He says she's just a friend.
In a new cover story, the Twilight actor insists to Vanity Fair that he and his onscreen paramour are simply "good friends," and that he considers her "the best young actress around."
Stewart is even more emphatic, telling the magazine, "It's so retarded . . . We're characters in this comic book."
And the naturally shy Pattinson, who was a virtual unknown before Twilight debuted a year ago, finds all the attention excruciating. "I'm trying not to drown," he tells VF writer Evgenia Peretz, who observes that his San Diego hotel room is strewn with "beer bottles, old scrambled eggs, a half-eaten Twix bar, and a dirty pair of jeans."
"I guess I'm not the type of guy cut out to do a franchise," the 23 year-old actor says, noting his aversion to crowds and his particular fear of paparazzi snapping him with his "a** crack showing." He scoffs at suggestions that he's anything to look at, too, calling himself "a cartoon character."
Yet Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke clarifies that her new star wasn't shy during the filmmaking process. At night, she recalls the young actor as "always drunk" and frequently regaling castmates with his guitar-playing.
Of the Stewart-Pattinson dynamic, Hardwicke says "What Rob and Kristen had is a multitude of feelings for each other . . . Complex, intense fascination."
The issue hits newsstands Wed. Nov. 4; the sequel The Twilight Saga: New Moon hits theaters Nov. 20.