Spotify’s podcast docuseries The Big Hit Show examines transformational moments of pop culture, and this week host Alex Pappademas spoke with Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke about the whirlwind tabloid romance — and the subsequent cheating scandal — between leads Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.
Apparently, the chemistry was so palatable between the two young stars that Hardwicke had to remind Pattinson that Stewart was underage during their very first audition together.
Hardwicke and producer Erik Feig recalled how they struggled to cast the part of Edward Cullen, even after they had locked down the “raw and brilliant” Stewart for the role of Bella Swan. Finally, and reluctantly, they agreed to test Pattinson for the part — but both he and his agent’s expectations were so low that they booked him a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles.
When the two were finally introduced in 2007, they met at Hardwicke’s house — the same one she still lives in now — for a taped audition.
“He came over to my house, right here where we are talking right now. He walked in and he had his hair was dyed black for some play, with these wacky bangs,” Hardwicke recalled. “He was a bit out of shape. His shirt was just all messy, and I’m like, ‘Ooh, OK. OK, let’s see how this goes.’ Rob and Kristen auditioned on my bed, the kissing scene, Rob was so into it he fell off the bed. I’m like, you know, ‘Dude, calm down.’ And I’m in there filming with my little video camera, whatever.”
“And at the end, Kristen was like, it has to be Rob. But I could tell they had a lot of chemistry, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ I thought, Kristen was 17,” she continued. “I don’t want to get in some illegal things. So I remember I told Rob, ‘By the way, Kristen is 17. In our country, it’s illegal to have a sexual rel—’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, OK, whatever.'”
Of course, we all know how this story played out. The pair began dating in 2009 until Stewart was caught having an affair with her Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders in 2012. They briefly reconciled and then split for good in 2013. But it seems as though the scandal is behind them now, as Pattinson confirmed in a 2019 interview that he and Stewart were then on good terms.