely won that role," Lefevre says.
"The day Twilight wrapped, even before we knew there was going to be New Moon, Taylor started working out like an animal. He put on 30 pounds of muscle . . . I saw some of his dailies and he has a presence that, if you were to watch Twilight and New Moon back to back, he looks like he's aged five years."