In a recent revelation, "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke shared the studio's initial reservations about Robert Pattinson's casting as the brooding vampire Edward Cullen in the famous "Twilight" saga. During her appearance on the "Watchalong" podcast, Hardwicke delved into the behind-the-scenes challenges that arose when introducing Pattinson to the studio.
Hardwicke recalled Pattinson's first impression, which raised eyebrows among the studio executives. "When he came over to my house, he had black bangs for hair and was kind of out of shape because he was hanging out at the pub all the time," she said.
Hardwicke saw potential in Pattinson despite his unconventional appearance in person and on screen. "I thought, 'it works not just in person, but on screen.' I had to be sure. Of course, I just got carried away in person, but you have to be sure — does it really translate [to the screen]?"
Studio's Casting Doubts
The turning point came during Pattinson's audition with co-star Kristen Stewart for the 2008 movie.
Hardwicke sent the audition tape to Summit Entertainment, only to be met with skepticism. "They called me back and go, 'Do you think you can make this guy look good?' I said, 'Yeah, I do. Did you see his cheekbones?'" Hardwicke assured the studio that Pattinson would transform into the enigmatic Edward they were looking for with a makeover, including a new hairdo and fitness regimen.
Despite her confidence, the studio's doubt lingered. "He walked over there with a stained shirt… It was Rob," she added, reflecting on Pattinson's casual approach. The director also shared insights into the casting process, revealing that the final contenders for Edward's role included Pattinson, Ben Barnes, Shiloh Fernandez, and Jackson Rathbone.
This glimpse into the casting challenges highlights the complexities and uncertainties of bringing beloved literary characters to life on the big screen. Pattinson's eventual embodiment of Edward Cullen would go on to captivate millions, proving that sometimes a director's vision can truly transform an actor into an iconic character.