“When he came over to my house, he had black bangs for hair and was kind of out of shape because he was hanging out at the pub all the time,” director Catherine Hardwicke recalled of auditioning Pattinson for the 2008 film in an interview on the Watchalong podcast. Reflecting on early auditions where Pattinson, and his costar Kristen Stewart, shot at the filmmaker’s home, the director said they had filmed “fun auditions” at her house. But when she looked at the footage the next morning. “I thought ‘it works not just in person, but it works on screen.’ I had to be sure. Of course in person I just got carried away, but you have to be sure — does it really translate [to the screen]?”
These auditions didn’t endear Pattinson to Summit Entertainment, the studio financing the film. “I sent it to Summit and he went over to meet them,” Hardwicke said. “They called me back and go, ‘Do you think you can make this guy look good?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I do. Did you see his cheekbones? We’re doing a makeover on the hair and everything and he’s going to start working out and he’s going to be gorgeous.’ But they didn’t believe it at first. He walked over there with a stained shirt… It was Rob.”
Pattinson had already won over audiences with his portrayal of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005, and had also appeared in British television projects like The Haunted Airman and Ring of the Nibelungs by the time he was cast in Twilight.
Hardwicke also confirmed that there were four final candidates to play Edward: Pattinson, Ben Barnes, Shiloh Fernandez, and Jackson Rathbone, who ended up playing Jasper in the series. She also said that she and Stewart reunited at Pattinson’s birthday party earlier this year, adding that it would be “so fun” to direct the two actors again.
Watch the full interview above.
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