Twilight gave the careers of its cast a big push, but the experience wasn’t that good for everyone. Many of them were very vocal about their feelings about the movies, the stories, and the fame that came with them – here’s what the Twilight actors thought about the saga. In 2005, Stephenie Meyer introduced readers to a different type of vampires who coexisted with humans and werewolves in Twilight, the first entry in a series of four novels. The core of the story was the often problematic romance between vampire Edward Cullen and human Bella Swan, with werewolf Jacob Black in between as well as a clan of “royal” vampires who wanted to ensure their people remain a secret.
Twilight became a cultural phenomenon and was adapted to the big screen between 2008 and 2012, with the final novel, Breaking Dawn, being split into two parts. The Twilight film saga was a box office success, but it didn’t do as well with critics, who often criticized the narrative and dynamics between the characters (mostly Edward and Bella), though most praised the movies’ visuals. Of course, the movies expanded the books’ fanbase and gave the careers of its main cast a big push, but it wasn’t an easy ride for them, and they weren’t afraid of sharing how they truly felt about the movies.
While they have all moved on to different (and in most cases, better) things, the Twilight shadow is still over them even if slightly, and though most have changed their minds now about the Twilight experience, at the time they were very honest about how hard it was to deal with fan pressure, certain on-set conditions, or even how nonsensical the plot of the story was. Here’s what Twilight actors really thought about the movies.
Kristen Stewart wasn’t a newcomer when she was cast as Bella Swan, having appeared in films like Panic Room, The Messengers, and Into the Wild, but Twilight give her worldwide recognition, which affected her on many levels. Though the character didn’t require any physical transformations as others did (most notably Jacob Black), Stewart had to wear brown contact lenses and hair extensions, which she had shared were “really uncomfortable”. The fame that came with playing Bella Swan was also hard to deal with, and shared that something personal “became not the most personal thing, which is awesome because to share that is great, but at the same time I was 17 or 18 when it all kind of went down” and that was “the most uncomfortable, terrible, weird time”.
In recent years, Stewart has shared she felt frustrated by how she was misunderstood during Twilight times, as she was constantly criticized for a number of things of which many weren’t even related to the Twilight movies (such as her “lack of smiling”), all because she “didn’t leap willingly into being at the centre of attention” and that gave people the wrong idea about her. In an interview with Elle, she shared that at the height of her Twilight fame she went through a lot of stress, which manifested as panic attacks and physical illness.
It didn’t help that her relationship with Robert Pattinson was an important part of her personal life that became very public, saying they were “turned into these characters and placed into this ridiculous comic book” that made their relationship something it wasn’t. Aside from that, Stewart also spoke about how nonsensical the plot of the Twilight movies was at times, and while all the plot holes and weird storylines boosted her career, post-Twilight life wasn’t easy. Stewart focused on independent movies for a while, which she saw as a “chance to be looked at, not as this thing in this celebrity-obsessed culture” which only recognized her as “the girl from Twilight”.
Perhaps the one who was the most honest about his dislike over the Twilight Saga was Robert Pattinson. Ever since the first movie was released, Pattinson has talked about how tough playing Edward Cullen was in all possible levels, and has even said that it was weird to be part of “something you don’t particularly like”. The Twilight fever was such that it became quite invasive for the main cast, with Pattinson sharing that “they know you more than someone they actually know”. Pattinson even criticized the intensity of the fandom multiple times, saying he couldn’t fully understand the craze and that he sometimes asked himself “what these masses of people do the whole day”.
Of course, he also had some thoughts about the plot of the series, saying that “a lot of stuff in the Twilight world doesn’t make any sense”, and if it hadn’t been so successful, people would have thought it was a really weird story. Pattinson never really held himself back in interviews, something that both Twilight fans and those not into the saga have appreciated, and while most of his reactions and responses have been taken lightly and as something funny, there was a lot of truth in them. Among some of his most memorable comments on the Twilight movies are that he only watched them once (“either at the premiere or just before the premiere”), that the thing he took from the set was “his dignity”, and that when he first read Twilight, it seemed like “a book that wasn’t supposed to be published”.
Pattinson has since changed his mind about the saga, especially because the Twilight fever has calmed down a lot as years passed, saying that the “only scary part was right in the thick of it all, when it was very, very intense”. Pattinson’s post-Twilight career wasn’t easy either, but he has had the opportunity of exploring different genres and truly showing his talent thanks to projects like Good Time and The Lighthouse, and is now ready to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in Matt Reeves’ The Batman.
Taylor Lautner was in charge of playing werewolf Jacob Black in all movies of the Twilight Saga, which was a very physically demanding role – so much that he was almost recast. When New Moon was in pre-production, director Chris Weitz wasn’t sure Lautner could bulk up enough to play the “new, larger Jacob Black”, and was considering replacing him with Michael Copon. Lautner weight-trained extensively to gain the muscle weight required for the character, and he kept his role for the rest of the saga.
In addition to that, Lautner didn’t have the best time filming the Twilight movies because of the weather, having to take his shirt off all the time, and the wig he had to wear in the first two movies. In an interview with EW, Lautner shared he was the only person that was shirtless, and wished that everybody could do it once to make him feel more comfortable. Believe it or not, this actually had an impact on his post-Twilight career, as he was constantly asked to appear shirtless just for the sake of it, which he refused to do.
Nikki Reed and Kellan Lutz
Nikki Reed had previously worked with director Catherine Hardwicke in the movies Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown, which helped her get the role of Rosalie Hale in the Twilight Saga. Rosalie was one of Edward’s “siblings”, and was initially hostile towards Bella – an attitude that ended up translating to the cast’s behind-the-scenes dynamic. Nikki Reed shared back in 2012 that it was all initially “innocent and fun” and they were like “one big happy family”, but success changed it all, adding that they were “not all best friends” and were not going to hang out after the saga was over. In a separate interview with Popcorn Biz, Reed said she didn’t feel “particularly sentimental” about the Twilight Saga coming to an end, and that they were “sort of ready to graduate middle school and move on to whatever the next chapter is”.
Reed’s reaction is rooted on behind-the-scenes issues with her co-stars and most of her scenes from New Moon being cut, so it’s understandable that she was more than ready to move on once Breaking Dawn – Part 2 came out. Reed has since been part of various movies though mostly in minor roles, and appeared in a couple of TV shows as well, most notably Sleepy Hollow and V-Wars.
As for Kellan Lutz, who played Emmett Cullen, he shared with Document Journal that he “didn’t like the script” of the first movie, and questioned how “scary would a glimmering vampire really be”, saying it didn’t make sense. Lutz has also been part of various projects since the Twilight days, among those The Legend of Hercules and The Expendables 3, but nothing with the same impact as the Twilight movies.