After a resurgence of popularity for Twilight, Kristen Stewart praises the indie roots of the global sensation, admitting that originally there were very low expectations for the films success. Stewart’s performance as Bella Swan earned her international fame at an unprecedented level, alongside Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner who completed the love triangle as Edward Cullen and Jacob Black respectively. Adapting the first novel from Stephenie Meyer’s saga was director Catherine Hardwicke, who audiences continue to applaud for delivering a young adult story in an authentic, captivating way, despite some of the initial negative reactions Twilight received.
Moving to Forks, Washington to live with her father, Bella meets the mysterious Edward who captures her attention, and as they explore a blossoming romance, are forced to navigate a darker truth about the Cullen family. Premiering in 2008 with a budget of $37 million dollars, Twilight earned over $400 million, gaining greater fame than the production team could have imagined. At the time of its release, The Twilight Saga received harsh criticism for odd acting choices and outlandish plot points. Overtime, the franchise has developed a cult following, one that celebrates the first film emphatically for all its quirks and details.
While speaking to SirusXM, Kristen Stewart responded to the comment that, unlike a majority of the franchise, Twilight is an authentic indie film. With it’s low budget and ultra specific tone and feel, Stewart shares her honest surprise that five full features came from one low budget fantasy-romance. The star notes that she never wants to reduce Twilight’s success, but loves the distinctly independent feeling of the film. Read her full reaction here:
“I always want to remind people of [Twilight being an indie] without being like… like diminishing or being like ‘Oh it was nothing!’ That’s not what I’m saying. We just did not know, and it was kind of an odd ball, y’know, slightly marginal like teen movie like, I didn’t think everyone was going to take to that. I didn’t think we were going to make a sequel.”
Stewart, Pattinson, and the rest of the Twilight cast rose to global stardom rapidly after the debut of the film, and since its release, have been navigating varied reactions to the franchise. Some critics found the acting choices to be bizarre, with Pattinson’s dramatic take on Edward feeling unrealistic and toxic, while Stewart delivered what was called an awkward performance. However, for many viewers, both in the early 2000’s and now, the film brought young adult fantasy to life in a perfect way, even if at times it felt unbelievable or humorous. As Stewart points out, the film was never initially intended to become one of the most recognizable franchises, however the success is made sweeter because of the production’s original small scale.
The star-crossed love triangle laced with mysterious supernatural entities gave Twilight a complex and unique angle for the teen romance which, at it’s core, is a simple boy-meets-girl story. Over the last few years, audiences have revisited the series and fought to give it a better reputation. Twilight respected its young, female audience and delivered a high fantasy story in an approachable way. From a fiscal standpoint, there is no doubt the film is a success, but now that the cast and the fandom have distance from the original hype, there is a greater appreciation for the saga and all that it is, including the amusing elements that create a campy, nostalgic viewing experience.