When the Twilight movie franchise began in 2008, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were considered incredibly bankable stars at the time, and Taylor Lautner reached a whole new fanbase outside of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. But it’s been eleven years since the series’ final installment hit theaters and, in that time, many have become more self-aware of the movies’ campy qualities. Anna Kendrick is also more than aware of this vibe, the star actually cracks up at the idea of she and her former co-stars going from total heartthrobs to “the butt of every joke.”
Before the young adult-aimed film series, Anna Kendrick mostly starred in independent films like Rocket Science and Camp. While she may not have achieved the same level of fame as her Twilight co-stars did around the time the movies came out, they still helped to increase her notoriety. She spoke with Rolling Stone about how she figured into all of that buzz over a decade ago:
In the movies, the actress played the role of Jessica, one of Bella’s high school chums. Though the character was visible throughout the duration of the saga, she was more of a supporting player in the proceedings. That fact surely contributed to the specific level of attention that the Pitch Perfect alum got for playing the role at the time.
Over the years, Anna Kendrick has spoken about her experiences filming Twilight and its sequels. She’s explained that it wasn’t always a picnic for her, as she likened braving the the cold weather to “surviving a hostage situation.” Today, Kendrick mostly feels that starring in the series was a good move from a business perspective. It put more eyes on her acting abilities and put solid chunk of change in her pocket.
As popular as the Twilight movies were, you couldn’t ignore their campy production qualities like the CGI mess that was Bella’s baby and every moment of overdramatic longing between the highly-anxious Bella and the sparkly Edward. It’s been interesting to see how the perception of the films has changed over the years, and the Up in the Air star takes it all in stride:
You would almost think that the fame Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner went through was comparable with The Beatles’. That notoriety wasn’t the best for the stars, though. Kristen Stewart has spoken about the fame she experienced due to Twilight and described the struggle of “canceling out the noise” at the time. Robert Pattinson felt like he was losing his sense of self, as he said his ego expanded when he first started doing the films. (He now hopes he’s “too old and boring” to go through fan stalking again.)
Even Taylor Lautner said he experienced anxiety over leaving his house due to the attention he gained. He and his co-stars are all still working in Hollywood today and still get covered by the media today, though one would argue that it’s nothing compared to what they went through years ago.
Though fans poke fun at the vampire movies now and some of the actors’ performances in them, their careers have not been hampered by them. Anna Kendrick recently delivered her career-best work playing a victim of emotional abuse in the psychological thriller Alice, Darling. So while the group may laugh over their past work now, they can still look at the collective franchise, which is still loved by many people, as a stepping stone for them professionally. You can watch The Twilight Saga using a Showtime or Paramount+ subscription.