The staff at Wild Orchids Salon in Antioch had been patiently counting down the days to Nov. 19 when at 11:59 p.m. they’d gather with dozens of other Twihards to be the first to see the new movie featuring the love story of mortal Bella Swan and vampire Edward Cullen.
However, the team at Wild Orchids decided to take it a step further, dressing up for the midnight premiere, sporting vampire makeup and plastic fangs.
Makeup artist Chris Bustos, a fellow “Twilight” fan, helped transform the dedicated fans by lightening their skin with white powder, using smoky eye shadow to create a sunken effect around the eyes, and applying red gloss on the lips to complete the undead alter egos.
“We bought our tickets in September,” Bustos said as he glammed stylist Amber Paschall. “We’re really excited. A lot of us have been rereading the books and watching the first movie to prepare for tonight. We’re all going out to dinner before the movie too, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
While Bustos has been a fan of “Twilight” since the books first came out, Paschall is a newcomer who fell in love with the story after seeing the first movie.
“I’m so excited,” Paschall said. “There’s just something about vampires that’s exciting. Sure, they’re a little creepy, but there’s a mystery surrounding them. And the love between Edward and Bella is so interesting because it’s a forbidden love.”
The forbidden love between Bella and Edward has been enthralling readers since Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” first hit bookshelves in 2005. After the star-crossed lovers fall for each other in the first book, “New Moon” finds the couple’s undying devotion tested as Edward leaves Bella in order to protect her from the risks associated with a vampire-human relationship – such as his brother thirsting for her blood. With Edward out of the picture, Bella grows closer to her childhood friend Jacob, who turns out to be a werewolf, a sworn enemy of the “cold ones.”
The love triangle has Twihards taking sides around the world, but the staff at Wild Orchids is Team Edward all the way, and front desk coordinator Debbie Siino leads the charge.
“I love Edward. I’d marry him,” confessed Siino. “He’s so sexy. He’d do anything for Bella – even if that means leaving her in ‘New Moon’ to protect her. That’s actually why ‘New Moon’ is my least favorite in the series because there’s not enough Edward, but that’s part of the fun too because you’re waiting to see if and when and how they’ll be reunited. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.”
Siino, wearing an “I’m a sucker for vampires” T-shirt, got into the series early on and has since become what Bustos describes as Twihardcore.
“I guess you could say I’m obsessed,” Siino said. “I’ve made a ‘Twilight’ shrine at my house. I’ve read the books four times each. I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched the movie – probably 50 times, maybe 60. It’s just such a good story.
“It’s that forbidden love story that really wins me over. Everything says Edward and Bella shouldn’t be together, but they can’t not be together. Their love is too strong. Love always finds a way, and I think that’s what people like about the story. They love that idea that love conquers all. Everyone wants that Bella-Edward kind of love.”
Siino’s passion inspired some of her co-workers to jump on the “Twilight” bandwagon. Stylist Melissa Aoanan is the most recent convert. “Everyone was talking about these ‘Twilight’ books, but I just thought ‘Oh, whatever. Vampires – big deal,’ but Debbie insisted that I give it a try, so I read the first book and that was it. I read the entire series within 10 days. I’ve never loved a book so much before.”
Wild Orchids owner Lori Lopez said she’s glad her staff has found something they all enjoy. Lopez, who also enjoys the “Twilight” series but didn’t attend the midnight showing, said she’d see the movie later – not only as a fan but as a hair style professional. “I want to look at the hair styles. I know people will be coming in with photos of the characters, wanting that look. That’s what happened after the first movie. Bella’s look with the long layers was very popular, so I expect that will happen again.”
“New Moon” broke box office records for midnight showings, earning $26.3 million, and opening day records, pulling in $72.7 million, besting “The Dark Knight,” which earned $67.2 million on its opening day last year. “Knight” still holds the top spot for opening weekend earnings at $158 million, but “New Moon” managed an impressive $140 million draw, double what “Twilight” made last November. At this rate, experts predict “New Moon” will make more than $600 million worldwide, especially if fans go back for a second or third viewing.
Bustos said he went back and saw “New Moon” Friday afternoon, and he plans to see the film a third time this weekend. “It was amazing – so much fun. Rave (Motion Pictures) actually let us in around nine, so we didn’t have to wait in the cold. And once we got inside, it was like a “Twilight” party. Lots of people were wearing the shirts, and some people were even watching the first movie on their laptops. We played trivia games and talked about our favorite parts of the books, so it was a lot of fun.”
While Bustos enjoyed “New Moon,” Siino said she was hoping for more depth in the story, but she too has already seen the film a second time: “I was hoping they’d show some more things, but if they included everything from the book, it’d be a five-hour movie, so that’s fine. We all had a lot of fun hanging out with the other ‘Twilight’ fans, and we’ll do it again when ‘Eclipse’ comes out.”
“Eclipse,” the third book in the series, has already been filmed and is scheduled to hit theaters in May of 2010.
If you want to chat “Twilight” or get a “Twilight”-inspired look, visit Wild Orchids Salon at 1328 Sunset Drive in Antioch or call 925-756-0666 to make an appointment.