Ten years ago, on November 21, 2008, a franchise – nay a phenomenon – was born. Starring Kristen Stewart as shy new kid Bella Swan and Robert Pattinson as mysterious and gloomy vampire Edward Cullen, Twilight, based on the book by Stephanie Meyer, marked the next chapter in both vampire storytelling and young adult fiction.
Over the next five years, five movies (based on four books) were released, to mixed reviews. But the impact on a generation is undeniable, which is why New York Comic Con hosted a panel celebrating the 10th anniversary featuring director Catherine Hardwicke and actors Kellan Lutz (Emmett Cullen), Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Hale), and Edi Gathegi (Laurent).
Before the panel, Nerds and Beyond sat down with Rathbone, Lutz, and Hardwicke at a round table interview to talk about the legacy of Twilight, their time on set, their acting careers since, and more.
First, we talked to Jackson Rathbone, who played the youngest member of the Cullen clan, Jasper. Though his backstory is not revealed until the third installment of the series, Jasper was turned into a vampire during the civil war, but did not meet the Cullens until the 1940s. It was then he met Alice Cullen (his future wife), was adopted by Esme and Carlisle, and learned to be a “vegetarian” vampire (one who eats animals, not humans). Rathbone talked about his character, his time on set, and his future projects, including a new film called Heart, Baby! which opens November 16.
Next, we sat down with the director of the first film, Catherine Hardwicke. Hardwicke is known for her great directing chops – her other credits include Thirteen (2003) and Red Riding Hood (2011). At the helm of the beginning of this franchise, Hardwicke set the tone for the rest of the saga and brought these characters to life. She discussed the beginnings of the franchise, what it became, and her role in bringing it there.
Finally, we spoke with Kellan Lutz, who played the strong yet goofy vampire, Emmett Cullen. Emmett became a vampire in 1934 when Rosalie found him being mauled by a bear and saved his “life” by having Carlisle turn him into a vampire. After that, the two were inseparable, and even married multiple times due to Rosalie’s love of attention and Emmett’s wish to please her. Lutz’s role in Twilight was small, but it grew as the films went on, and he was always an integral part of the Cullen family. Lutz discussed filming the iconic baseball scene in the first film, his experience with fandom, and his love of the series.
A huge thank you to Jackson, Catherine, and Kellan for celebrating the 10th anniversary of Twilight with us. If you want to celebrate, check out Fathom Event’s special screening of Twilight across the nation on Tuesday, October 23. Check your local theater for times.