Hardwicke had seen Kristen Stewart opposite Emile Hirsch in the 2007 drama Into the Wild and knew the young performer had the goods to play a headstrong teen who falls for a benevolent vampire after relocating to the woodsy Pacific Northwest.
“She’s sitting in the trailer, and she just wants to make out with him so bad. And I thought, ‘Oh, I just love that longing that this actress is able to convey,’” Hardwicke told Yahoo Entertainment during a recent visit to our studios to commemorate the film’s upcoming 10th anniversary theatrical rerelease and new Blu-ray/4K edition (watch above).
Hardwicke had no problem finding her lead actress, even when the original casting list included the likes of Jennifer Lawrence. But choosing her sparkly male counterpart, the eternally 17-year-old vamp Edward Cullen and subject of Bella’s swooning, proved more challenging.
“I looked at tons of guys, and a lot of them were really cute, like they [could be] the supercute guy at your high school, but they didn’t look otherworldly, like they’d been around for a hundred years. Like, who had that special quality? We were doing a massive search,” Hardwicke explained.
The filmmaker ended up narrowing it down to four finalists: Ben Barnes, Jackson Rathbone, Shiloh Fernandez, and, of course, Robert Pattinson.
“They all came over to my house with Kristen, and she had an hour-and-a-half with each guy,” Hardwicke explained. “She had to kiss him, and we had to do improvs, and run around and do all kinds of crazy, fun stuff, and just see who she really could click with.
“And at the end she goes, ‘It’s gotta be Rob.’”
Twilight will be rereleased in theaters on Oct. 21 and Oct. 23; the 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack will be available on Oct. 23.
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