The ‘Twilight’ saga, a cultural phenomenon that redefined teen romance in cinema, has always been a subject of mixed opinions. Despite its massive success, the franchise has been equally notorious for the candid, often critical, remarks from its own stars.
The series, which spanned five films from 2008 to 2012, has grossed over $3.3 billion globally, marking its place as a box office titan. However, the people who brought these beloved characters to life have expressed less than fond memories of their time in Forks, Washington.
Kristen Stewart, who played the saga’s heroine, Bella Swan, had a complex relationship with her character. In a 2012 appearance on The Graham Norton Show, she humorously critiqued Bella’s post-vampire transformation behavior: “As soon as [Bella] becomes a vampire, they kind of ignore their duties instantly. They just wanna bone. It’s the most ridiculous situation. You just had a child! Really?” Stewart’s remarks reflect a nuanced view of her character, balancing the script’s demands with the reality of her role.
Robert Pattinson, the British actor who played the brooding vampire Edward Cullen, often commented on the bizarre aspects of his character’s storyline. In a 2017 interview with W magazine, he discussed the strangeness of the series, especially a scene where he had to perform a cesarean with his teeth.
“It’s a really weird story… And I had to give her a cesarean by chewing through a placenta. I don’t know the medical — how it works. But there was definitely chewing through something.” In a 2019 conversation with Variety, Pattinson compared the romance in ‘Twilight’ unfavorably to more traditional love stories: “It’s not like The Notebook romantic… Twilight is about this guy, and he finds the one girl he wants to be with, and he also wants to eat her. I mean, not eat her, but drink her blood or whatever.”
Taylor Lautner, who played the werewolf Jacob Black, echoed the sentiments of his co-stars regarding the physical demands of his role. In a 2012 interview with E! News, he spoke about the challenges of constantly being shirtless: “I’m always the only person with my shirt off. It’s not fun.” He also humorously criticized the long wig he had to wear in the first film during a 2012 MTV interview: “The wig, it was a very important costar. There was hatred between both of us. It did not like me, I did not like it. Not fond memories.”
Anna Kendrick, known for her role as Jessica Stanley, Bella’s human friend, offered a more lighthearted perspective in a 2020 Vanity Fair interview. She compared the filming experience to surviving a traumatic event, humorously stating, “There was something about it, like if you go through some trauma event. Like, you imagine people who survive a hostage situation, and you’re kind of bonded for life.”
Elizabeth Reaser, who played the vampire matriarch Esme Cullen, in a 2011 Fox News interview, expressed concern about the inappropriate attention co-star Lautner received from older fans. “Taylor was just 16 and still a boy when much older ladies would be asking me about his body,” she said. “It was just really inappropriate.”
Rami Malek, who had a small role in the final film, was somewhat kinder in his reflections but still pointed out the absurdity of certain scenes. Speaking to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2013, he said, “When they’re sitting in that chemistry class and Edward can smell Bella, that’s hilarious.”
Despite these candid admissions, the ‘Twilight’ saga’s success is undeniable. Its box office dominance, coupled with a dedicated fan base, transformed it into a defining franchise of the late 2000s and early 2010s. The first movie alone grossed over $393 million worldwide, setting the stage for the series’ financial success.
Each subsequent film seemed to outdo the last, with ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2’, the final installment, raking in a staggering $829.7 million globally. The series not only made its stars household names but also had a significant impact on pop culture, inspiring a wave of young adult fiction and film adaptations.