No one was prepared for Twilight mania, not even the series’ own author, Stephenie Meyer. The first book from the four-part series hit stores in 2005. The vampire-themed fantasy followed the life of an awkward teenage girl who falls in love with a brooding vampire. Together, they experience the ups and downs of a new relationship, on top of all the complications that come with him being a vampire. The story continued to captivate millions of readers in Meyer’s next three books; New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.
The insanely popular series sold well over 120 million copies worldwide. The madness grew even greater when Summit Entertainment picked the series up to become a series of five movies known as The Twilight Saga.
Fans fell deeper in love with the series’ characters and became obsessed with the actors who took on the main roles. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner’s lives were drastically altered by taking on the roles of Bella, Edward and Jacob. As a total, the series made over $3 billion in box office sales.
Though this series rose to the top quite quickly, it also received a lot of criticism, mostly for the touchy subject of relationship manipulation and control. A lot of heart-stopping drama happened on the pages of the books, which was then mirrored on the screens of the movies. But what went on during the making of the Saga when fans weren’t watching? What really happened? We’re here to open the door to a world of behind-the-scenes Twilight secrets.
20 Not Stephenie Meyer’s First Choices
When authors write novels, they often have a clear image of what their characters look like and how they behave. In a way, the characters are often the author’s babies. Sometimes, authors go into writing a book with the idea that maybe one day it will get picked to become a movie. In that case, they even start to mentally pick out the best stars to play the characters. After learning the first book, “Twilight,” was going to be made into a movie, author Stephenie Meyers started casting the characters in her own mind.
In 2007, before the first movie was released, Meyers posted a blog clearly stating who she felt would be best to play specific main characters of the story.
She wrote on her website, “My opinions on the movie matters to no one. [But] just because no one cares about my opinions, doesn’t mean I don’t have them." For Bella Swan, she wanted someone more like Danielle Panabaker, Ellen Page, or Emily Browning. For Edward Cullen, she saw Henry Cavill and Logan Lerman. Now as we all know, none of those actors ended up in the movies, but Kristen Steward and Robert Pattinson did one heck of a job and quickly grew on Meyers.
19 Drama In Oregon
Hollywood often has a problem with casting much older actors in the roles of young adults and teenagers - think the classics like, She’s All That and Bring it On. To make the Twilight Saga as authentic as possible, the casting directors sought out actors who were close to the age of the story’s characters. During the first movie, Kristen Stewart, who played Bella Swan, was 17-years-old. While this was great for the movie makers and the viewers, it put production in a bit of a pickle.
They put Stewart opposite a few different guys to find the best man to play Edward before they decided to go with the then 21-year-old Robert Pattinson. Much of the movie’s production took place in Oregon. The age of consent in Oregon is 18. Catherine Hardwick, the first film’s director, opened up about testing actors’ chemistry by actually filming them kissing in her own bedroom. Strange as that is, that’s how she knew RPatz was the direction to take. After they cast him, she told him, “Don’t even think about having a romance with her. She’s under 18. You will be arrested.” As we all know, though, Stewart and Pattinson did share a real-life romance, just not during the first film.
18 Robert Pattinson’s Hatred For Edward
The moment an actor commits to a major role in a movie is a pretty big deal. Usually, the decision is made because the actor has some sort of connection to the character or feels inspired by the story. Other reasons may be the actor views the role as taking on a new. Often, actors dedicate themselves more than 100 percent to taking their role to the next level. Robert Pattinson had a completely different experience with his role as Edward Cullen. Rumor has it, Pattinson genuinely hated Edward.
In an interview with Empire Magazine in 2008, he stated, “The more I read the script, the more I hated this guy, so that’s how I played him, as a manic-depressive who hates himself.”
Pattinson describes the relationship between Edward and Bella as “very wrong and very strange.” Pattinson never even heard about Twilight before he auditioned for the role. According to reports, he heard Kristen Stewart was auditioning and he truly admired her part in “Into the Wild” and wanted to meet her. His audition for Twilight took place after losing his shot in a different project. “I think I was at such a kind of nothing-to-lose state, it was quite easy for me to do.”
