LOS ANGELES - Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson sit side by side on a sofa at the Four Seasons hotel, discussing the end of the five-film project that made them famous and brought them together.
"Twilight" rocketed both to superstardom, and their real-life romance only propelled them further. With Friday's release of the final film in the franchise, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," the young actors bid farewell to the worldwide fantasy sensation, but not to the tabloid attention they garner wherever they go.
Dedicated Twi-Hards were devastated when Stewart admitted in July to cheating on Pattinson in a "momentary indiscretion" with her married "Snow White and the Huntsman" director. Bella and Edward - er, Stewart and Pattinson briefly split, which not only threatened to jeopardize marketing for the final "Twilight" film but unraveled the real-life element of the vampire love story.
Now reunited, the pair finish each other's sentences during a recent interview as they talk about how much their lives have changed since the first "Twilight" movie was released in 2008.
"After the first one, I mean, it's a different world you're living in," says Pattinson, 26.
"Also, we're at that stage of life when things are shifting anyway," adds Stewart, 22, who was just 17 when she first played Bella Swan.
Global fame makes growing up challenging, they say, acknowledging they've become more insular.
"It's a really weird thing because you kind of have to hide," Pattinson says, "and hiding really destroys the thing which, for one thing . . ."
Stewart interjects: "That fuels you as an actor."
"Yeah. It destroys your fuel," he continues, "and also it destroys - you get to the point where you start to lose interest in things because you spend so much time . . ."
"Guarding," Stewart says.
"Yeah, and that's your world," Pattinson says. "Your world gets smaller. There's a massive contraction. And the weirdest thing is the more you contract it, the more the (public) interest goes up. It's so crazy. There's no way around it. You're either on a 24/7 reality-TV show, or people think you should be."
"No, it's hilarious," Stewart says, not looking like she finds it very funny. "Either way, people are like, 'Ugh. Famewhores.' "