‘Twilight’: Robert Pattinson’s Initial Reaction to Playing Edward Was ‘No.’

Robert Pattinson has spent the last 18 years adding to his resume. Most recently, the English actor impressed critics and fans alike with his portrayal of Bruce Wayne in The Batman. But despite the many roles that the actor has embodied, he is still best known for his involvement in The Twilight Saga. For four years and five movies, Pattinson brought the humane vampire, Edward Cullen, to life.

Portraying Edward would undoubtedly change the very course of Pattinson’s life. Though the actor had experienced fame briefly thanks to his involvement in the Harry Potter franchise, Twilight would make him a household name. Pattinson went from leading a relatively normal life to being chased down the street by overzealous fans. Furthermore, the five movies would make him a multimillionaire and thus give him an enormous amount of agency over his own career.

Robert Pattinson poses for Twilight cast photos
‘Twilight’ alum Robert Pattinson | Franco S. Origlia/Getty Images

Robert Pattinson was initially against playing Edward Cullen in ‘Twilight’

Because Twilight was so life-changing for Pattinson, it’s hard to believe that he nearly let the role pass him right by. However, The Lighthouse actor originally didn’t think he looked the part enough to even audition. In an interview with MTV, Pattinson got candid about his initial reaction to potentially playing Edward.

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“I read the [first Twilight] book like five months before casting,” Pattinson revealed. “I read the first 50 pages, up until when he gets introduced and I was just like, “No.” Because I was really fat last year as well. So it was just like embarrassing. I thought the whole thing was embarrassing, even turning up to the audition.”

‘The Batman’ star explains why he was embarrassed to audition for the vampire

Continuing on, Pattinson shared that he felt intimidated by the idea of playing such a perfect being. “I hadn’t read the whole book before the audition, but even the four-line synopsis — “Edward is the perfect being. He’s so witty and beautiful. He’s crazy and funny. He’ll open doors for you. He’ll drive you in his Volvo.” — I thought even turning up would be embarrassing.”

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Eventually, Pattinson got over his insecurities and (with the help of a valium) nailed his audition. However, even after he booked the part, he didn’t necessarily feel he was right for the role. And the “Let Me Sign” singer was hardly the only person who felt that way. Many fans of the Twilight books were upset when they learned that Pattinson had been cast as the male lead. Some even started a petition demanding that Edward be recast. However, over time most people came around to Pattinson and now can’t picture the films without him. Still, Pattinson seems to trust fans’ first response to his casting announcement.

Pattinson doesn’t feel like he was the exact right casting to play the lead in ‘Twilight’

“I still believe the initial reaction, when I was first cast, was the true reaction,” the Twilight star added. “Everyone now is like ‘Okay, I love the books so much I’ll go with it. He’s beautiful. Whatever.’ But the initial reaction was 100 percent ‘He’s completely wrong for it.’ And I agree with them. I didn’t play it like some guy who knew he was beautiful. I still don’t really feel it. I don’t feel it at all.”

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