Twilight was a love-it-or-hate-it franchise, but there’s no denying the impact that it had. For a whole generation of teenage girls, it was the best thing ever. And luckily, there were lots of people on hand to take behind-the-scenes shots of the teenage heartthrobs running the show, as well as their supporting players. These 40 pictures give Twihards a glance at what went into making the five vampire romance movies.
40. Stewart and Lautner goofing off
Kristen Stewart was a teenage girl throughout most of the Twilight filming, so when taking a candid shot she did what most teenage girls do and stuck her tongue out. Taylor Lautner remained more stoic and just put on a lovely smile. If Twilight wasn’t known the whole world over, you’d think this photo was just of two friends hanging out.
39. Catherine Hardwicke on set
For the first Twilight movie, director Catherine Hardwicke was given the reins. “If they thought it was going to be a big blockbuster, they wouldn’t have ever even hired me, because no woman had ever been hired to do something in the blockbuster category,” she told The Daily Beast in 2018. But it was a blockbuster. That year it became the sixth-highest-grossing film by a female director.
38. Speedboat scene
One scene of Breaking Dawn: Part 2 features Edward and Bella in a swanky speedboat. Behind the scenes, though, things didn’t go smoothly. “When we went to Brazil, it was like, ‘What is happening? We’ve been doing this for years and now we’re in Brazil, on a boat? What is going on?!’” Pattinson recollected at Comic Con 2012. “And then, I crashed the boat afterwards, in front of 5,000 people.”
37. Bag boxing
Special effects aren’t always, well, special. Sometimes you just get a bunch of stunt people and have them beat up a vaguely human-shaped sack. That is what’s going on here! But don’t be fooled, although it may look silly, stunt work is hard and dangerous. Where’s the rest of the body of the guy on the right?
36. A terrifying baby
Edward and Bella’s newborn baby, who arrived in Breaking Dawn Part 2, didn’t quite live up to expectations. Little half-human half-vampire superpowered Renesmee (the world’s strangest name) was an unsettling, rather than cute, CGI creation. But it was almost so much worse. The original plan was for an animatronic doll, which would have probably pushed Twilight into full-on horror movie territory.
35. Michael Sheen as Aro
British actor Michael Sheen was cast to play Aro, an aristocratic mind-reading baddie vampire. He took the role mostly because of his daughter with Kate Beckinsale, Lily, who loved the books. “It may have been that (Sheen) was just very method,” director Chris Weitz told MTV in 2009, “but he arrived with this tremendous, ponderous but icy, calm.” Sounds like Aro…
34. Makeup artist Robin Matthews
Robin Matthews has applied Kristen Stewart’s makeup on several films. These include Waiting, The Mist, Into the Wild… and the Twilight saga. Although on Twilight, of course, she got to apply blood as well as makeup. Now she’s an Oscar winner, gaining a gong in 2014 for Dallas Buyers Club.
33. Wedding day blues
On-screen the wedding of Edward and Bella was terribly romantic. Behind the scenes… not so much. Lights and cameras were everywhere, and it also happened to be cold. Everyone was freezing in their wedding clothes. “I was so transcendentally weird that day,” Stewart told Parade in 2011. “It was one of the last things that we shot in the movie, and I felt it all coming to an end.”
32. Jasper jumping
The actors who played vampires had their work cut out for them with stunts and special effects. But Jackson Rathbone, who played Jasper, absolutely loved them. “I thought it was kind of like getting paid to go to the amusement park,” he told Collider in November 2008. Later on in filming the saga, he hid a broken rib from producers so that he could keep doing stunts.
31. Women creators
Whether or not Twilight is a feminist work is something that’s been long debated. However, there’s no arguing that a lot of women were involved in its creation. Here director Catherine Hardwicke, actor Kristen Stewart and writer Stephenie Meyer pose together. And yes, Stewart does bear a lot of resemblance to the author who created her character.
30. Kristen Stewart smoking
Yep, Kristen Stewart was a smoker on the set of Twilight. While filming New Moon in 2009, she was spotted puffing away. Flash forward a few years and she appeared to have quit, as she told Conan O’Brien in 2012, “I was a bit of a faker, a circumstantial smoker.” But more recently, she’s been snapped with cigarettes in her mouth again.
29. Dying Bella prop
Imagine how creepy it must be to see yourself about to die? That’s more or less what happened to Stewart on the set of Breaking Dawn Part 1. In that installment of the franchise, Bella is carrying Edward’s baby, but it’s killing her. Luckily, Stewart didn’t have to do much to appear like she was dying. Make-up, special effects and the aforementioned prop took care of it.
