The new Twilight where Edward Cullen realises his 108-year-old penis is capable of attaining an erection is out tonight and the stars are out in full force. Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Cher Lloyd, every bold-faced name you can think of. Naturally, where there are stars there are crazies, but the fans of Twilight are an especially dedicated breed. A mixture of squealing teens, besotted wives, stoic husbands and fathers and enthusiastic gay men took to the street with their fleece blankets, Domino's Meat Feasts and battered (semen stained) paperbacks in a bizzaro version of Occupy Wall Street. What did they want? Robert Pattinson. When did they want him? 5:30PM the next evening. These are our favourite memories from the night we spent with a bunch of people who'd come from all over the world just to hang out on a filthy pavement behind a shopping centre in Stratford.
The lady in the red had come from South Africa to camp out for the premiere. I ruminated over this while remembering my reluctance to walk the two miles from my home to Sainsburys that morning. Her sister had come from New Zealand. When I asked what the ladies liked about Robert Pattinson, they said "Everything!" That was a common theme among the fans.
This is Matthew (left) and Kevin. They are engaged. Kevin is "Team Edward" and Matthew is "Team Jacob". When we asked if that creates tension in the relationship, Matthew said it was fine because if Kevin saw Edward, he'd jump on him and he could have Jacob to himself. Even though Matthew and Kevin look dapper from the waist up, from the waist down they were wearing adult Primark onesies, in leopard print and polyester Santa themes respectively. It made me vaguely uncomfortable.
These women are owners of a Robert Pattinson UK-based fan site. They started it when they noticed there was a gap in the market for UK-based Robert Pattinson fan sites. Sam, 37 (left), is a clinical trial worker and first became a fan of RPattz when she saw him in Harry Potter which threw me a tiny bit. Can you imagine a 30-something-year-old man publicly saying that shit about like, Dakota Fanning in Charlotte's Web? I mean, this side of prison.
VICE: What do you think would happen if the police came in and tried to clear this place out like they did with the Occupy protesters in New York?
Sam: I think it would be foolish. They'd be taking their lives into their own hands.
This is Roberta. Roberta flew in with some friends from an Italian Robert Pattinson site. Roberta is 55 and a translator. And possibly the oracle of all knowledge. Is this not the wisest face you have ever known? I wanted to sit with her for hours and ask her questions like whether there was truth in the supposed existence of God and whether or not my life would be different if I had actual breasts.
VICE: What do you like about Robert Pattinson?
This is Liz, Sarah and Sue (l-r). They were waiting in the middle of the queue. Sarah, 40 is a manager at Cancer Research UK and has over 700 pictures of Robert Pattinson on her phone. And a cardboard cut-out of him next to her bed so she can wake up to him. Actually. She said her husband doesn't mind... any more. I wonder if any man can truly feel threatened by one who sparkles.
One of Sue's 14-year-old daughters couldn't attend and was apparently massively jealous. I asked Sue if she was going to get her missing daughter something signed, and she replied: "I'm going to get something for myself! She can look at it." Mums!
VICE: Is your husband anything like Edward?
Sarah: God, I wish he was! I could even put up with the vampire thing. When I first met him he was very gentlemanly and he had "Edward hair". Looking back, that probably drew me to him. But no, he's not really like him at all.
This is Fiona, a widowed housewife. Fiona travelled alone by ferry and coach from Ireland to be at the premiere. Her children were staying with her mum. After we spoke to her, Glen and I had a five-minute sadness break. One of the perks of the job, I guess.
This guy was waiting with his daughters to make sure they didn't get mugged or harassed because it was Stratford at 10PM and he possesses at least one-tenth of a working brain. He had gotten the girls there at 5PM and was going to have to spend the night on the street so his kids could maybe glimpse the back of Ashley Greene's head and some douchebag from One Direction's "hilarious" grab for attention like pretending to bite a fan or something. Fathering in today's Britain is no joke.
VICE: Do you know anything about Twilight?
Dad: Not as much as these kids, I watched them. I liked the lit bit. The bit in the summer time. I think the rest of it's a bit scary, you know? I don't like the way they're pushing people around and stuff or when they change into werewolves. It's too violent.
Sally, 33, receptionist. Jay, 15, school student. Joanna, 18, student. Leah, 18, student.
These guys made it to the front of the queue. By waiting outside Westfield for 55 hours. May I remind you how fucking cold it has been for the past three days? Jay had booked the time off school in advance. When I asked him what his favorite part of Twilight was he stared wide-eyed, askance at me, then pleadingly at his friends. They told him in stage whispers to "say Kristen Stewart" and his face lit up. "Kristen Stewart," he said.
VICE: It says you risked your lives on your sign. How?
Leah: We got kicked out of Westfield yesterday, so we literally had to sleep on the streets. They made us get off their property completely so we ended up sleeping outside the tube station.
What do you love most about Twilight?
Sally: I love Edward Cullen. He's very traditionally romantic, very gentlemanly. Oh, and he's gorgeous.
How does your husband feel about your love of Edward?
Sally: Ask him, he's asleep on the floor behind you.
Sally's husband, 31, recruitment consultant.
VICE: Do you support your wife's love of Edward Cullen?
Sally's husband: Yes.
Do you think, if it came down to a choice between you and Edward, she would pick you?
Did you take time off work to come down here?
Sorry, I'm not very good at answering stuff. I'm really cold and tired.
OK. Well, good luck!
WORDS: SHELI AHUVA
PHOTOS: GLEN COCO