PREVIOUSLY: Twilight finds its young lovers, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.
Robert Pattinson was warned.
Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke wanted her 21-year-old leading man to keep things strictly professional between himself and Kristen Stewart, at the time a 17-year-old who was required to juggle studies with filming.
Pattinson was only too happy to comply. The insecure actor, whose casting had provoked Internet outrage, thought his career a fluke, and saw his credits as not matching up to those of his peers—and especially to Stewart's.
By the time filming began in February 2008 in Portland, Pattinson had been at the location for months, toning up, keeping a journal, and, perhaps most key to the creation of an undead character, staying out of the sun. The man was on a mission. He didn't want Twilight to be another vampire movie, let alone another teen movie.
Hardwicke felt the same; her challenges were greater. She had fewer than 50 days to shoot, and not a dollar more than $37 million to complete Twilight. The Pacific Northwest's temperamental clouds didn't cooperate; the budget didn't allow for frills. When the vampires were required to move fast, they moved fast via sheets of acrylic pulled along the ground by a vehicle just out of camera range. When Edward climbed treetops, Pattinson (or his double) made do with wires and strings.
Beyond weather wrangling and vampire stunts, Hardwicke's chief task was to stay focused: on Pattinson and Stewart, on Edward and Bella, on the love story that started it all. "My job," she said to IGN UK, "was trying to keep that going through all the madness and crazy weather and 150 crew members and still feel connected—[to] create some space to feel something."
At first, Pattinson was so closed up on the set he didn't speak to anyone off-camera for a month-and-a-half.
Stewart likewise was focused. She spoke of close encounters, such as Bella and Edward's long-anticipated bedroom kiss, in the strictest technical terms. "It needed to be really specific because vampires don't exist, and so you don't know what it feels like to be around one or have that connection, so we wanted [the kiss] to be really, really hard," she told Chuck the Movieguy. "And it was really stressful to get it right."
In time, Pattinson would loosen up. Hardwicke got some on-camera smiles out of him; Stewart got a marriage proposal. "I don't know how serious it was, but it happened," she said, per Mania.com. (It was so not serious Pattinson couldn't even remember when it happened.)
While they didn't really become engaged during the shoot, Pattinson and Stewart did become close, a byproduct of, if nothing else, their working hours, which were long and longer. "We spent a lot of time together," Stewart said to the fantasy/sci-fi Website.
Life was work. Work was life. Twilight was all—in ways, Pattinson and Stewart couldn't yet imagine.