Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner

AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara

Good news, fanggirls: Kristen Stewart says there will be a fourth Twilight movie. She can't imagine why there wouldn't be a big-screen adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn, the last novel in her young vampire series.

As we all know by now, Twilight was one of last year’s biggest hits, New Moon starts shooting any minute now, and the studio most recently announced they've officially started work on developing Eclipse.

"We all really hope there is going to be a number four," Stewart, 18, told me yesterday afternoon when we sat down to chat in a suite at L.A.'s Sofitel hotel. "I'm pretty confident that the fans aren’t going to all of a sudden lose interest. The only case that a fourth one wouldn’t be made is if all of a sudden people stopped caring, and I really don't think that's going to happen."

And that's not about to happen for Stewart, either. In fact, she'd like to set the record straight about critics who have come to attack her as some sort of Hollywood ingrate who doesn't think very highly of Twilight or its more dedicated—some would say obsessed—fan base.

"I love the fans," she insists. "I feel like I am one of the fans and any direct interaction I've ever had with them has been the most warm and pleasant and enthusiastic. If anything, it's the biggest driving force that could propel you to do something."

That doesn’t mean all the new attention—OK, hysteria—can't be overwhelming at times. But when she was recently quoted in a magazine as describing some of these experiences as "psychotic," some felt she was taking a dig at the fans. "It's not normal for me to be in a situation that Twilight puts you in," she explains. "It's not personally normal for me to see 5,000 screaming girls. But I'm not criticizing them for being 'crazy' about me. I’m sort of going, "Wow, this is just crazy!' "

Crazy too are the yet to be proven rumors that she and Robert Pattinson are more than just friends. "Rob and I are great friends," Stewart says. "But I understand why you would assume that when we lean on each other for support, there must be something more…And I'm not criticizing anyone for thinking it, either. If anything, they're really perceptive, because they can see a closeness." (Her longtime boyfriend, actor Michael Angarano, isn't fazed by the talk, either. "We laugh about it," Stewart says.)

When Stewart wasn’t at the Oscars last month, critics pounced again. Did she dislike Twilight so much that she wasn't willing to support it like Pattinson, who was a first-time presenter? Was she scared that the supposed secret romance between her and her costar would be too hard to hide if they appeared together on the same stage on Hollywood's biggest night?

Um, no! She had a very good reason for not being there—she wasn't asked. "If I was invited to the Oscars, I would be there in a nanosecond," she says. "If I got an invitation to the Oscars, I wouldn’t turn it down!"

Perhaps next year she and Pattinson could sing together at the Oscars? Late last month, the two engaged in some late-night karaoke while promoting Twilight in Tokyo. Stewart and Pattinson covered Elton John's "Your Song." "Rob could definitely do a musical," Stewart says.

Also belting out tunes were Hugh Jackman and director Baz Luhrmann, who were in Tokyo for the local premiere of Australia. When Stewart first arrived at the bar, Pattinson and Jackman were already engaged in a "really, really elaborate ABBA moment.” Later on, Luhrmann joined Pattinson at the mic. "It was really funny seeing Baz Luhrmann and Rob singing a David Bowie song," Stewart says. "It was a talky one so they both could sort of talk to each other, and they were riffing back and forth."

She adds with a laugh, "They were looking longingly into each other’s eyes."

As for Stewart, she starts rehearsals for New Moon next week, followed by about four months of filming in Vancouver and Italy with new director Chris Weitz. Then she's off to play Joan Jett in a biopic about her 1970s all-girl band, The Runaways. Stewart plans to do her own singing. "I don't see any reason not to," she says. "If it’s not going to be Joan, it's going to be me."

Her research included spending New Year’s Eve with Jett. "We were in a little city in Washington and she played through midnight," Stewart says. "And then we spent, like, hours into the morning talking."

On her plate right now are two upcoming indies. In the quirky and very sweet Adventureland, from Superbad director Greg Mottola, she's an angst-ridden coed spending her summer working at her hometown amusement park, where she finds herself torn between a married man (Ryan Reynolds) and a lovable nerd (Jesse Eisenberg). In first-time director Mary Stuart Masterson's The Cake Eaters, she's a high school student with a fatal neurological disorder who's trying to find love before it's too late.

"I get to do something that literally if I didn't get to do, I would implode," Stewart says of acting. "There's really no better position for me to be in right now in my life, and I am entirely grateful."

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