28. Bill Condon on set
Director Bill Condon filmed the last two Twilight movies, Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Breaking Dawn Part 2. As is clear from the titles, the two films could technically be combined into one, and Condon actually made an alternative cut that does just that. Hopefully for Twilight fans, it might be released one day.
27. Pattinson and furry friend
Although a lot of the wolves in Twilight were CGI, some real ones were used as well. Though wolves aren’t quite man’s best friend in the same way dogs are, they certainly caught the attention of moviegoers… unfortunately, probably too much. In 2012 the charity Dogs Trust reported that more wolfy dogs were coming to it, because Twilight fans would buy them on a whim.
26. Stunt work in the rain
Even behind-the-scenes shots from Twilight look cinematic. This one is of two stunt people fighting in the rain, and it highlights how stunt workers need to be ready to work in all weathers. By the time Breaking Dawn rolled around, the actors were doing a lot of their stunts themselves – but even then, it wasn’t all them, but their talented doubles.
25. Stewart’s birthday
Stewart devoted several years of her life to the Twilight franchise, and that included spending her 18th birthday on set. However, she did get a cake! It was decorated with the words “Welcome to the Night Shift,” which meant that as a legal adult she would be permitted to work longer hours. Hopefully, the actual cake was nice.
24. Birmingham and Lautner
Gil Birmingham was cast to play Jacob’s father, Billy Black, in Twilight. He loved the series from day one. “I feel proud to be part of it: It’s not filled with graphic violence or gratuitous sex. It makes you feel good,” he told Neyom Friday in November 2009. Here, he and Lautner could pass for a real father and son.
23. Camera crew
Even filming a simple scene of Stewart and Pattinson/Edward and Bella on a hill takes a lot of work, a lot of expensive equipment and a whole team of people. You may observe that everyone gets warm winter jackets apart from poor Robert Pattinson. That’s what happens when you sign up to play a vampire.
22. Pattinson covered in blood
Robert Pattinson’s dislike of the Twilight saga is well documented. Even though it made him famous and rich, he hates the story. But it seems he did occasionally have fun on the set at least. During the scene where Bella gives birth, he cracked up laughing while splattered in blood. (Or maybe he was happy to see the characters suffer.)
21. Filming Victoria
Bryce Dallas Howard was cast to play the vampire Victoria in Eclipse in 2009, but she was taking over from another actress. Rachelle Lefevre had played her in the first Twilight but was unceremoniously fired after a scheduling conflict. “Never did I fathom I would lose the role over a 10-day overlap,” Lefevre noted sadly in a statement to Access Hollywood.
20. New Moon cast
As far as cast photos go, this one from the set of New Moon is pretty epic. It’s also kind of funny in its own way, as it features a bunch of almost normal-looking people sitting on vampire thrones. Check out Robert Pattinson’s open shirt, Kristen Stewart’s rather tired expression and Michael Sheen’s very un-Aro-like happy smile.
19. Bella giving birth
The scene where Bella gives birth is actually rather horrible and gory for a movie aimed at teenagers. It required some clever special effects too. Bella’s lying on the table, but her legs aren’t real – they’re plastic ones, and Stewart’s real ones are hidden. It wasn’t an easy thing for the actress to do, but the results turned out to be pretty good. (And gruesome.)
18. Forest set
A lot of Twilight was filmed on location, some of it in places you can easily go see if you like. These places included Silver Falls State Park, Oregon, Cascade Falls Regional Park and downtown Vancouver. However, taking your cameras and heading out into the wide world isn’t always practical. This beautiful, snowy scene took place inside a soundstage.
16. Stewart and Pattinson
Everyone knows how the real-life romance between Stewart and Pattinson ended up. The pressure on them from the media was intense, and everything was compounded by the colossal success of the franchise that they were part of. Eventually she cheated, and they broke up. So this pic of them as fresh-faced kids together on the Twilight set is almost sad in a way.
15. A strange scenario
There’s a lot going on in this behind-the-scenes shot from Eclipse. For a start, Robert Pattinson is smiling wildly and talking to (presumably) Kristen Stewart as if the camera isn’t there. Whatever the man in the background is doing, it’s making steam appear. And rather spookily, the person on the ground appears to have their head completely separated from their body.
14. Riding Edward
No, not like that… There’s a scene in the first Twilight film where Edward scoops Bella up and takes her for a superpowered piggyback ride across the trees. But obviously, that scene wasn’t actually Robert Pattinson carrying Kristen Stewart around. As you can see, lots of wires and crewmembers were needed. And Pattinson apparently found it hilarious.