17 Is That Stephenie Meyer?
When an author decides to let their book or books be made into a big screen movie, it is a huge commitment. This was definitely the case for Stephenie Meyer and the Twilight series. She had many an argument with production over the casting and other technical decisions. Another strange disagreement involved her being in the actual movie. Some would think the author would love to be in her book to movie production, but Meyer did not see it that way. Originally, Meyer did not want to have any role in the movie, because she didn’t want to mess it up. The first film’s director, Catherine Hardwicke had a different idea in mind.
Ultimately, Hardwicke convinced Meyer to take a small part in the film, even if it was just an extra. So, Meyer decided to be an extra sitting at the counter in one of the diner scenes. Hardwicke wanted to give Meyer lines, but Meyer refused. You can see Meyer sitting at the counter working on her laptop. It is believed she was actually working on writing Breaking Dawn during that scene. Many fans missed her when they first watched the scene, but after learning about it, they can’t help but stare at her.
16 A Hairy Edward
Finding the perfect man to play Edward Cullen was the most trying process for director Catherine Hardwicke. Once Robert Pattinson auditioned for the role, it was clear he was the one. There was only one issue – his hair. Details from the Twilight book provide some idea to what the character should look like, and the Hardwicke also had her own ideas. In the book, Edward is described as the beautiful “bronze-haired” boy. Hardwicke imagined Edward with longer hair. Before casting Pattinson, Hardwicke’s sketch of Edward showed a man with long scraggly hair and brown contacts. “I thought he would look good with long ‘timeless’ hair.”
Before shooting, Hardwicke had the assistant hair stylist, Nicole Frank, spend nine hours putting extensions into Pattinson’s hair.
Pattinson hated them so much, the next day on set, Frank pulled them all out. She, head stylist Mary Ann Valdes and Pattinson set forth on creating the now-famous Edward hairstyle. To get the right shade of hair color, Valdes had the actors try on different wigs first before dying their hair. Pattinson’s hair took a bit more work. Beverly Hills salon owner Stuart Gavert reported, “We created this hair color masterpiece through advanced highlighting techniques and a brand new method that I dubbed ‘twilights.’”
15 Rosalie’s Blonde Hair
Taking brunette hair and trying to turn it blonde is often a long and grueling process. When actress Nikki Reed was cast to play Edward’s sister Rosalie Cullen she had natural brunette hair. The Twilight novel describes Rosalie as one of the most beautiful characters, next to Edward that is. Her hair is long and golden. The director of the film didn’t want all the vampire characters to have the traditional vampire black hair. It reportedly took stylists 36 hours to take Reed’s natural hair and turn it to blonde.
Production stylists didn’t want to resort to using a wig on Reed, so they started out with bleaching the top of Reed’s hair and then attaching “a three-quarter fall that extended below her natural hair,” for the rest of the blonde effect. Other hair secrets behind the set involve Kristen Stewart. According to sources from the movie, Stewart had hair pieces that were often attached to her head, so the set wouldn’t have to spend much time on her hair and could have her in front of the camera longer. The Twilight characters’ hair colors are a major part of the character personalities and help the actors portray their roles better.
14 The Brooding Vampire
Robert Pattinson struggled a great deal with connecting to his character Edward Cullen and adapting himself to the level of stardom after the films were released. He had no previous knowledge of Twilight before auditioning for the role, and after getting to know Edward, he decided he hated him. Nonetheless, Pattinson committed himself completely to the part after casting. To prepare for Edward, Pattinson moved to Oregon and started working on the character both mentally and physically. He consistently worked out with a trainer because Edward is a very active character. He had to learn how to do stunts and play baseball. Pattinson also had to learn how to drive and get an Oregon license since some of the scenes have Edward driving.
To find Edward’s mental state, Pattinson went into a sort of hiding during the weeks before filming and he didn’t talk to anyone.
Pattinson was convinced Edward was a tortured depressed man. Pattinson was actually almost thrown out of the film for being too intense with Edward. “I was so determined to make it so serious, I was fighting with everybody in control all the time... to the point where I almost got fired,” he said in an interview with the New York Times.
13 Unusual Improv
While explaining all the Cullens’ backstories, the saga often takes the viewers on a trip to the past with a sepia-like tint over the video to separate from the present storylines. Seasoned actors typically have the leeway to improvise certain details or lines in scripts; this is not uncommon. In Twilight, we learn Carlisle “saved” his family by turning them into vampires when they were practically on their deathbeds. In one scene Carlisle, played by Peter Facinelli, is seen biting Edward, which ultimately turns Edward into a vampire.
