Robert Pattinson Took Valium to Audition for ‘Spacey, Detached’ Edward Cullen in ‘Twilight’

The best way to prepare to play a vampire? Get high.
Robert Pattinson at arrivals for DAMSEL Premiere, ArcLight Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA June 13, 2018. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection
Robert Pattinson
Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

Edward Cullen might be the world’s most dangerous predator, but he was still sullen for a reason.

Twilight” alum Robert Pattinson admitted that the “spacey, detached” attitude of immortal teen vampire Edward was not due to an intentional interpretation of the character but rather all thanks to Valium.

“I had started to develop this absolute terror of auditions, which I’m sure a lot of actors have,” Pattinson said during a video for GQ. “I could be so enthusiastic about something and then the day of the audition, my confidence would just entirely collapse. The same thing happened on the morning of the ‘Twilight’ audition.”

So a then 21-year-old Pattinson sought out the help of an anti-anxiety medication.

“I had never taken a Valium before,” the actor said. “I just remember feeling so glorious in the back of the taxi with the window open and just being like, ‘Wow, this is what I’ve been missing.’ I think I had this quite spacey, detached kind of thing in the audition, which must have worked for the character.”

Pattinson met with “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke at her home to audition for the big screen adaptation of the teen vampire romance novel by Stephenie Meyer.

“To me, Catherine Hardwicke, who directed it, had done ‘Thirteen’ and ‘Lords of Dogtown.’ They were little movies, and they were kind of hard-core,” Pattinson explained during Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series in 2019. “Kristen [Stewart, who played Bella Swan] was in stuff as well; she’d been in ‘Into the Wild’ and some other things. And it was very indie.”

Pattinson added about the blockbuster, “It’s strange how people responded. I guess the books, they are very romantic, but at the same time, it’s not like ‘The Notebook’ romantic. ‘Twilight’ is about this guy who finds the one girl he wants to be with, and also wants to eat her. Well, not eat — drink her blood or whatever. I thought it was a strange story.”

While Stewart was cast before Pattinson, the Oscar nominee had preferred Pattinson’s take on Edward because he wasn’t “doing something empty and shallow and thoughtless,” as Stewart said in a 2009 cover story for GQ.

The duo went on to star in four more film sequels together, culminating in 2012’s “Breaking Dawn: Part 2.”

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.