After seeing Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson reenact the epic Twilight love story over the course of five feature length movies, it's almost impossible to imagine anyone else inhabiting the character's sparkly skins, but that wasn't always the case.
In the early days, when casting agents were trying to find the best muses to drag Stephanie Meyer's seminal characters off of the page and onto the silver screen, plenty of young actors were considered for the coveted roles. But how many of the ones below did you already know about?
After seeing the movies, it's hard to open your eyes to the idea of anyone but Kristen Stewart playing Bella, but all of the actors below were once in the running to portray the girl described in the books as:
Fluid even in stillness, and her flawless face was pale as the moon against the frame of her dark, heavy hair. Her limbs were smooth and strong, skin glistening subtly, luminous as a pearl.
1. Jennifer Lawrence
Does she regret not getting the part? Jennifer Lawrence has hinted in the past that she was ill equipped to deal with the whirlwind of fame that its stars were swept into, explaining:
"I remember when the first movie came out, seeing Kristen Stewart on the red carpet and getting papped wherever she went. I’d had no idea Twilight would be such a big deal. For me, and assuming for her, it was just another audition. Then it turned into this whole other thing."
Where do I recognize her from? A Winter's Bone, The Hunger Games franchise, Silver Linings Playbook,American Hustle, The X-Men franchise (from First Class onwards).
2. Michelle Trachtenberg
Does she regret not getting the part? Michelle Tractenberg has told interviewers that she's "already done the vampire thing" by playing Buffy's little sister, Dawn.
Tractenberg believes that she was only considered for the part because "there's so few pale girls in Hollywood," and although she probably secretly regrets missing out on the role because of her "busy schedule," she tries to remain positive. She told interviewers that:
"Dwelling on a hypothetical situation means you're not living in the moment and you're looking negatively at what you're doing now."
Where do I recognize her from? Buffy the Vampire Slayer, EuroTrip, Gossip Girl, Mercy
3. Emily Browning
Does she regret not getting the part? Emily Browning is adamant that she has no hard feelings about not getting the part of Bella, telling the Huffington Post that:
"If I had’ve auditioned and gotten that part and had the same experience that they did on the film, they got such a crazy amount of attention, I don't think I would be acting anymore. I think I would have quit. I don’t think I would have been able to handle it.”
Where do I recognize her from? Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sucker Punch, The Host, Magic Mike and Legend.
4. Lily Collins
Does she regret not getting the part? Although she didn't get the role, Collins believes that fate had already carved a path for her. She told E! that:
"I think every young actor or actress in Hollywood starts to read some of the same material but I think everything happens for a reason and everyone who gets the roles they get were meant to. I'm a firm believer in that."
Where do I recognize her from? The Blind Side, Mirror Mirror, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Love, Rosie.
When Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward, the fandom were mostly pleased with what they saw, but all of the actors below could have potentially played the vampire who is described by Bella in the books with an obsessive fervor as you can see in the passage below:
"Time had not made me immune to the perfection of his face, and I was sure that I would never take any aspect of him for granted. My eyes traced over his pale white features: the hard square of his jaw, the softer curve of his full lips—twisted in a smile now, the straight line of his nose, the top of his forehead—partially obscured by the tangle of rain-darkened bronze hair…"
5. Dave Franco
Does he regret not getting the part? In a modest interview with MTV News the youngest Franco admitted that he was way over his head when he was interviewing for the franchise, he said:
I tested for Edward Cullen. I don't know how close I was. I read for Catherine Hardwicke, but who knows. I mean, maybe there were still hundreds of kids left reading for Catherine Hardwicke ... At this point, I still don't know what I'm doing. At that point I was in over my head
Where do I recognize him from? 21 Jump Street, Warm Bodies, The Lego Movie, Neighbors.
6. Jamie Campbell Bower
Does he regret not getting the part? Bower managed to get a slice of the Twilight pie as Caius, but he hasn't held back about how he really wanted to be Edward at one point. He told Vulture that:
"It obviously didn't happen [being cast as Edward]. I wanted to be a part of the first movie, and then they came back and asked me if I wanted to be the second one, and subsequently the last two, and I said, "Absolutely! Of course I would!" I wasn't sure what I would have done with Edward, but I think I've always been drawn to the misfit character, the characters who don't really know who they are."
Where do I recognize him from? Twilight (from New Moon onward), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
7. Dustin Milligan
Does he regret not getting the part? Dustin joked that he was unable to land the part because he lacked a natural British accent, he told the press that:
I did my best Edward Cullen, but unfortunately, I didn’t have a British accent so, I didn’t get the job!
Where do I recognize him from? Runaway, 90210, X Company.
8. Shiloh Fernandez
Does he regret not getting the part? Shiloh Fernandez came within a hair's breadth of landing the role of Edward Cullen, but he was just too nervous to build up the appropriate chemistry with KStew. He told Next Movie that:
"It didn't work because I wasn't right for the part. I read a quote recently that I supposedly said about Kristen… it was horrible. What I was really saying was it was me — I was the one who was nervous and awkward. She already had the role of Bella. I really wanted that part because I like the book and I think it's a fantastic role, but we really didn't mesh up. I'm sure Kristen would agree — I've never seen her besides that one day."
Where do I recognize him from? Red Riding Hood, Evil Dead, White Bird in a Blizzard, Jericho.
9. Henry Cavill
Does he regret not getting the part? Cavill didn't actually interview for Edward Cullen, but he was Twilight author Stephanie Meyer's top pick for the role. Unfortunately, at 25 years old at the time, Cavill was a bit too old to portray the perpetually 17-year-old vampire.
Where do I recognize him from? The Count of Monte Cristo, Red Riding Hood, Blood Creek, Man of Steel, The Man from U.N.C.L.E..
10. Older Jacob - Michael Copon
Does he regret not getting the part? Michael Copon was obviously devastated that he didn't manage to snatch the role of Jacob from Taylor Lautner when there was talk of recasting the role for a bigger more imposing Jacob. Copon told J-14 that:
"I have nothing against Taylor personally. I think he’s great and tremendous at what he does. But it’s just adjusting to the fact that Jacob has to grow. It’s a matter of going with the storyline. It goes with the territory. I see so much in Jacob Black that I feel like wasn’t brought to the first film that if I had the opportunity, I would totally create an amazing character."
Where do I recognize him from? Power Rangers (Time Force and Wild Force), One Tree Hill, Bring It On: In It to Win It, The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior.
11. Leah Clearwater - Vanessa Hudgens
Does she regret not getting the part? Vanessa Hudgens never commented on not landing the role, but Ashley Greene has confirmed that she auditioned for the part.
Where do I recognize her from? High School Musical, Spring Breakers, Machete Kills.
12. Aro - Ben Barnes
Does he regret not getting the part? Ben Barnes never commented on not landing the part of Aro, or being turned down as Edward, another role he was reputedly in the running for.
Where do I recognize him from? The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Dorian Gray, Killing Bono, Seventh Son.
13. Jane - Lucy Hale
Does she regret not getting the part? As a Twilight fan, Hale was clearly not thrilled to miss out on the role of Jane, but she thinks Dakota Fanning was the right actor for the job, she said:
"Well, I did read [for the role of Jane]. We had some talks about it. But I think they just offered it to Dakota Fanning, the role I was interested in. Which is great – I’m a huge fan of her! So, I think she’ll probably take that. And I mean, as of right now, I’m not sure if it’s going to work out. But I’m definitely still going to see it!"
Where do I recognize her from? The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Bionic Woman, Privileged, Pretty Little Liars.