TAKE IT FROM ASHLEY GREENE, the Twilight
frenzy is out of control. "Kellan Lutz and I look at each other and go, 'What is going on? This is so insane!' " says the actress who plays Alice. Filming New Moon
in Italy earlier this year, "we were in this tiny little town and there were fans that flew in from all over, and it got a little crazy," she recalls. "It's very different from anything that I've experienced. But the fans are so passionate. Seriously, this is the coolest job in the world with the best fans."
Those fans comprise a growing Twi-nation that includes groups who identify themselves as Twi-moms, Twi-hards, Fan-pires and beyond. To be sure, when Stephenie Meyer woke up from her now-famous dream (in which a quiet girl encountered a devastatingly handsome vampire; sound familiar?) the soft-spoken author had little clue that her nighttime vision would become the seed for an empire of books, movies and merchandise ranging from shower curtains to candy hearts. "She created this world that you want to enter right away," says her publisher Megan Tingley—and since Twilight
's debut in 2005, millions of fans have fallen hard and fast for that dreamy, dangerous, exceedingly romantic world. Meyer herself has her own theory on the widespread appeal of her books: "If you're like I was—not in the popular crowd, a little clumsy—you have Bella to identify with."
Of course, throwing in a couple of the hottest guys on Earth doesn't hurt either. And with Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner bringing the Edward-Jacob rivalry to life on the big screen, the literary juggernaut—the four books in the Twilight
saga have sold 70 million copies worldwide in 45 different languages—is now a bona fide Hollywood blockbuster as well. The first Twilight
film, which was made on only a $37 million budget, has grossed almost $200 million in the U.S., with another $160 million in DVD sales. And in the U.S. alone, the Twilight
movie soundtrack has sold 2.2 million copies. Along the way, the series has made megastars of Pattinson, Lautner and leading lady Kristen Stewart, while inspiring everything from prom dresses to board games. Craziest Twilight
tie-in? Two adjacent corn mazes in Utah, expertly landscaped to spell out Team Edward and Team Jacob.
Yes, the Twilight
phenomenon has infiltrated even the nation's farmland, yet the fans keep licking their chops for more. And they're not the only ones. The cast is already filming part three of the saga, Eclipse
, and hopes to begin work on part four, Breaking Dawn
, in the not-too-distant future. "We're all crossing our fingers, and we all want to finish the series," says Lutz, who plays vampire Emmett Cullen. "And we want Stephenie to write more books if she could!"
LUNA TWILIGHT MAKEUP
Staining lip balm in Rapture, $18; and blushing cream in Adrenaline, $22; nordstrom.com
TEAM EDWARD TEE
White screen print V-neck T-shirt, $30; nordstrom.com/newmoon
Hand-painted Converse Chuck Taylor All Star hi-tops, $125; ayinx.etsy.com
TEAM JACOB TANK
Gray screen print tank top, $28; nordstrom.com/newmoon
THE BOARD GAME
New Moon trivia board game, $14.99; target.com
Earrings featuring Bella's Washington state stomping grounds, $29; sherrytruitt.etsy.com
BELLA & EDWARD DOLLS
-inspired Barbie dolls, $24.95 each; available on barbiecollector.com starting on Nov. 1