Commentary | It’s the money shot the world had been waiting for. The first post-scandal picture of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart together.
Now, courtesy of Entertainment Tonight, that picture has arrived.
Candid shots of the couple taken in the early hours of October 14 at the Ye Rustic Inn, a bar in Los Angeles’ Los Feliz neighborhood, and subsequent photos of the couple on an informal lunch date with friends on Tuesday, confirm that the frost has officially thawed.
Despite a highly publicized scandal, acres of commentary from outlets, ridicule from comedians, scrutiny from pundits — not to mention a tsunami of online opinion — Pattinson, 26, and Stewart, 22, are now reconciled and getting on with their lives.
Reportedly the couple were also at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont on Saturday and, according to Us Weekly, were seen “whispering very close and intimately.” A source is quoted saying the pair were “afraid of backlash, so they’re keeping things on the down-low.”
Yet, just 3 months ago this scenario would have seemed impossible. After intimate pictures of Stewart with Snow White and The Huntsman director Rupert Sanders went around the world in July, the death knell for one of young Hollywood’s least-likely-to-break-up relationships seemed certain.
An unseemly pile-on followed as pretty much everyone condemned Stewart’s infidelity as unforgivable, not least because of who she was unfaithful to. Pattinson, one of the most popular actors to emerge in modern times, became a poster boy for the “angry and humiliated” wronged party. Meanwhile, Sanders, 41 — a married man and father of two — merited comparatively little public censure.
Notwithstanding radio silence from Pattinson’s camp and abject, public apologies from Stewart and Sanders, a flood of talkative and, frankly, dubious sources crawled out of the woodwork as outlets worked overtime on a godsend story. While self-appointed ‘experts’ lined up to pontificate, industry observers voiced valid concerns about how Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate would negotiate the promotional tour for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
Conspiracy theories raged across the internet, with some declaring the scandal a publicity stunt designed to drive the last installment to a record-breaking finish. Early box office tracking for Part 2 by MovieTickets.com that revealed a 27% increase in sales over Part 1′s advance ticket stats in 2011, only added grist to that mill.
In the wake of Pattinson’s abrupt departure from the Los Feliz home he previously shared with Stewart, weeks of conflicting media reports about the state of their relationship were stopped in their tracks by Lainey Gossip’s bombshell scoop on September 10.
After Lui’s announcement that Pattinson and Stewart were back together, numerous media outlets commented on the remarkable timeliness of the couple’s reconciliation. Even though the couple are confirmed for a November 14 London premiere and November 16 L.A premiere of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 on what will be a global publicity tour, inevitably that narrative will continue.
But what is also likely to continue, is Pattinson and Stewart’s quiet defiance in the face of huge press intrusion into their private lives.
Both actors are on record clearly stating how they feel about the tabloidization of their relationship. During a press blitz of New York to promote his critically lauded film Cosmopolis, Pattinson pulled no punches in his criticism of the Fourth Estate.
The actor told the LA Times:
“Media culture is a monstrous thing. You can’t win. The annoying thing is that you can’t attack them, but you can’t defend yourself. The best thing you could possibly do is punch a paparazzi and give them their big payday.”
And in a pre-July Vanity Fair interview, Stewart declared:
“I don’t care about the voracious, starving s**t eaters who want to turn truth into s**t. Not that you can say that in Vanity Fair!”
Ostensibly talking about critics of her fashion choices, it’s likely Stewart has since extrapolated that sentiment into her position on the press in general.
With millions, possibly billions, of potential box-office within sight for Summit, no-one is under any illusions that the scandal hasn’t been good for business. Breaking Dawn — Part 1 pulled in over $138 million in its opening weekend and predictions for the November 16 denouement are on track to be even higher.