You’ll see plenty of histrionic fan reactions to Twilight actress Kristen Stewart’s affair with film director Rupert Sanders, who helmed her recent flick Snow White and the Huntsman. But many fans are only showing support.
Beloved by fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Young Adult vampire phenomenon for playing the role of Bella Swan in the films of the series, Kristen Stewart has long been in a relationship with her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen.
Though the couple, affectionately dubbed R-Patz and K-Stew (namesmushed Robsten), have been an item, Stewart never publicly professed her love for Pattinson until yesterday, in an apology for the affair delivered to People:
"I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry.”
Coming just days after the Twilight film franchise picked up its 41st Teen Choice Award, news of the affair rocked the world of online gossip. Over at OhNoTheyDidn’t, gossip-lovers threw virtual parties that quickly pushed posts about the breakup to thousands of comments. Sympathy for Sanders’ wife Liberty Ross, who played Stewart’s mother in Huntsman, abounded.
Opinions on Stewart herself, however, were more mixed. While media pundits praised her apology as bold and empowering for young girls, Twilight fans were more concerned about the feelings of everyone involved. “If [Stewart] is sad I am sad,” wrote one fan Wednesday. “She is 22 years old,” said another. “She makes mistakes. She is human.... That said, Kristen, you broke your boyfriend’s heart.”
Twilight fans have long bonded over Edward and Bella’s real-life relationship. When news of the scandal broke after leaked photos in Us Weekly, many fans immediately declared the scandal a fake, and continued to do so long after the apology. Still others spoke of their deep grief.
But many more fans held back, expressing support and admiration for Stewart. On Twitter, “Always Supporting Kristen” trended worldwide. Fans expressed continued love for the couple and for Twilight, and wide-ranging cynicism over the publicity surrounding the affair. “Such an important event in our history,” one fan quipped, while another declared, “Robsten fans are more invested in the relationship than Robert and Kristen are.”
On YouTube, infamously passionate Twilight fan NuttyMadam, whose reactions to the books and films have been viral hits for some time, reacted with tears to news of the breakup. She then admonished fans for feeling as if the actors owed anything to them. “Leave them alone,” she said. “Let them get over this by themselves.”
Writing about the incident, The Guardian snidely commented, “[M]ost of the R-Patz/K-Stew hysteria was probably propagated by teenagers and people who write for women's magazines, so perhaps we should just ignore it.”
But, if anything, Twilight fandom’s largely laid back, supportive reaction proves that they’re far more mature than The Guardian—and many, many others—give them credit for being.
Photo via Flickr