Now, to the viewers, this looks like a moving moment in the story, but the actors had quite a bit of fun with this one. Since this was filmed as a silent scene, we can’t really hear what the actors were saying. We only hear the story being told in present time. During the many takes of this scene, Facinelli started having some fun with Robert Pattinson. Carlisle is shown whispering something into Edward’s ear just before the bite. He started out with normal phrases, like “I’m sorry” and “my son,” but after a few takes, he started whispering silly things like, “You’re [attractive].” This ultimately caused Pattinson to laugh and did not make it into the movie.
12 The Volturi Eyes
Every story has to have a villain, and though the main character, Edward Cullen could have been construed as a villain in Twilight, there were worse vampires out there. Something about Bella deeply attracted vampires from all over; her scent was mesmerizing. The Cullens kind of made it their duty to protect her and fight off other vampires who sought a taste of her. One of the more frightening groups of villains were the Volturi. The Volturi, who make their first appearance in New Moon, are a group of vampire overlords who rule over all other vampires. They are truly a frightening bunch of vamps, so their look needed to match the feeling.
The special effects designer Cristina Patterson Ceret reportedly had to hand paint each pair of contacts for the Volturi actors to give them the right shade of deadly red.
Apparently, a lot of work went into their wardrobe as well. Costume designer, Tish Monaghan explained that they were so much more than black. “I carefully color graded the shades of black on the characters in the chamber to show the ascent of power, with Jane and the other leaders being the darkest shade of all,” Monaghan said, according to Fame 10.
11 Bella’s Lullaby
Bella’s Lullaby was the beautiful song in the first Twilight that Edward composed and plays for Bella on the piano during her first visit to his house. It makes another appearance in New Moon when Edward makes a CD for Bella with all his compositions on it. It appears once again in both Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Part 2. The first moment this song is played is often described as one of the most romantic parts of the story. The truly raw and beautiful composition had girls all over the world swooning.
Initially, it was believed that Robert Pattinson was set to compose Bella’s Lullaby for the movie. Pattinson has a huge musical background and did music before he started acting. The movie’s director, Catherine Hardwick, described Pattinson as, “a beautiful musician, a very creative soul, very similar to Edward. He just totally reads the most interesting stuff, and sees the most interesting movies, and is very introspective and diving into his existential self.” Author, Stephenie Meyer hoped Muse’s Matthew Bellamy would compose the song. Pattinson did compose his version, but the version ultimately chosen was composed by Carter Burwell. Rumor has it, though, that Pattinson is actually playing Bella’s Lullaby on the Twilight soundtrack.
10 A New Direction
Production for the first Twilight film started taking place in 2007, with director Catherine Hardwicke being hired to direct. Hardwicke previously directed teen dramas like Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown. Hardwicke had a lot of strange ideas for the first film, including Edward’s long hair and testing actors’ chemistry by having them act out a love scene in her personal bedroom. Hardwicke also chose to do without the blood drawing scene from Twilight because of her own fear of needles. Also, let us not forget that hard-to-miss blue tinted filter over much of the first film. Nonetheless, the first film turned out to be a huge success. It brought in over $190 million with a production budget of about $37 million to make.
It seemed like a no-brainer that Hardwicke would be hired on for the sequel, New Moon. But, nope… Hardwicke was replaced by Chris Weitz. Summit Entertainment released a statement claiming the set release date for the film didn’t allow Hardwicke enough time for her creative process.
She “required prep time to bring her vision of the movie to the big screen.” Other sources claim Summit just didn’t like her and she was “difficult” and “irrational” during the film.
9 Team Taylor
We first meet Jacob Black in Twilight as a young, timid boy with long jet-black hair. Taylor Lautner was perfectly cast in the role. However, during the second movie, New Moon, Jacob Black starts going through an intense transformation as he unleashes his werewolf capabilities. In the books, Jacob’s change is so dramatic that the studio considered replacing 16-year-old Lautner altogether. They didn’t think he could portray the new Jacob.
