The Twilight movies have come and gone, and yet they remain a fascinating oddity in the world of hugely popular franchises. With a number of unintentionally humorous moments in the entire Twilight saga, some have suggested that the film adaptations of Stephenie Meyer's books may have been better if they lightened up. Believe it or not, this assessment could have actually benefited the series, since its main character was almost fired from the very first movie for being too serious.
Why So Serious, Ed?
In a recent interview with JustJared.com, Robert Pattinson looked back on his experience portraying Edward Cullen, the moody love interest of Twilight's central character, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). When he first stepped into Edward's shoes, Pattinson apparently took the role too seriously in an attempt to deliver an intense performance.
"I was very serious. I thought at the time – I was 21 – if you were going into a relationship with someone, the way you could make it really intense was if you could barely talk to each other, you could barely touch each other, incredibly serious all the time."
This didn't sit well with the filmmakers, who wanted Pattinson to have some fun while being Bella's vampiric lover. This didn't make sense to the actor, since the Twilight books and Edward himself had a brooding tone. Nevertheless, the directors wanted him to enjoy being a vampire, and he complied.
"Everyone was like it ‘No, it should be happy and having fun! That’s what people want!’…Now the whole series is known as a brooding thing, but I remember the producers giving me the book and every singe instance where my character smiled, they’d highlight."
After a disagreement about Edward's mood, Pattinson struck a compromise with the filmmakers. He later came back on the set of Twilight with a "big smile" and a more balanced representation of the character's mood - providing a performance that elevated him to stardom and solidified the actor as a Hollywood heart-throb.
Edward vs. Twilight: Robert Pattinson Really Disliked Edward Cullen
Despite Pattinson's compromise, his role became the subject of criticism throughout the saga's run. In fact, Edward was once likened to a sexual predator who could be "one of modern fiction's best candidates for a restraining order" in MTV's review of The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
However, the strange nature of Edward was clearly intentional, as Pattinson wanted to portray the character with this in mind. As he explained to Empire, he channeled his disdain for the character into his performance.
"...I hated this guy [Edward Cullen], so that's how I played him, as a manic-depressive who hates himself. Plus, he's a 108 year-old virgin, so he's obviously got some issues there."
Ever since the conclusion of The Twilight Saga, Robert Pattinson has been distancing himself from the vampire saga and many Twilight critics have been surprised by the actor's impressive filmography. Pattinson recently had a celebrated role in The Lost City of Z and his performance in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis was also critically acclaimed.
The actor's most recent interview sheds more light on the creative process behind his role, and gives fans a glimpse into how Pattinson had originally intended to play the character.
Do you think Edward Cullen should have been more serious? Share your thoughts in the comments below.