Robert Pattinson Was Almost Fired From Twilight Because the Producers Wanted Edward Cullen to Smile More

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Smile, though your heart is aching / Smile, even though it’s breaking — and smile, when your agent tells you to. On the set of Twilight, Robert Pattinson wanted to play Cullen as brooding, unwilling to flash his pearly whites. “If you’re going into a relationship with someone, the way to make it really intense is if you can barely talk to each other, you can barely touch each other, it’s incredibly serious all the time,” Pattinson told Howard Stern. “That’s what teenage relationships are. But everyone kind of wanted it to be, like, ‘No, they should just be, like, happy and having fun. That’s what people want.’”

Apparently, that’s also what the producers wanted. “[My agents] flew up and were like, ‘You have to do the opposite of what you’re doing now or you’re going to get fired today.’” In the tug-of-war over exactly how much smiling the Cullen character would do, both sides took it to the source material: The producers gave him a copy of Stephenie Meyer’s book, and highlighted each time his character smiled. Pattinson used a different color highlighter, pointing out every instance Cullen frowned. Ultimately, though, Pattinson kept his job, and he admits his original Cullen was maybe a little too sullen. We’re guessing Pattinson looks back with fondness at the days when adding a few more grins to his repertoire constituted an on-set challenge — he’s got to deal with more present on-set threats like actual spiders now.

Robert Pattinson Was Told to Smile More in Twilight