Twilight Director Recalls Robert Pattinson’s Transformative Journey into Edward Cullen

Twilight Director Recalls: In a recent interview with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, director Catherine Hardwicke reminisced about the 15th anniversary of the 2008 movie Twilight. Hardwicke revealed the efforts she had to put in to convince the studio that Robert Pattinson, who played Edward Cullen, was the right choice as the romantic lead, despite initial reservations about his appearance.

Describing her first impression of Pattinson, Hardwicke recalled, “When he came over to my house he had black bangs — hair dyed black — kinda out of shape because he’s hanging out at the pub all the time.” She had to work hard to sell Pattinson to the studio, emphasizing his chemistry with Kristen Stewart, who played Bella Swan.

Despite the chemistry, there was a need for a “makeover” for Pattinson. The director sent footage of his chemistry read with Stewart to the studio, and when they expressed concerns, Hardwicke assured them, “We’re doing a makeover on the hair — everything, we’re doing everything. Makeover, he’s gonna start working out, and he’s gonna be gorgeous.”

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The makeover involved changes to his hairstyle, eyebrows, and even his teeth. Hardwicke emphasized Pattinson’s commitment, stating, “He put a lot of effort in; you know, beautiful effort into it.” The conflict over Edward Cullen’s hairstyle was resolved with hair extensions, and the team eventually found a style that became iconic throughout the four films.

Reflecting on casting, Hardwicke highlighted Pattinson’s chemistry with Stewart, making him the clear choice for Edward. She recalled, “Right when Rob came in there was pretty much no contest because the two of them felt that connection so strong.”

Stewart was Hardwicke’s top choice for Bella from early on. After seeing her in Into the Wild, the director thought, “I want her.” Their chemistry read confirmed the casting decision, with Hardwicke noting, “I don’t think she felt it so strong with the others but you know it totally makes sense because they’re both, like, so indie — indie music, indie authors, writers, films. I mean, they had all that stuff together.” The director’s insights provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the transformative process that brought Twilight’s iconic characters to life.

Also read: Josh Peck Missed Twilight Opportunity: A Tale of Almost Playing Edward Cullen

Our Reader’s Queries

Did Twilight change directors?

Chris Weitz, David Slade, and Bill Condon took the reins for the movies instead. At a recent 15th anniversary event for Twilight, director Catherine Hardwicke disclosed to why she opted out of returning for any of the sequels.

Who was the director of Twilight 2008?

Catherine Hardwicke directed Twilight, a 2008 romantic fantasy film based on Stephenie Meyer’s 2005 novel of the same name. Melissa Rosenberg wrote the screenplay for the movie.

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