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July 21, 2011

Comic-Con 2011: ‘Twilight’ cast surprises fans with breakfast

Posted in: Comic-Con,Fans,Movies

Ashley Greene signs autographs for fans at "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1" Fan Wake-Up Call at Comic-Con. (Michael Buckner / Getty Images / Summit Entertainment)

They had begun their vigil Monday night — and this morning, the throng of fans waiting in line to be the first to grab a seat in the San Diego Convention Center’s Hall H to see the first panel presentation of Comic-Con International 2011 were rewarded for their patience. Five cast members from “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” the movie that kicks off four days of entertainment programming in the 6,500-seat venue, showed up to greet their public bright and early Thursday morning. And they brought breakfast.

For the first time, Summit Entertainment orchestrated a surprise meet-and-greet where Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene and Elizabeth Reaser were joined by Julia Jones and Boo Boo Stewart. The five stars signed autographs and posed for pictures as Summit staff passed out “Twilight” posters, coffee mugs, juice and muffins. The fans were ready for action. They had the cast signing magazine covers, personal pictures, T-shirts, even pieces of technology.

“I’m so happy,” squealed Aimee Gastelon, 22, from San Diego, who had been waiting since Tuesday afternoon for a seat inside, but never expected the actors to show up in person. “I’m really surprised they came out. They have never done that before.”

Ashley and Nikki just signed my iPad,” added Gastelon. “My iPad is so much more valuable now,” she exclaimed before running off to hunt down Reaser.

For the first group of women in line–friends who first met last summer at the Los Angeles “Twilight” convention EclipseCon, the appearance of the cast members was an unbelievable surprise. “We’re shocked. It’s absolutely amazing,” says Arianna Ruiz, 21, from Antioch, Calif. “And I got to meet the three cast members I haven’t met yet.”

Robert Pattinson made the scene, sort of, as fans waited in line the night before the "Twilight" event. (Denis Poroy / Associated Press)

The five “Twilight” actors descended on the line of hopefuls at 6:30 a.m., followed by a gaggle of cameras and handlers who let the media on to their stunt the night before. The fans came in all sizes and shapes, with diminutive 10-year-old Riverside resident Devin Gately anxiously awaiting the opportunity to pose with Reed, who plays her favorite character, Rosalie Hale. “She’s just so beautiful and so strong and she just pulls it all together.”

As for Reed, who was rather proud of herself for waking up at 4:30 a.m., she stopped and signed every poster thrown her way, almost bounding over a barrier when a young boy asked for an autograph from across the line. But Reed’s been cultivating this audience for years, and after the shock of her first Comic-Con experience subsided–it was the first fan event when the cast fully comprehended the level of dedication this particular fan base displays–she’s actively sought out her fans.

“I don’t look like Rosalie in the morning,” said the natural brunette of her blond character. “I’ve had to sell myself to these fans over the years. But now I see a lot of familiar faces. Fans come talk to me and I love it. I’m fascinated with fandom in general.”

“Breaking Dawn – Part 1,” the first of the two-part finale of the vampire romance franchise adapted from Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling young adult novels, opens in theaters Nov. 18.

Check back later today for more Comic-Con coverage and news from the “Twilight” press conference and panel.

– Nicole Sperling

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