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Robert Pattinson got Twilight movies because of Harry Potter

When casting Edward in Twilight, they wanted someone "Byronic and British," so they naturally turned to Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter.

Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter

If you’re anything like me, a key part of your fall and winter movie viewing is the Harry Potter movies in October, before transitioning into the Twilight movies in November, and Lord of the Rings in December. Us fantasy fans know it makes total sense. One actor who pops up in more than one of these franchises is of course Robert Pattinson – who managed to move seamlessly from Cedric Diggory into Edward Cullen.

The director of the first Twilight movie Catherine Hardwicke spoke about how difficult it was to cast Edward because she wanted “somebody that didn’t seem like a real person” – this naturally led her to the British actors from Harry Potter. One of the executives was shifting through Harry Potter cast photos and they landed on Cedric Diggory.

The absolute chaos demon that is Robert Pattinson has since confessed that he was on the anti-anxiety medication in his audition to join the Twilight cast, which gave him Edward’s “spacey” quality. And in his first chemistry read with Kristen Stewart, he kissed her so enthusiastically, he fell off the bed. I’ll be honest, Pattinson is one of my favorite connections between two of the best fantasy movie series.

In an appearance on the Big Hit Show podcast in early 2022, Hardwicke said that she struggled to find a young actor who could play “this vampire has lived for 90-something years. He’s ethereal, he’s special, he’s unique, he’s internal, he’s brooding, he’s everything.”

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Studio executive Erik Feig said that they needed “someone Byronic. It’s someone British. I’m telling you, it’s someone who’s on a bluff staring off into the distance, looking romantic.” He pointed to one of the Harry Potter cast photos and asked who it was; “And [creative executive Gillian Bohrer] said, ‘Cedric Diggory,’ And I said, ‘Yeah, who’s that?’ And she said, ‘Rob Pattinson.'”

Pattinson described how taking medication before his Twilight audition ended up working well for Edward, and if you’ve watched the movies, you know this makes total sense; “I had never taken a Valium before. I just remember feeling so glorious…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.”

In the Twilight movies in order, Stewart’s Bella is meant to be the clumsy one, but in real life, Pattinson was the one falling over. Hardwicke says Pattinson’s first audition with Stewart was certainly memorable; “They did the kissing scene and he fell off and landed right there on this floor. Rob was so into it, he fell off the bed. I’m like, ‘Dude, calm down.’ And I’m in there filming with my little video camera, you know, whatever.”

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One of the funniest connections between Harry Potter character Cedric and Twilight’s Edward is that both of them have a predilection for jumping out of trees to announce their arrival – which of course was something that Pattinson himself came up with; “It was definitely my concept to jump out of the tree at the beginning, for [Cedric Diggory’s] intro, which I then repeated later on in Twilight. For some reason, I always have a suggestion to be like; ‘Why doesn’t he just appear just like.. jumping out of a tree?'”

On a more serious note, Pattinson does a lot with his very brief screen-time in the Harry Potter movies in order, and gives us enough so that Diggory’s death feels genuinely tragic. Jeff Rawle’s performance as Amos Diggory during the scene where he realizes that his boy is dead is one of the most unforgettable moments of the franchise.

The Harry Potter and Twilight movies may be over, but a Harry Potter TV series and a Twilight TV series have both entered development. While we wait for those, check out our guides to future seasons of two of the best fantasy series – Wednesday season 2 and House of the Dragon season 2.