In the exactly 10 years since Twilight premiered, on November 21, 2008, the film and its three sequels went on to gross more than $1.3 billion at the box office. Though each installment received largely rave reviews from audiences, none earned higher than a 50 percent positive rating from critics, per the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Perhaps most vocal among these detractors were none other than the franchise’s stars themselves, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, who put only minimal effort into hiding just how much disdain they held for the vampire-and-werewolf-centric story, despite the fact that it launched them both into superstardom.
Here, in honor of the first film’s 10th anniversary, are all the anti-Twilight remarks the pair have made in the past decade.
On crazed Twihards
In a 2011 interview with Vanity Fair, Pattinson mused on the “crazy” behavior of the series’ fans. “I can’t really understand it even now,” he said. “It does have an angle which is attached to something quite primal in girls. I guess people want it to define them, like, ‘I’m a Twilight fan.’ That’s crazy to me. I think people really just like being part of a crowd. There’s something just tremendously exciting about hyping yourself up to that level.”
Stewart, too, was somewhat baffled by all the attention she received after stepping into Bella’s shoes. “Something personal became not the most personal thing, which is awesome because to share that is great, but at the same time I was 17 or 18 when it all kind of went down, and that’s the most uncomfortable, terrible, weird [time],” she said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2016—during which she also reflected on the “really uncomfortable hair extensions” she had to wear in the films.
On plot holes
Stewart took issue with certain aspects of her character’s behavior in the final film, after Bella has finally been transformed into a vampire. “As soon as she becomes a vampire they kind of ignore their duties. Instantly, they just wanna bone. It’s the most ridiculous situation,” she said in a 2012 appearance on The Graham Norton Show. “Really? You just had a child. Really?!”
A few months later, in an interview with Cleveland’s WOIO news station, Pattinson echoed these sentiments. “A lot of stuff in the Twilight world doesn’t make any sense,” he quipped. He expounded further on that unexplained “stuff” to W in 2017. “If it hadn’t been so successful, I think people would have thought it was really weird. It’s a really weird story. But I think once it becomes mainstream, it’s difficult for people to see how strange the story is,” he said, specifically referencing the fourth and fifth films’ content. “It’s nuts…I had to give her a cesarean by chewing through a placenta. I don’t know the medical—how it works. But there was definitely chewing through something. No, it’s wild. Once you got it in your head you’re like, Oh, this is just the thing for little girls. And then, like, it’s kind of—it’s difficult to get past.”
On post-Twilight life
Both Pattinson and Stewart have spoken about the difficulties in getting more serious roles after starring in five teen-targeted films about a vampire-werewolf-human love triangle. “There’s a massive reward,” Pattinson said in that 2011 Vanity Fair interview. “[But] being in such a specific pigeonhole right now, it’s very strange. Having a persona people recognize, it’s the thing that probably gets you paid the most—but it’s also the thing that virtually every actor in the world doesn’t want. Cause, like, no one would believe me if I wanted to play something ultra-realistic, like, a gangster or something."
Stewart noted in a 2015 conversation with Patti Smith for Interview magazine that she’d had a similar experience. “Say I do a big franchise movie about a vampire that falls in love with a normal girl. It’s like, ‘Now do you want to show them that you can be a real, serious actor?’ It’s like, ‘Was I not being a real, serious actor?’” she said, but admitted that the series certainly had its flaws. “I mean, it was a long process, so it’s hard to generalize about it as a whole. It wasn’t entirely cohesive. We ebbed and flowed. I will definitely acknowledge that.” That said, she’s a bit more generous toward the Twilight films in hindsight than her costar: “The intention is so fucking pure in a weird way. Anybody who wants to talk shit about Twilight, I completely get it, but there’s something there that I’m endlessly, and to this day, fucking proud of. My memory of it felt—still feels—really good,” she told Smith.
On “mindless hate”
As if it wasn’t already clear that Pattinson would never join the legion of avid Twilight fans: Ahead of the 2011 release of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, several members of the cast were asked by Moviefone whether they’d be Twilight fans if they hadn’t starred in the films. Though Stewart and Taylor Lautner claimed they would, a laughing Pattinson confessed, “I think I am a judgmental and cynical person who would just mindlessly hate it without having seen anything; I just think I’m a bad person.”
That’s far from the only time Pattinson was up front about his dislike of the films. When speaking to Vanity Fair about the extensive photo shoots the cast had to do to promote the series, he let out this gem: “There’s nothing you can do about it. That’s the way it is. But it is weird being part of that, kind of representing something you don’t particularly like,” before catching himself and adding, “God, I just really headbutted it.” And, in that 2012 interview with WOIO, when asked whether he’d stolen anything from the set to remember the experience, he pretended to think before saying, “My dignity.”
In the past few months, both stars have, for some reason, been asked whether they’d be interested in reliving the entire experience with a reboot of the series. When Pattinson was asked, by Variety, in September, he dryly replied, “The amount of time I’ve spent moisturizing, I am ready to play 17 at a moment’s notice. Ready!”
Stewart was faced with the question that same month, by Entertainment Tonight. “Oh, yeah, sure,” she said with a nervous laugh, adding, with equal sarcasm, “Yes, absolutely. Honestly, start sending scripts my way. Let’s start building this. Let’s really explore [it].”
Suffice it to say that neither Stewart nor Pattinson will be signing on for Twilight 6: Return of the Vampires anytime soon.
Related: Kristen Stewart