By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As "Twilight" fans gear up for the emotional rollercoaster of weddings, babies and battles that is "Breaking Dawn - Part 1", the movie's three stars are beginning to look to new horizons.
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1", opening in U.S. theaters on Friday, sees young lovers Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) finally marry in a wedding that has the "Twilight" fan-verse in a frenzy.
But wedded bliss doesn't last long for the young couple after Bella finds herself pregnant with a vampire baby that is slowly killing her. Back home, werewolf Jacob Black, played by Taylor Lautner, faces conflict within his own tribe as he chooses to protect Bella and her unborn child.
"Lots of milestones are crammed into this one and there's a very accelerated bit of life lived in this movie," said Stewart.
The end to the "Twilight" movie series eventually plays out when "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" reaches theaters in the summer of 2012. But with filming already wrapped up, Pattinson, Stewart and Lautner already are emotional about the end of the saga that turned them into worldwide stars and good friends.
"I'll never have anything like that again in any other aspect of moviemaking," said Stewart, 21. "It's a very shared love, but to share that with so many people, it is just so unique and it's so rare."
Lautner, 19, said the trio had become very close since making the first "Twilight" movie, released in 2008.
"We've gone through a lot with each other," he said. "We have a lot of fun making the movies, and it was definitely a bummer when it all finished."
But the young stars already have begun to move on. Lautner took a turn as an action hero in "Abduction" earlier this year, and he stars in the movie version of upcoming young adult sci-fi novel "Incarceron".
NO MORE WHITE FACE
Stewart, in 2010, played rock singer Joan Jett in "The Runaways" and a teenage prostitute in "Welcome To The Rileys". She will next be seen in the classic beat generation drama "On The Road," and in the lead role for 2012 fantasy "Snow White and the Huntsman."
For Pattinson, 25, there's one thing he won't miss as "Twilight" draws to an end.
"Putting a bunch of white face make-up on so you notice all the wrinkles you're getting. After awhile, it's kind of depressing," the British actor said. "I'm looking forward to not seeing that anymore."
Pattinson branched out in circus romance "Water for Elephants" opposite Reese Witherspoon earlier this year and has two other movies under his belt -- "Bel Ami", in which he plays a young Parisian seducer, and "Cosmopolis".
He is still surprised by fan response to the first three "Twilight" movies based on the best-selling novels by Stephenie Meyer. Combined, the three films have made more than $1.8 billion at worldwide box offices.
"I'd be curious how long it would go on for if we just kept making sequels. That would be so strange if it went on for ten years or something," Pattinson said.
"Breaking Dawn", directed by Bill Condon and produced by independent studio Summit Entertainment, has generated mixed reviews.
Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter criticized the "dirge-like" pacing and "banal" script. But Variety's Justin Chang said Stewart and Pattinson "have merged so completely with their roles and each other that the sight of the duo's matrimonial bliss -- delicately shaded by that sense of transience and loss that attends even happy life transitions -- delivers a genuine emotional payoff."
(Editing by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)