13. Headless werewolf
When the Cullens go to battle, their daughter Renesmee rides on top of a wolf. (Who is actually Jacob in wolf form.) It required a lot of special effects to make that work, both CGI and a hydraulic rig. Here’s child actor Mackenzie Foy on the hydraulic rig, which is missing its head. And yes, she did fall off it once, freaking everybody out.
12. Greenscreen leap
Alicia Turner was the stunt double for Bryce Dallas Howard’s Victoria on Eclipse, and she’s the one responsible for her high-flying moves. A greenscreen was involved too, of course, but she was the human factor. You’ve almost certainly seen Turner before, whether you know it or not. She’s been in lots of movies, including Scott Pilgrim vs the World and Saw 3D.
11. Baseball field
One of the most iconic scenes in Twilight is where the Cullens get together for a game of, er, vampire baseball. It was one of the first scenes that the actors shot, and they practiced intensely to get it right. And if you look at Robert Pattinson’s face here, he looks so happy to be part of it. It must have been before his famous Twilight fatigue set in.
10. Lifting trees
Vampires in the Twilight-verse possess a spectacular super-strength. Their human actors, however, do not. So Kellan Lutz and Nikki Reed are actually just holding some impressive, and lightweight, tree props here. Incidentally, hundreds of props from Twilight went to auction in 2017 – maybe the trees were among them. They could potentially grace a Twilight fan’s garden.
9. Birmingham, Pattinson and Stewart
Gil Birmingham only had a small part in Twilight, but he enjoyed it very much. And he saw Lautner, Pattinson and Stewart grow to adulthood on the set. “A lot of the focus was on the three leads, so I didn’t experience [recognition] to the extent that they did,” he told Screen Prism in 2016. “But it’s a fascinating thing to think of how small the world is, that you can become global.”
8. The crew in Italy
One of the most fun parts of filming is possibly the big group picture you take at the end! This big picture was taken in Italy, and it managed to capture an impressive variety of actions and expressions. The standouts are Pattinson seemingly not knowing what to do with himself, and Stewart standing with her legs far apart for no real reason.
7. Dead Bella
Alas, Bella passes away during the events of Breaking Dawn: Part 1. Or does she? Nope, she ends up a vampire instead. A scary thought, but this picture is rendered much less frightening by the presence of the cameras and greenscreens. Bella’s fetching blue dress in this scene was auctioned off, selling for $1,100.
6. Not a wolf
Poor Taylor Lautner – playing a werewolf couldn’t have been easy. Not only did he have to act while dressed in an incredibly unflattering grey bodysuit, but cameras were on hand to capture the growing pit stains he got when he was in it. But at least the suit showed off the muscles he built up training for the role of Jacob.
5. Mackenzie and Michael
In the story of Twilight, Aro sees Renesmee as an intriguing chess piece in his war games. Luckily, the relationship between Mackenzie Foy and Michael Sheen was much warmer. “She’s very confident, always coming up with ideas… it was a real moment of connection,” Sheen said of his young co-star on the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 DVD.
4. Pattinson and Birmingham
Pattinson has said plenty of harsh things about Twilight over the years. In 2011 he told Vanity Fair that he was “kind of representing something (I) don’t particularly like.” However, his distaste for the franchise didn’t seem to extend to his co-stars, luckily. This picture of him smiling with Billy Black actor Gil Birmingham is a lovely one.
3. Pattinson and his stunt doubles
A production such as Twilight requires lots of stunt doubles. It wasn’t Pattinson swinging, leaping and fighting about the place – it was usually a stuntman. His main double was a guy called Paul Darnell. Pattinson actually thanked Darnell when he won a MTV Movie Award for Best Fight… but said his last name wrong. Oops.
2. The Baby Bump
Here’s Stewart on set with Lautner… but there’s something else there too: her noticeable baby bump. No, it wasn’t real! Despite the frequent media rumors of Pattinson and Stewart having a child together, the Twilight pregnancy is completely, utterly a work of fiction. Good thing too, because the vampire baby nearly (and graphically) kills her…
Back in the late ’00s, the world was obsessed with Robert Pattinson’s hair. At one point, a fan even tried to cut some of it off. (Don’t do this!) But yep, on the Twilight set, it was someone’s actual job to style Pattinson’s locks each day. Judging by the look on that lady’s face, she’s thoroughly enjoying it too…