When a press release was put out for the second film, fans noticed immediately that Lautner’s name was not on the list. They were outraged and petitions to get him back in the film officially were created. Since there wasn’t an official director at the time, no final decision had been made. Lautner, himself, was never going to let the role go, so he did what it took to keep the role. Lautner recalls the moment of uncertainty in an interview with MTV, “I tried to focus on what I could control the whole time and not let whatever was going on outside get to me. And that's what I did.” He ended up gaining around 30 pounds to make the Jacob transformation real. And this extra weight was definitely all in extra muscle mass.
8 Bella’s Prom Dress
One of the major storylines from the first film centers on Edward and Bella’s high school prom. When Bella makes her fairytale entrance down the stairs, eyes directly go toward her beautiful royal blue dress. It’s simple, yet classy. And according to reports, the dress only cost production $20! The suit Edward wears was the film’s most expensive clothing item.
Fans raved about Bella’s dress and wanted one just like it. Fashion designers everywhere set out to recreate the dress.
One place in Port Angeles, Washington, Black Diamond Bridal boutique, created a near-exact replica of the layered, blue halter dress. The cool thing is, Bella actually shopped in Port Angeles to pick out her dress in the Twilight book. ‘We wanted to give people the opportunity to dress in something festive which Bella wore,” expressed Black Diamond Bridal owner Belva Bodey. “If she had shopped in Port Angeles, she would have bought her dress here.”
Bodey sent off an image of the dress to be made at a Chinese company from eBay. One of the dresses were auctioned off for charity, and the other’s sold for $110 more than the original cost. Other places sell the dress anywhere from $50 to $250.
7 The Odd Werewolf
If you ever wondered how they got the werewolves in Twilight Saga: Eclipse to look and act so real with the human characters, we have the answer. The chemistry between wolfy Jacob and Bella needed to look and feel real. So, when Taylor Lautner was supposed to be a werewolf in scenes with Kristen Stewart, he wore a not flattering, gray bodysuit and acted as though he was a literal werewolf. When Bella is seen petting the werewolf, that’s Stewart giving Lautner a good scratch on the head. After the scenes were shot, the editors used CGI to fill out the werewolf character. In the original script, Stewart and Lautner were only to stand next to each other, but the third film’s director, David Slade suggested the petting moment to add an extra shot of emotion to the moment.
A technician on the movie admitted, “That was not exactly what we expected,” and explained it was difficult to make the scene look realistic. Tons of major movies use CGI, or computer-generated imagery, to create the unimaginable. Here’s a side secret, during the flying scenes of Harry Potter, the actors are not actually flying. The magic is achieved with either a blue screen and a little bit of CGI.
6 A Rush To 'Eclipse'
In many franchise movies, the same cast and crew work on making the films happen. This explains why there are typically years between each new movie of a series. Harry Potter movies had at least one to two years between release dates, Fast and the Furious films usually kept to two years for production. Twilight filmmakers looked at those numbers and laughed. They could do better than that. New Moon released in theaters on November 20, 2009. Eclipse hit theaters just seven months later, on June 24, 2010.
The turnaround was so abrupt that the cast began filming Eclipse when New Moon was still in post-production.
This inevitably lead to New Moon’s director Chris Weitz being replaced because of timing issues. While this was what seemed like an impractical decision, Eclipse is arguably the best film from the series and was continuously hailed for breaking box office records during the time it was released. There’s a love triangle happening and more action then we saw previously. Ratings of the movie weren’t as great as many hoped it would be, though. One critic praised the new director, David Slade, but felt a lot of the movie was taken up by drawn-out monologues.
5 Renesmee’s Robot
In the final film of the Twilight Saga, viewers are introduced to a special new character, Bella and Edward’s baby, Renesmee. Since the baby is half-vampire, production had quite the challenge finding a way to portray the hyper-intelligent tot. A real newborn baby is just way too precious to act as the “supernatural spawn” dreamt up by Twilight author, Stephenie Meyer. The creature that was created is possibly one of the most frightening things to almost hit screens. The idea behind using an animatronic was to achieve the half-vampire, half-human traits. News of the horrific baby monster was told before the film was released, but many hadn’t seen how awful the thing, now being referred to as Chuckesme, actually was.
