Fans Reach for the Stars in Westwood

Fan frenzy at "New Moon" premiere

There was a crush of signs and screaming fans Tuesday at the "New Moon" movie premiere in Westwood.

"I'm not as scared as I was last year," said Kristen Stewart, despite a moment as she signed autographs. "At some point, the security guy said, 'This is very unsafe.' And I was like, 'Uh.' Other than that, everything was cool."

Some "twi-hards" -- as they call themselves -- arrived as early as Thursday afternoon to secure a place in line for tickets allowing them to watch the stars' arrivals on the red carpet. The 800 available tickets were all distributed by Monday morning, but the line still stretched for blocks well after lunchtime.

Nicole Zamora, 36, was sixth in line after getting to Westwood on Thursday afternoon. She and her three sisters wore "New Moon" T-shirts they'd made for the occasion and said they spent the weekend "reading, listening to the iPod and trying to sleep -- anything to pass the time."

Christina Fuentes and four of her friends traveled from New Jersey for the "New Moon" premiere. The 24-year-old wore vampire teeth ("They just clip on," she said) and carried a homemade sign that read, "We flew in from NJ! We've been camping out for three days just to see you!"

She pasted her airline boarding pass to the poster as proof.

So what causes this level of devotion? It depends on whom you ask -- a psychologist, cultural historian or the executive editor of "Tiger Beat."

"They're practicing feelings of love and attachment and attraction and romance," LA psychologist Wendy Walsh told The Associated Press. "These are all new feelings, and what a safe way to play them out -- in the privacy of their own room with a poster of Taylor Lautner."

Lautner and Robert Pattinson were among the film stars walking a red carpet.

Walsh said her own 11-year-old daughter has a crush on Lautner.

Although every generation has its teen heart throb, USC cultural historian Leo Braudy said this is different

"It's so much more elaborate than it used to be," Braudy said. "Every movie comes fit with its posters and its icons and its bobbleheaded dolls."

But enough of this high-minded psycho-babble and thoughtful analysis. Heidi Hurst, executive editor of teen pinup magazine Tiger Beat, told the AP that since the magazine was established in 1965, the guys on its pages have been "non-threatening, more on the boyish side of good looks."

Most Tiger Beat readers "still aren't dating boys in real life and this is their first exposure to boys as in 'They're cute. I like them,'" Hurst told the AP.

Lautner and Pattinson are on the November cover.

The movie, based Stephanie Meyer's series of "Twilight" novels, stars 23-year-old Robert Pattinson as heartthrob vampire Edward Cullen; Kristin Stewart as Bella Swan, his forbidden love; and Taylor Lautner as werewolf Jacob Black.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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