If you’re following TheFABlife on Twitter (What? You’re not?! @thefablife, dude!) you know that yesterday, I – resident Twilight nerd and FABlife editor Kate Spencer – landed in Los Angeles, Team Edward necklace nestled against my heart, and immediately drove my Nissan Altima hybrid (thanks Hertz!) over to the Eclipse tent city over at the Nokia Theater, where 500 Twi-hards are camped out to secure spots on the Eclipse premiere red carpet. Actually, first I hit up In N’ Out Burger so I could be nourished for the Twilight mania that lay ahead. Priorities, people!
For all of you not able to check out the scene at the Nokia Theater, you’re missing out on some of the coolest, nicest Twilight fans I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. In the 2 and a half hours I was there hanging out, we talked about everything from pregnancy and birth (both Bella’s and people’s real life experiences), to sex education in schools, to writing as a career. And of course we maybe chatted about Twilight for a couple of seconds, too. Just a couple.
I’ve always fancied myself a Twi-nerd, but everyone there is a trillion times more hardcore than I am. I saw two Twilight-inspired tattoos (one lovely lady with “Bella” on her foot, another with the Twilight book cover on her back shoulder) and heard numerous descriptions of future Twilight-inspired ink. Of course there were a ton of people decked out in Twi-gear, and tents covered in Robert Pattinson‘s face, but the gals I met in just hoodies and jeans wanted the world to know they were just as into Twilight as those who can’t help but buy Edward sheets and dolls.
I was shocked by how many people had traveled far – like Forks far and Esme’s Brazilian island far – to camp out in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. In just a couple of hours I met a die-hard Kellan Lutz fan from North Dakota, a woman from Pennsylvania who had a picture of Taylor Lautner tucked into her t-shirt who had given her son the middle name of Jacob, two friends from Canada, a whole group of women from Mexico, and perhaps the most hardcore fan in the world, Ruth from New Zealand (or was it Australia? Good ol’ jetlagged me forgot to take decent notes) who had spent around $7000 to fly to L.A., attend Twi-Con, see Eclipse, and live in Tent City for a week. Ruth is the aforementioned lady with the Twilight book cover tattoo and she was also decked out in Bella’s engagement ring. She runs the website TwilightDazzles.com, so be sure to check it out and say hi.
There was some controversy over Summit’s handling of the tent village; campers I met claimed they originally had been told they could get wristbands for the premiere red carpet and then go back home for a few days, and then that was inexplicably changed to them having to camp out instead. Others called the tent village nothing but a great marketing scheme created to generate more buzz around the movie. But the campers come and go as they please (some activities I heard mentioned were shopping, showering at hotel rooms nearby, and of course mani/pedis), and everyone seemed generally happy to be there. Just about everyone had plans to get dolled up for the red carpet, eager for the opportunity just to cheer for the actors responsible for bringing their favorite book to life. And a hug from Robert Pattinson wouldn’t be bad either.
Most importantly, everyone I met wanted to make sure the world knows this: they are not crazy. They’re just fans who love a book. A lot. And while I’d never camp out in the middle of L.A. just to see the back of Kristen Stewart’s head, who am I to judge? I have driven around the country and spent thousands seeing the band Phish almost 100 times since I was 16 (go ahead, laugh). We all have that thing we’re beyond crazy about. In fact, many of the campers I met pointed out that they were no different from the nutty Lakers’ fans who showed up for their Lakers parade on Monday right near Tent City. So there, world! We’ve all got our weirdo fangirl side about something.
The tent city peeps have endured taunts from drunks (and sober jerks), endless questions about what they’re doing and numerous declarations about their lack of sanity. But no one I met was letting the haters get to them. They were too busy snuggling up in their lawn chairs, decked out in their Team Edward and Mrs. Lautner hoodies, watching New Moon on the big screen outside under the smog stars.
We’ll be covering Eclipse here in Los Angeles this week. Tonight we’re seeing Ashley Greene at Jimmy Kimmel, tomorrow we’ll be on the premiere red carpet all day long (pass the sunscreen). We’ve got video from Tent City on the way, and will be covering every second of the premiere right here on TheFABlife. We want your questions for the Eclipse cast so leave us a comment and tell us what you want us to ask. Follow all the premiere action here and on Twitter – @ us and say hi!