The ghoulish end product seriously resembled the killer Chucky doll and looked like it was about to take out Nikki Reed, who plays Rosalie Cullen. No one wanted to be in the same room as the animatronic. In the end, the crew decided to get rid of the “mechanical demon” because it was too creepy to deal with. Instead, they went with a real baby with a CGI’d face. The final result was definitely still creepy, just less so.
4 Robert Pattinson’s Rage Unleashed
Robert Pattinson had no previous knowledge of the Twilight series when he auditioned for the role of Edward Cullen. After getting cast in the role, reading the script and learning who Edward was, Pattinson came to the conclusion that he hated Edward. His strong distaste for the character poured over into criticizing the entire series and its author, Stephenie Meyer.
Meyer described Pattinson as “very, very passionate about the character,” and “very intense,” after they got into a heated argument over Edward’s inner conscience.
However, Pattinson has come forward in numerous interviews expressing just how much he doesn’t like Twilight.
In describing the book, he stated, “When I read it, it seemed like it was a book that wasn’t supposed to be published. I was convinced Stephenie was convinced she was Bella… It was like reading her fantasy, especially when she said it was based on a dream.”
“I was just convinced, like, ‘This woman is mad. She’s completely mad and she’s in love with her own fictional creation.’ And sometimes you would feel uncomfortable reading this thing.” Pattinson was also extremely outspoken on the nature of Bella and Edward’s relationship, describing it as “there's definitely something wrong with her, and there's very obviously something wrong with me [as Edward].”
3 Sick Of 'Twilight'
Robert Pattinson hating the Twilight series and his character could be understood. It changed his whole life, and not in a way he wanted. For the series’ author, Stephenie Meyer to admit that she ended up disliking the series and was sick of it by the end of everything is a different story. The Twilight Saga, both books, and movies were overall a huge success. The movies grossed over $3.3 billion altogether in the box office. However, with every success came a lot of distaste. The series was hit with a ton of jokes and parodies mocking the whole story. The effects of Twilight Mania became too much for Meyer and much of the cast.
When asked about writing more Twilight books, Meyer told Variety, “I get further away every day. I am so over it. For me, it’s not a happy place to be.” She admitted if she were ever to touch Twilight again it would be to write a few short paragraphs stating which characters had died. Ouch. Meyer has even been accused of completely trashing the “Twi-Hards,” who are the hardcore fans of Twilight. She never mentions any regret in writing the books, so her ill feelings probably come from the stigma now attached to it.
2 Plummeting Reviews
Twilight’s book to movie creation was probably one of worst reviewed of its kind, in comparison to the Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Despite the awful reviews, though, it somehow went on to have every book made into a movie. The first film only received a 49 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the next four received even less than that. Harry Potter and the Hunger Games scored way higher.
It’s been almost 10 years since the first film was released, and near six for the final film, Breaking Dawn Part 2, and people are still talking about it. Mostly in a laughable passing, but it’s still being brought up because the true fans are still dedicated to it.
Some of the reviews of the movies were so bad, we just have to share them (because let’s be honest, they’re pretty funny). Film commented, “My hope is that the sequels are actual attempts at movies. The world doesn't need any more toothless cinema.” ABC stated, “If you’re a fan of the book, I’m so sorry.” Film School Rejects added, “There are certain things we've come to expect from vampire movies. They are either violent or steamy or both. Twilight is neither.”
1 What Just Happened?
A lot of the Twilight Saga’s fans were people who originally read the Stephenie Meyer novels. They go into the theaters knowing what to expect and how things will turn out. The decision to turn the final book, Breaking Dawn, into a two-part film was a big move. And to be honest, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 was a bit of a drag after the rush of Eclipse. Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg was confident she could deliver an amazing portrayal of Breaking Dawn in two parts, though, and she did deliver with Part 2.
Breaking Dawn spends a lot of time detailing the events leading to what is expected to be a big fight between the Cullens and the Volturi to prove Renesmee is not immortal. However, SPOILER ALERT, it all ends with Bella finding her special vampire power and producing a protective shield over all her loved ones. The movie producers saw this and didn’t see it coming across on the screen very well. So, Rosenberg put in the fight scene. She killed off some major characters during the fight. Fans were stuck right in the gut with grief. And fans of the book were completely shocked. It turned out to be one of Alice’s visions, but boy did it make for great action!
References: Fame10.com, MTV.com, empireonline.com, nytimes.com