Interview with a [wannabe] vampire, pt 1.

A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, last year found herself caught up amongst and carried away by the Twilight hype.  This 21 year-old Masters student has read all the books, and seen the films.  I thought it might be interesting to conduct an interview with her, to see how the series managed to draw her in.

In part one, we discuss why vampires sleep in coffins, and whether a paedophile in a mask is still a paedophile.

So what was it that drew you towards the Twilight series?
Popularity. I wanted to see what other people liked.

So did you try the movie first, or the books?
I did see the movie first. But, like a lot of things – Harry Potter, I saw the movie first. Um, just generally that’s an interest for me anyway, being able to compare. But I think after seeing the movie, and seeing the hysteria, and the cult following, I thought I have to get a piece of this, see what’s so good about it.

Okay, so you saw the movie, and then you decided to read the books.
Yes.

How long did it take for you to read the entire series?
Probably a couple of months. They’re not a hard read, but they’re a long read. But, yeah, not long. I did it one after the other.

Comparing the first book to the first film, which one did you prefer?
I have to say, neither of them are that good [laughs], but comparing them I would say I like the film.

Would you call yourself a Twilight fan?
I would, even though I take the piss.

Because you were drawn in to the series…
Yes. And I didn’t put down the first book, saying, “That’s shit.” I then picked up the second, and the third, and the fourth. So, I think if I said that I wasn’t a Twilight fan, I’d just be lying to myself. 

What do you think the appeal of Twilight is?
It’s intoxicating. Like, with a lot of, I guess you’d call it “teenage novels”, it’s about escaping everyday life. And this becomes so, haunting and mysterious and over the top, that it’s so easy to get lost in.

And did you find yourself wanting to become a vampire when you were reading the series?
It did have its perks, reading the book and doing some small research [laughs]. I don’t know why, but around the time there were vampire documentaries on SBS, and I did watch them, but no, [pauses], yeah, I did wanna become a vampire.

You’re more of an Edward than a Jacob fan, then?
Yes. Very much so. And I’m not being racist, you know. Jacob is tanned and Edward is so pale.

Do you find Robert Pattinson attractive?
Yes.

Really?
Yes. But it’s like, in real life, yes. But in the movie, you’re just pissing yourself the whole time, because he is a really bad actor [laughs].

What do you think of Stephenie Meyer’s bastardisation of the vampire genre?
Wow. Well, I don’t think she’s been the only one, unless she was the one that started it all. You see books now about Mr Darcy becoming a vampire, but I do think that Stephenie Meyer was the one who kicked it all off, actually.

But she changed the whole vampiric folklore…
Yeah, I think she did carry on a lot of themes from historical or old vampire novels. But, I think, if anything, she didn’t bastardise it, she just made it a lot more mainstream, a lot more forgivable, if you know what I mean.

So you think that vampires should sparkle in daylight?
No. But I think that’s one of the ways that she diluted the perception of vampires and how horrible they are. She really dimmed it down, and I think that was one of the ways that she did that, to make it appealing to the masses. You wouldn’t want to have them burn or catch on fire in the sunlight, like on True Blood, so she decided to make them sparkle.

I wouldn’t say that True Blood is entirely true to vampiric folklore either…
No, but I don’t actually know what happens to vampires when they get in the sun.

I don’t think anything happens to them…
Yes, it does. They’re out throughout the night. That’s why they have coffins. They don’t go into their coffins for a bloody kip at 10:30 like everyone else.

They have coffins because they’re dead.
Oh. I thought it was to not let the daylight in.

Generally they do go out at night, but that’s to prey on the humans, because that’s when the humans are at their most vulnerable.
That’s very true, because in Being Human, he just goes around in the daytime. That’s so true. He wears sunglasses, but he does, Mitchell, does go about in the daytime. I stand corrected. So yeah, I don’t know why she made them sparkle. Maybe she’s just perverted in some way.

Speaking of perversion, now, the sexual angle of the books – I do believe the first few books celebrate celibacy. Is that right?
Well, I don’t know if they intentionally celebrate celibacy, because when I started reading more about Stephenie Meyer, and more about the books, that never came across as a preconceived notion of hers, when writing the books. But you can tell that there’s definitely an aversion to any kind of sexual confrontation.

There’s no sex before marriage.
That is true, but that’s because, yeah, he wants to marry her first. So that is true, there’s no sex before marriage.

He does sit in her room and watch her sleep at night.
He does that a lot.

That’s quite creepy.
It is, but that’s also a protection thing, because she did have four lots of flesh-eating vampires coming after her at one point. But other than that, there’s no excuse for it. He is a sick, twisted man.

Yes, he is. He’s over one hundred years old…
He’s 107, yes.

…and he’s in love with a 17 year-old girl.
Yeah, but, you know… Forever he’ll be that age, because you know, he might have learnt a lot more than her, lived through a lot more than her. But really when you’ve been paralysed in that kind of youthful state, that’s it.

He’s a paedophile.
I wouldn’t go that far. Well, I guess okay, it kind of works, say if a paedophile put on a kind of mask of a younger man… I don’t know…

Does that still make him a paedophile? Yes it does.
But if he was a paedophile, he’d be going after 6 year-old girls and stuff like that.

Not necessarily, many paedophiles prey on girls in their teens.
Okay. That’s just quite disturbing.

Coming up in part two:  we discuss whether these books give young girls an unrealistic portrayal of love, and vampire sex.  Also: more paedophilia.

Do you have a question for the Twilight fan?  If you’re desperate to know why the Cullens don’t prey on Bella when she has her period, or have any other queries, post them in the comments, and I’ll pass them on.  Hopefully she’ll be able to share some insight.  Or, at least, we’ll confirm that most of the characters are indeed paedophiles.

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