Robert Pattinson Refused to Go Shirtless for His ‘Twilight’ Audition

Robert Pattinson was able to beat out several other actors to clinch his starring role in Twilight, which made him a megastar. But getting the part proved to be a bit challenging for the young actor, especially when it came to auditions.

What ‘Twilight’ director Catherine Hardwicke was looking for in her Edward Cullen

Robert Pattinson posing while wearing a black jacket.
Robert Pattinson | Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Twilight director Hardwicke was looking for a specific quality for her affectionate vampire Edward Cullen. But the qualities she wanted went beyond just an actor’s physical appearance.

“I wanted somebody that didn’t seem like a real person,” Hardwicke once said on The Big Hit Show podcast. “Who is that going to be? This vampire has lived for 90-something years. He’s ethereal, he’s special, he’s unique, he’s internal, he’s brooding, he’s everything, you know, iconic.”

Pattinson was able to convince Hardwicke that he’d be able to convey these qualities thanks to his audition with Kristen Stewart.

“I could tell they had a lot of chemistry,” Hardwicke said.

It was a sentiment that Stewart agreed with.

“It was so clear who worked,” she told New Yorker. “[He had an] intellectual approach that was combined with ‘I don’t give a f*** about this, but I’m going to make this sing.’ And I was like, ‘Ugh, same.'”

Robert Pattinson was the only actor who wouldn’t go shirtless for his ‘Twilight’ audition

In order to even get to the point where Pattinson could audition for the role required some work on the actor’s part. Speaking to Allure, The Batman star confided that he wasn’t exactly in the best shape when being considered for Twilight. He dyed his hair black and had his body waxed for a previous job.

“And then I had a few months where I’d been drinking beer all day, so I had this hairless, chubby body. I looked like a baby with a wig on,” Pattinson recalled.

This might have played a part in how he approached his Twilight audition. Unlike other actors, he refused to go shirtless for a scene that called for it.

“They were doing screen tests with four people,” he once told The Hollywood Reporter. “In one of the scenes, I [was meant] to take my shirt off, and I think I was the one guy who didn’t.”

Still, Pattinson managed to make enough of an impression to warrant a deeper look from the studio. But his agent, Stephanie Ritz, would later inform him that he needed to meet with the studio to solidify his chances of being Edward.

“Stephanie was like, ‘You’ve got to go and meet the producers and just shave 20 times before you go,'” he remembered. “It was basically the last-chance saloon when I got Twilight.”

Robert Pattinson blamed the film’s marketing for ‘Twilight’ backlash

Although Twilight had legions of fans and became a multi-billion dollar franchise, the series faced its fair share of criticism. Pattinson believed that the negative reaction to the later Twilight movies came from how the films were being marketed.

“Everything changed when they did the marketing, and the general public started to view [the films] in a different way when they started to push the ‘team’ aspect of it,” he said. “It was like, ‘I’m on Team Edward or Team Jacob.’ That saturated everything, and suddenly there was a backlash. Whereas with the first [film], there wasn’t a backlash at all.”

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