Twilight: Behind-The-Scenes SecretsPublished on August 12, 2016. Updated May 6, 2020
Stephenie Meyer incited a phenomenon in Young Adult fiction fans that hadn’t been seen since Harry Potter when her Twilight Saga series became one of the biggest hits of the decade. Unsurprisingly, they too were quickly adapted for the big-screen, only making the fandom even more passionate. Dedicated fans sold out theaters long before the films premiered and have watched each of the five films over and over again. As with every film and major series, a lot more goes into bringing the film to the big screen than many fans realize. Take a look behind the scenes of the Twilight franchise with these 10 secrets that have been spilled over the years!
10. The Volturi
It took a lot of hard work to create the unique look of the Volturi, particularly their blood red eyes. Special effects designer Cristina Patterson Ceret actually hand-painted each set of contacts lenses worn by the Volturi actors. Costume stylist Tish Monaghan also revealed that there was so much more to the Volturi’s wardrobe than just 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.”Mary Evans Picture Library
9. Silent Improv
Whether scripts are strict or not, most actors like to add their own unique style and personality to scenes, and Peter Facinelli is one of them. In the scene in Twilight where Carlisle (Facinelli) is seen biting Edward (Robert Pattinson), Facinelli would whisper something into Robert’s ear for each take. He first started out by staying in character and whispering things like “I’m sorry,” and “My son,” but by the fifth take, he just whispered, “You’re sexy,” causing Pattinson to laugh and yet another take was needed.©Summit Entertainment/courtesy Everett Collection
8. Jacob’s Change
Fans are now well aware that after the first film, New Moon director Chris Weitz considered re-casting the role of Jacob Black because he needed to be much bigger and more muscular than Taylor Lautner was in Twilight. Lautner kept the role by working insanely hard and adding 30 pounds of muscle to his frame, but the costume department did their part in his transformation as well. “Jacob was supposed to have grown taller and really filled out, so we tailored all of the T-shirts he wore to make it seem like he was busting out of them,” Monaghan revealed. Lautner also wore lifts in his shoes in order to make the height difference more noticeable.Mary Evans Picture Library
7. Imagining Edward
It was quite the process for Meyer and director Catherine Hardwicke to find their perfect Edward Cullen, but once they screen-tested Robert Pattinson, they knew he was the one. While the descriptions of Edward in the books are very detailed, it turns out Hardwicke had her own ideas for Edward that didn’t pan out so well. “I thought it would be cool if Rob had long, romantic hair. So we put extensions on Rob and he just hated it. He sat there in the chair for eight hours and was like, ‘No.'”Mary Evans Picture Library
6. Development Difficulties
Before Summit Entertainment was able to bring fans the film adaptation for Twilight, it was first in development for almost three years with Paramount Pictures and MTV Films who had the initial rights. In those three years, a completely different adaptation was created in which Bella was a star athlete and author Stephenie Meyer said the differences were so great that “They could have put that first movie out, called it something else, and no one would have known it was Twilight!” Luckily when MTV Films couldn’t offer up an agreeable script, the rights went to Summit Entertainment where they promised a close adaptation to the book. Problems struck again, however, when writer Melissa Rosenberg was faced with an impending WGA strike; as a result, she worked around the clock to finish the screenplay before October 31.Peter Sorel/Summit Entertainment
5. Casting Difficulties
Casting the perfect Edward and Bella was obviously difficult, but casting the rest wasn’t any easier. Even though Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen was one of the best parts of the cast, he was not originally cast in the role. After losing out in auditions, he thanked Hardwicke and said, “hopefully we can work together soon.” Luckily for him, the first actor dropped out and Facinelli was given the part. One of the biggest casting issues that occurred on the set was when Bryce Dallas Howard was offered the role of Victoria, but turned it down, leaving the role open for Rachelle Lefevre. Howard ended up replacing Lefevre because of “scheduling conflicts” for Lefevre, but the actress said she was “stunned” and “greatly saddened” by the news. As well, Kurt Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain was offered an audition for Bella, but reportedly hated the script and turned it down, and Cam Gigandet was first cast Emmett Cullen but asked to play the smaller role of James instead because he was filming another movie at the same time.RNS photo courtesy Summit Entertainment.
4. Becoming Edward
Although Robert Pattinson wasn’t keen on the role at first, once he was cast, he gave it his all. He moved to Oregon immediately to begin filming and started to prepare to become Edward both physically and mentally. Pattinson worked out for five hours each day with a trainer, and he learned to fight, do stunts, and play baseball. Most importantly he also had to learn how to drive and got an Oregon driver’s license. For Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Pattinson also took boat driving lessons in order to drive the boat for the honeymoon scenes, but he crashed the boat in both lessons as well while filming in Brazil. He even learned to speak Portuguese for the scenes in which Edward interacts with housekeepers, Gustavo and Kaure, in Brazil.Peter Sorel/Summit Entertainment.
3. Harry Potter Battle
When Twilight first began being adapted into films, it was compared to the reigning YA fiction fandom – Harry Potter. Multiple books turned into movies, diehard fans, and supernatural/magical themes connected the two, and so did Twilight‘s theater premiere date. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was originally scheduled for a November 2008 release while Twilight was supposed to come out a month later. After Harry Potter got pushed to July 2009, however, Twilight took the massive November release date that was left in its wake.RNS photo courtesy Summit Entertainment.
2. The Wolf Pack
With the introduction of Jacob’s wolf pack in New Moon, each actor who was chosen for the pack had to have papers that proved their native descent. Chaske Spencer (Sam Uley) is Lakota (Sioux); Bronson Pelletier (Jared) is Cree-Metis; Alex Meraz (Paul) is Purepecha (Tarasco); Kiowa Gordon (Embry Call) is Hualapai, and Tyson Houseman (Quil Ateara) is Cree. All of the actors who are part of the wolf pack went through “wolf camp” together before filming in order to work out and bond for their on-screen roles.Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM
1. The Big Scene
Leading up to the release of Breaking Dawn – Part 1, a large topic of discussion was how they were going to portray the honeymoon sex scene between Bella and Edward that was described in the book. At first, the scene caused the MPAA to give the film a rating of R and the scene had to be edited to get a PG-13 rating. For his part, Pattinson went through a strict six-month diet and exercise routine to prepare for filming and stopped immediately after filming the scene. Stewart has stated that there was so much pressure on the scene that it was very awkward to film, and by the end of shooting, she didn’t feel like they had just filmed a passionate scene.©Summit Entertainment/courtesy Everett Collection