The Twilight Saga: New Moon director Chris Weitz opens up about his refusal to feature a Taylor Swift cameo in the film. The second installment in the five-film Twilight vampire franchise, New Moon was released in 2009 and achieved the highest single-day opening domestic gross at the time with $72.7 million. Based on the 2006 Stephanie Meyer novel of the same name after 2008’s hit Twilight, New Moon received negative reviews from critics but was highly appreciated by fans of the series.
New Moon focuses on a heartbroken Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) following her breakup with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). She seeks solace in her friendship with childhood pal and werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), but when his company is taken away, she starts pursuing thrill-seeking activities. When Edward believes Bella has killed herself, he attempts to do the same. After the vampire authority, the Volturi later discovery Bella and Edward’s relationship, they decree that she must become a vampire. While the cast’s core trio returned, New Moon also featured new faces, including Twilight super-fan Dakota Fanning as a terrifying member of the Volturi. Apparently, she wasn’t the only fan of the franchise gunning for a part in New Moon.
In a conversation with unofficial podcast The Twilight Effect with Ashley Greene and Melanie Howe, New Moon director Weitz reveals that he and ‘Twi-Hard’ Taylor Swift shared an agent at the time of filming New Moon. He mentions his agent’s request on behalf of Swift that she be featured in the film, even if only in a tiny cameo. Then, the director explains why he ultimately declined. See Weitz’s comments below:
“The hardest thing for me was to be like, the moment that Taylor Swift walks onto the screen, for about five minutes, nobody is going to be able to process anything. I kick myself for it too, because – I was like, wow, I could’ve been hanging out with Taylor Swift. She must have been like, ‘Who is this jerk?’ But sometimes you make decisions thinking this is for the best of the film.”
Though Weitz notes his regret at not including Swift in New Moon, his reasons for the rejection show his dedication to creating an immersive experience for viewers. The director’s logic makes sense given past instances. In 2009, Swift was coming off of the success of her second studio album, Fearless, and would have been difficult to ignore in any film, especially one as solemn as New Moon. His denial of Swift’s cameo likely didn’t sting much, however, as the singer-songwriter has gone on to increase her super-stardom both in music and on the big screen, starring in several movies including David O. Russel’s upcoming period ‘whodunit,’ Amsterdam.
In light of Swift’s continued success in both the music and film industries, Weitz’s regret for not giving her a part in New Moon is understandable. However, the director’s choice was ultimately for the good of the film. By keeping the Twilight sequel grounded in its love story despite all its supernatural elements, he set the stage for fan-favorite film, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Weitz’s commitment to being true to the source material in his visual storytelling showed, since fans of the franchise still praise New Moon highly, no matter what critics have to say.