Robert Pattinson first came to audiences' awareness for his portrayal of the doomed Hogwarts student Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter series. His role in that film caught the eye of Twilight casting directors. But, without being cut out of Reese Witherspoon's Vanity Fair, Pattinson would not have had the chance.
"Yeah, they didn't tell me I was cut from the movie," Pattinson says of his Vanity Fair experience. He arrived for the premiere, watched the film -- and as the credits rolled, Pattinson realized he never was in the movie.
"The casting director came over to me at the premiere party and felt so badly, she offered me the part in Harry Potter," Pattinson says.
The rest is history.
Now, the frenzy over Harry Potter
may seem pale to what Pattinson and his costar Kristen Stewart are about to experience as their Twilight
film premieres at midnight November 20. Their Edward and Bella characters have become a sensation in the story about a teenage girl and the vampire she adores.
"I didn't see it as a vampire film. I saw it as a Catherine Hardwicke film with Kristen Stewart," Pattinson says. The director felt an instant connection between her two leads. "There's definitely something there, I don't know if you'd call it chemistry. I felt something with Kristen, which rarely happens."
After his audition, Pattinson was determined to get the part. "I read all the books in a weekend and I sent an email to Catherine saying my ideas for the character," Pattinson remembers.
Still with the idea this was anything but a vampire story, Pattinson became aware of the true nature of Twilight
upon subsequent visits to Los Angeles for rehearsals. "I'm so ignorant of everything. I went in thinking this is a drama. It's not a fantasy film. It's not a vampire film. It's not even a love story," he says and laughs. "So when they put me through all these makeup tests, I was really shocked by it."
For the uneasy person who cannot stand contacts, having eye colors of varying shades proved a personal test. "It took like 20 minutes to get them in. It's really nice at five in the morning with someone poking your eye," Pattinson says.
A labor of love
It's easy to laugh about it now, as the actor does, but the challenges to bring Twilight
to life on many levels were immense.
"Everything we did was not on green screen," Stewart adds. "We didn't have the money for it. We had to pull everything off physically."
Stewart says the challenge was immense, but knowing the fan base's passion for the details of Meyer's vision, the details were the most important aspect of making the film.
"I had to make it easy on Rob. He's not the most agile creature," Stewart says. Often times in the books, the sequences call for the two characters to literally fly up a hill as if Edward is running blindingly fast.
"I tried everything I could to take the pressure points off of him. You come with bruised armpits. Rob looked great in the movie. He would kill me for saying that."
Pattinson says that the most difficult aspect was appearing natural. "The only annoying thing was you have to look like it's effortless," he says and shakes his head. "In the rehearsals, it seemed really easy and I felt I was fit."
Up next... Pattinson and Stewart's biggest hurdles -- and RobPat sings!