The movie Twilight isn’t a beloved film for everyone, but for its fans it really was and still can be. It kickstarted this massive pop culture phenomenon and pulled Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart into the spotlight. It has cringey dialogue and the first movie clearly had a lesser budget than the rest. But fans love it just the same.
One of the most memorable scenes involves “America’s favorite past time,” and one skill in that part wasn’t CGI.
The baseball scene in ‘Twilight’ is one of the best scenes in the movie
For Twihards, hearing Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole” brings about a ton of different emotions. But mostly, it reminds fans of the now-famous Twilight baseball scene.
As a little refresher for those that need it, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan are at a pretty solid point in their relationship. Sure, he’s still a vampire who yearns for Bella’s unusually potent blood. But she knows his secret at this point and they’re kind of just having a good time together.
Bella already met his house-full of vampire family members, so now he’s bringing her to a little outing: they’re going to play baseball in a thunderstorm. This is because the metal bat hitting the ball at vampire-strength is too noticeable without the added thunder. Things take a bad turn when James, Victoria, and Laurent show up. James takes Edward protecting Bella as a challenge to hunt and kill her. You know, regular vampy things.
Jasper’s bat skills are 100 percent legit, no CGI
Before James comes in and ruins the fun, though, the Cullens and Bella have a grand time. They’re all in baseball hats and outfits. Edward is wearing a baseball jersey while Rosalie is in full uniform. And Emmett? Emmett is sporting a very cute tracksuit.
It’s one of the few times that audiences get to see Edward carefree and laughing. It’s also a great time to see the Cullens just enjoying each other as regular siblings and parents would.
Alice is the pitcher, but Rosalie, Jasper, and Carlisle all bat in this scene, while Bella is the umpire. Before Jasper gets up to bat, he does a few tricks spinning or juggling the bat around. And it turns out that is 100 percent actor Jackson Rathbone’s real-life skill.
“In the baseball scene, the vampire baseball from Twilight, you see Jasper twirling a bat around. Now that was actually just me, hanging out between filming,” Rathbone told PopSugar in 2018. “I was just practicing, just trying to do something interesting with the bat when I stepped up to that plate there. But a lot of people thought it was fake with CGI. It was not CGI and I can still do it to this day.”
A lot of prep had to go into making the famous ‘Twilight’ baseball scene
Even though that was Rathbone’s own talent, everyone had to prepare for this scene. In an oral history for Entertainment Weekly in 2018, director Catherine Hardwicke explained that Kellan Lutz (Emmett) and Rathbone were athletic, but Ashley Green (Alice) had never pitched before and Nikki Reed (Rosalie) had never slid into home base.
“We went into training,” Hardwicke said. “Rob [Pattinson], as a U.K. person, did not play baseball… There was a lot of training, so that was camaraderie-building. We went to an indoor gym in Portland where everyone learned to play baseball.”
Despite Rathbone’s bat trick being real, there were still a lot of special effects that went into the scene. For instance, they used a treadmill-type technique to get the nomadic vampires to look like they were walking faster than they really were. Thanks to Hardwicke and Elliot Davis, who was in charge of cinematography, it ended up being one of the coolest-looking parts in the film.
“I remember thinking, on the page, ‘How are we going to make this look cool? How is this not going to be just B-movie camp?’” Rathbone said. “But luckily we were in the hands of an incredible cinematographer — and of course Catherine Hardwicke directed the hell out of it.”