- Jennifer Lawrence and Brie Larson auditioned for the role of Bella in Twilight, but director Catherine Hardwicke was so focused on Kristen Stewart that she can’t actually remember them.
- Hardwicke had her eyes set on Stewart early on and thought she was perfect for the role after meeting her, believing Stewart would bring the right amount of angst and never overact.
- While Larson and Lawrence may have added a more serious dramatic angle to Twilight, Hardwicke believed Stewart’s understated style and composure made Bella Swan into the alluring character she is known as today.
Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke discloses her reaction to two major actresses’ auditions for Bella. Hardwicke directed the first Twilight film, which was released in 2008. The film starred an up-and-coming Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan opposite Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen.
Hardwicke reveals that both Jennifer Lawrence and Brie Larson auditioned for the role of Bella, though the director barely remembers their auditions. Speaking with Josh Horowitz, Hardwicke revealed that she had her “eyes set on” Stewart “very early on” in the process.
Because of this, she cannot even remember if Larson or Lawrence “actually came in to see [her],” as she was so distracted by her desire for Stewart to play the role. Check out the full quote from Hardwicke below:
See, I don’t know if they actually came in to see me. I’m not sure. I couldn’t guarantee that. I, very early on, had my eyes set on Kristen [Stewart]. As soon as I saw Into the Wild, I’m like, ‘I think she’s it.’ So they might have been seeing all of these other people, but then I was just laser-focused like, ‘I want her.’ Soon as I met her and went out there and spent that time that weekend, I thought, ‘She’s got it. No bulls—t, she’s never going to overact, she’s got that angst … of course, her face is luminous.’ The camera, you can shoot anything and she looks amazing.
Why Kristen Stewart Was The Better Choice For Bella Swan
While they have since risen to mainstream prominence, all three actresses would have been in the early stages of their careers at the time. In 2008, Lawrence was only 18 years old, not yet having acted in her breakout roles in Winter’s Bone and X-Men: First Class. Larson would have been 19 at the time, but she was similarly unknown at the time of Twilight’s casting.
As showcased by their later roles in films like Room and Winter’s Bone, respectively, both Larson and Lawrence would have brought an intense teenage angst that is far different from that of Stewart. Both actresses have a propensity for the highly dramatic, something that Lawrence used to her advantage a few years after Twilight when she took on the leading role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. If cast as Bella Swan, either Larson or Lawrence might have given Twilight a more serious dramatic angle than the Stewart version did.
That said, it is fascinating to hear Hardwicke’s take on Stewart’s ability to play Bella. While some may have accused Stewart of being too wooden in the role, Hardwick is right that “she’s never going to overact” on screen. As Stewart has proven time and time again throughout her post-Twilight career, her composure can lend itself to unique character rhythms. Stewart expertly contributed this understated style to Twilight, making Bella Swan into the alluring character she is known as today.
Source: Josh Horowitz / YouTube
TwilightRelease Date:2008-11-21Director:Catherine HardwickeCast:Robert Pattinson, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Rachelle Lefevre, Elizabeth Reaser, Kristen Stewart, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Cam Gigandet, Kellan Lutz, Taylor Lautner, Anna Kendrick, Billy BurkeRating:PG-13Runtime:121 minutesGenres:Romance, Fantasy, DramaWriters:Melissa RosenbergSummary:Based on Stephenie Meyer’s book of the same name, Twilight follows Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), who falls madly in love with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who she soon finds out is a vampire. Falling in love with her at the same time, Edward and Bella must overcome obstacles to preserve their forbidden relationship.Budget:$37 millionSequel(s):The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1Franchise(s):The Twilight Saga