Kristen Stewart considers what it means to have Twilight reach a whole new generation of fans thanks to its recent stint on Netflix. Stewart is currently courting Oscar buzz for her performance in the Princess Diana biopic Spencer, but The Twilight Saga’s Bella Swan remains one of her most beloved characters. Based on the books by Stephanie Meyer, Twilight kicked off a new YA trend in cinema when it premiered in 2008 and became a blockbuster sensation. The first film, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, grossed over $402 million worldwide, which proved to be only the tip of the iceberg for the franchise.
Over the course of five movies in total, Twilight earned an impressive $3.32 billion worldwide. The series came to a close in 2012 with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, but the love story between Bella and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) remains alive and well for many. In addition to experiencing a bit of a renaissance on social media and popping up on Netflix’s Top 10 upon arriving on the streaming service last year, Meyer released the novel Midnight Sun in late 2020. As the long-awaited retelling of Twilight from Edward’s point of view, Midnight Sun caused an uptick in interest in the original series.
That Twilight still lingers in the public’s consciousness 10 years after it ended is not something that is lost on Stewart. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight recently as she was honored with the Palm Springs International Film Awards’ Spotlight Award, Stewart revealed how she learned the Twilight movies were on Netflix and what her reaction was. Though she’s still wrapping her head around it all, it’s amazing to the actress that the franchise has the ability to reach a new generation. Stewart said:
“I saw that it’s on Netflix, and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s on Netflix,’ like it was on there while I was looking through. Dude, it’s weird because it feels incredibly far away and also still not that far away from me and my time in this film. I don’t know, like, on one hand you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m old, my God, I did this five minutes ago, now it’s like 10-year anniversary.’ I’m like, wow, I have to go to my high school anniversary already.
“It’s rad, I don’t know, I haven’t really … that hasn’t touched me yet. I can’t wait for someone who’s 12 or 15 to suddenly think, like, it’s like when you’re little and you tell your parents how great Jimi Hendrix is or something — not to say that I’m remotely comparing my life to Jimi Hendrix — but you know what I mean where they’re like, ‘Dude, you don’t even know, it’s like, so sick.’ I do, I was in that.”
Many online love to joke about Twilight and its stars’ ambivalence towards the series, but it’s clear Stewart still holds some affection for the experience. As she said, Twilight is something that will continue to resonate with newer generations, and that isn’t something that should be dismissed. It remains a cultural force, as seen through things like What We Do in the Shadows’ recent parody of the iconic baseball scene. Stewart is grateful to have been a part of it, and she appreciates that it will get new fans with each passing year.
Of course, there could be even more ahead for Twilight even despite the end of the main series. The release of Midnight Sun led many to wonder if a movie could be ahead, similar to how The Hunger Games’ prequel is getting adapted for the big screen. Nothing has been announced just yet, but Stewart’s co-stars Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz recently expressed interest in the possibility. It isn’t clear if Stewart is as into the idea, but if the past couple years has proven anything, it’s that Twilight is still going strong. Don’t count it out just yet.