Robert Pattinson is wearing a plain white tee with a black stripe down the middle and the words Twilight written on the front.

It’s not just any old white tee, either – this is the actor’s wardrobe as he appears in the new vampire romance, Twilight.

Filming began in Italy earlier this month, and the first images of Pattinson shirtless and in full vampire make-up have now been leaked online.

The Plot In a Nutshell

Pattinson plays vampire Edward Cullen, the charming and handsome owner of a german shepherd, in Twilight (read our review). One night, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) spots an unfamiliar car in her neighborhood and goes to investigate. When she turns up the lights, she sees that it’s Edward and his loyal dog, Jasper (played by Michael Sheen). Realizing that he has been discovered, the taciturn and brooding Edward chases after her, intending to drain her blood.

Luckily for Bella, the taciturn Edward is a very poor driver and crashes his car, spilling his vampiric blood all over the road. When she sees the mess, she decides that she doesn’t want to be with a man she doesn’t know and flees in terror. Edward chases her and manages to corner her just as a passing truck runs over his foot. The next day, he limps into work, much to the disgust of his colleagues. Injured and upset, he vows to change his ways and become a better person. He retreats to his room where he is met by his sister, Victoria (Bella’s friend), who has recently moved in with him. She persuades him to attend family therapy with her, and on the way there, he stumbles upon Bella’s house, where she has just moved with her parents. He makes up an excuse to tell them he’s stopping off to see a friend who is ill, and enlists Bella’s help (much to her indignation). He helps her move some furniture around so that she has more room, and the next day, he brings her breakfast in bed. When her parents question her about their son’s absence last night, she lies and tells them that she stayed the night at a friend’s. Upset, the concerned parents leave for work, and the two teens spend the day getting to know each other. Later that night, while Bella is brushing her teeth, Edward appears in front of her mirror, startling her.

The following morning, Bella is woken by the sound of car wheels on gravel. She looks out of the window, and sees Edward loading up his car. She notes his injured leg and asks if he’s okay. In reply, he throws her a bone and invites her to go for a drive. They spend the day together exploring the area around Truro, and she learns that he is actually a vampire. Edward tells Bella that he is a vampire whose thirst for blood can only be slaked by drinking human blood. When she learns that humans can’t be vampire food, she decides to run. However, Edward decides to give her some protection and keeps her hidden from the outside world as he searches for a way to reverse his condition. That afternoon, Bella takes the truck that Edward lent her and drives to a nearby town, where she stops at a red light. As she waits for it to turn green, Edward sneaks up behind her and bites her neck. Her heart stops, and the next thing she knows, she is waking up in a hospital bed, with no memory of how she got there.

From that point on, Bella is unwittingly in the clutches of a werewolf pack, composed of werewolves, led by the aloof and volatile Charlie (Lana Wheddon). They want to kill her and feast on her blood, in order to restore Edward’s strength. Bella’s only hope of survival lies in the hands of the mysterious and dangerous Jacob (Taylor Lautner). He has been watching her from afar for a while, and believes that she can be his redemption. The last thing that she wants is for Jacob to find out that she is alive – especially after he hears that she is staying with vampires.

Jacob, on the other hand, wants to use Bella as a human shield against his clan, and takes her in to keep his fellow werewolves away. He offers to let her stay at his place, and she gratefully accepts. They drive off to his remote home, which is occupied by his clan. When they arrive, she runs to his room and locks the door, terrified that Edward will find her. Jacob calms her down and lets her stay for a couple of days before he brings her back to his place. There, his father, Carlisle (Peter MacNichol), convinces Bella to remove her shirt and pants, and examine her for bites. He tells her that the only way to stop the spread of lycanthropy is to remove all trace of human blood from her body. When she hesitates, worried that this will lead to her needing to be fed from time to time, Carlisle insists that this will not be the case. He fills her in on the details of her transformation, and she agrees to undergo the operation. As a result of the procedure, she becomes immune to vampire bites. She also discovers that she is pregnant. Knowing that this will upset Edward, and afraid of bringing trouble down upon her head, she decides to keep the news from him. Meanwhile, Jacob has been keeping a careful eye on her from a distance. When he sees her in bed with a man, he assumes that Edward has returned and intends to use violence against both of them. As they struggle, Jacob accidentally knocks over a lamp, sending it crashing to the floor. The noise is heard by the others, and they pounce on Jacob, intending to tear him apart. He manages to fight his way free, but not before biting one of his attackers, Renesmee.

While all this is going on, Edward has decided that family therapy has not been working and that he needs to be alone. To that end, he takes Bella on a drive around the lake to clear his head. On the way back, they stop by a deserted cabin. Edward wants to stay there and forget the troubles of the world, but Bella wants to go home. She feels uneasy around the cabin, and when she questions Edward about what is keeping them awake at night, he decides to tell her the truth about her heritage. He explains that he is a werewolf, that the bite of a werewolf is fatal, and that he has been hiding it from her because he does not want to frighten her. She is understandably upset, and wants nothing more to do with his kind. Edward promises that he will never lead her to harm, and they say goodbye. On the way home, she asks if he is a violent man. He replies that he is not, and that he only protects those he loves. When they reach his home, he tries to embrace her, but she moves away.

What Gives It That ‘Twilight’ Feel?

The whole point of this story is to make you feel like you’ve just walked into a Tim Burton movie. It might not look like it, but everything about the movie – from the lighting to the sets to the costumes – evokes the work of the English Gothic master. One of the main reason behind this is director Rob Pattinson, and his unrivalled ability to make you believe that what you’re seeing is genuinely possible. He is a master of using light and shadow as effectively as possible, and the movie is studded with shots of sunlight creeping in through windows or falling from above, picking out the perfect colors and creating a wonderful atmosphere.

The Italian city of Forlì (where the movie was shot) is renowned for its medieval architecture, and on that front, the filmmakers have done an absolutely fabulous job. It is a truly awe-inspiring place, teetering on the edge of a cliff and boasting stunning views of the cathedral and the streets below. There are several locations around the town that the crew could have used, but they picked this one for a reason. From the outside, it looks like any other run-down building, but step inside and you’re in for a treat. The lighting is just right, and the space feels large and empty, as if there were no walls or ceilings. Walking through the door is like falling into a different world entirely.

The Cast Of Characters

Apart from the obvious stars, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, who plays both Edward and Jacob, this is a largely Italian cast. So if you’re looking for English-speaking actors, you’re mostly out of luck. This is a real missed opportunity, as a lot of the scenes could have been played out against a beautiful and authentic Italian backdrop. For instance, when Bella is at Charlie’s apartment complex, she could have been looking out of a window at one of Forlì’s most photographed views, the Ponte degli Angeli.