- “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke recalled the negative response to Robert Pattinson’s casting.
- Hardwicke said that the actor told her about mean comments people were making about him online.
- The director said she told Pattinson to focus and avoid reading the unfavorable reactions.
“Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke recalled the advice she gave to Robert Pattinson after his casting as Edward Cullen caused outrage among die-hard fans.
Hardwicke, who directed the 2008 film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s hit fantasy novel, appeared on the latest episode of “Twilight” star Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen) and cohost Melanie Howe’s podcast, “The Twilight Effect.”
Hardwicke was asked about the backlash to Pattinson’s casting. Henry Cavill, now known for his role as Superman in the DC Extended Universe, was famously Meyer’s first choice for Edward.
Pattinson’s casting as the handsome vampire who fell in love with an ordinary teen named Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), was announced in December 2007.
At the time, the actor’s career was in its early stages and his most notable job was the role of Cedric Diggory in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
Although Pattinson is now an A-list star with a passionate fanbase, people didn’t immediately embrace the actor when he landed the role of Edward because his appearance didn’t live up to their expectations.
“Rob came up to me one day and he goes, ‘Catherine, look at all these mean things that people are saying online. I’m hideous…'” Hardwicke recalled on the podcast. “And I’m like, ‘Oh my god, Rob, you can’t read all this. You just gotta focus. I swear to god, we have a plan. You’re going to be amazing looking and everyone’s going to love you.'”
She continued: “And I said, ‘Just do not read these things.’ And he goes, ‘But my mom feels it to me.'”
During her interview, Hardwicke said that many young actors were considered for the role of Edward, but those who auditioned were attractive in a boy-next-door way and lacked the “otherworldly” appearance of the character.
The director said that Pattinson’s cheekbones stood out to her. Pattinson flew out to LA on his own money to audition during the final stages of the process, when there were four total contenders left in the running.
When he showed up at Hardwicke’s home in Venice, California for his audition with Stewart, the director said that Pattinson had “scraggly, black dyed hair and a stain on his shirt.”
“Kind of wild-looking,” she said.
Pattinson shared a similar description of his audition look during a 2020 interview with Allure, telling the publication that he had black hair from a previous job and “had a few months where I’d been drinking beer all day, so I had this hairless, chubby body.”
Hardwicke said that the executives at Summit Entertainment weren’t impressed by Pattinson when they met him.
“They literally called me and went, ‘How can you make this guy look good?’ she said.
Hardwicke said that Pattinson worked out with a trainer for his role and showed up to the production’s set in Oregon early to “be in that environment to absorb it.”
Pattinson’s performance and physical transformation for Edward were met with praise from fans upon the movie’s release and he reprized the role for four sequels: “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” “Breaking Dawn: Part 1,” and “Breaking Dawn: Part 2 .”