Robert Pattinson reflected on his most iconic film roles for GQ, and Twilight‘s Edward Cullen naturally made the cut. The actor revealed he actually almost got fired from the first film because he was making the vampire “a little too emo” with his acting.
“I do think there’s something in that first movie,” he reflected. “You could see that people were taking it seriously and it has a passion to it. I was 21, and kind of wanted to make it as arty as possible. And so we had this strange tension where the studio was kind of a little bit scared to make things a little too emo and stuff and I thought that was the only way to play it.”
“It just seems so ridiculous talking about it now because I was literally—I spent so much time infuriated,” he continued. “That’s definitely something about being 21 as well because I can’t believe how I was acting half the time. Like when I think back on it, the scene where Edward introduces Bella to his family for the first time, I remember that being the day because my agent and my manager came up for a surprise visit, and I was like, ‘oh hey,’ and just thought everything was fine and then at lunch, they were like, ‘okay, so whatever you’re doing right now, after lunch, just do the opposite or you’ll be fired by the end of the day.’ And I was like, ‘okay,’ so that was the only thing that got me to smile a little bit. I also think if I tried to play it lighthearted, the way I would do it would end up looking so wrong that I’d end up looking even more like a psychopath.”
Kristen Stewart, his costar, spoke to The New Yorker recently about how their attitudes about the film helped make it what it was. She knew he was right for the role from his audition. “[He had an] intellectual approach that was combined with ‘I don’t give a fuck about this, but I’m going to make this sing.’ And I was, like, ‘Ugh, same,’” Stewart said, smiling. “And, whatever, we were young and stupid and, not to say that we made it so much better, but that’s what it needed, and that’s what anybody playing those parts needed to feel.”
Pattinson also revealed to GQ he took a Valium at the suggestion of his agent before his Twilight audition because he had been so nervous. “I’d started to develop this absolute terror of auditions, which I’m sure a lot of actors have,” he recalled. “And I could be so enthusiastic about something and then the day of the audition, just my confidence would just entirely collapse. The same thing happened the morning of the Twilight audition. I used to live on my agent’s couch at the time in her apartment and she sent me the email exchange. I’m freaking out, I don’t want to go through the audition anymore.”
She told him, “Well, find Valium in my bathroom,” he recalled. “I’d never taken a Valium before, and I just remember feeling so glorious in the back of the taxi with the window open just being like, ‘wow, this is what I’ve been missing.’ And so I had this kind of quite spacey detached kind of thing in the audition which must have kind of worked for the character.”
Alyssa Bailey Senior News and Strategy Editor Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton).
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