Aug 26, 2013

Edward and Jacob: Twilight's Power Couple

The Twilight novels and movie series have taken the media vampire to a whole new level.  There were lots of sexy, tortured bad-boy vampires before, on Dark Shadows and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the novels of Anne Rice, but never whole tribes of them.  And uber-muscular, macho vampires, not sophisticates and androgynes.  Perfect for erasing the gay symbolism from the vampire mythos and producing a totally gay-free world.

And it is.  There are dozens of vampire, werewolf, and human characters, but not a single gay one, in the books or any of the movies.

Are you really surprised?  The series is aimed at an audience of teens, who are never, ever allowed to know that gay people exist.  It's fantasy, and gay people appear almost exclusively in comedies set in the real world.  And the author, Stephanie Meyer, belongs

But that doesn't mean that gay teen boys must be content to watch actors looking sullen with their shirts off.  There are always subtexts, either intentional or accidental, especially among the gay or gay-friendly members of the cast: Christopher Heyerdale (Marcus), Cameron Bright (Marcus), Xavier Samuel (Riley), Boo Boo Stewart (Seth), Michael Welch (Mike), Justin Chon (Eric), Matt Bushell (Phil), Kiowa Gordon (Embry, top photo).

Head vampire Edward and head werewolf Jacob are played by Robert Pattinson (left), and Taylor Lautner (below).  The script calls for them to snipe suspiciously at each other, compete for Bella's affection, and eventually work together to save Bella, a classic triangulation.

  Plus there are enough smouldering looks and hands on shoulders to provide fodder for any number of slash fictions.

The intensity of the love-hate relationship caused ample speculation that the two were gay in real life, perhaps fueled by the kiss they shared at the MTV Music Awards.  Both are heterosexual, but gay allies.

Pattinson played surrealist painter Salvador Dali, who romanced Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, in Little Ashes (2006), and he will play T.E. Lawrence in the upcoming Queen of the Desert (2015).   He stated that he would like to see a gay romance in Edward's past displayed at some point in the movie series, but the producers nixed the idea, arguing that  "there might be kids in the audience..."

Taylor Lautner hasn't done any specifically gay characters to date, but he's discussing a project with director Gus Van Sant and writer Dustin Lance Black.