Twilight execs looked at Harry Potter cast photos in search of Edward — and found Robert Pattinson

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Twilight execs looked at Harry Potter cast photos in search of Edward — and found Robert Pattinson
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Another wizard from the Harry Potter franchise, and not Robert Pattinson, could have played Twilight's Edward Cullen, a role that catapulted the actor into the heights of teenage fandom in the late 2000s.

While looking for the hit saga's brooding vampire beau, the production team turned to headshots of young stars from Harry Potter, says Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke and former Summit Entertainment executive Erik Feig.

Hardwicke recalled how difficult it was to cast Edward in an interview for The Big Hit Show podcast on Wednesday, explaining that the actors who auditioned for the part were much too "captain of the football team." Simply put, they did not have that undead sparkle.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Twilight
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Twilight

Murray Close/Warner Bros.; Deana Newcomb/Summitt Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory and Edward Cullen

"I wanted somebody that didn't seem like a real person," Hardwicke said. "Who is that going to be? 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."

Feig added, "I remember saying, 'It's 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.'"

Enter: the all-British cast of the Harry Potter films.

Feig and Summit creative executive Gillian Bohrer sifted through headshots, landing on Pattinson's Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

"I said, 'What's up with him?' And she said, 'Cedric Diggory,'" Feig recounted. "And I said, 'Yeah, who's that?' And she said, 'Rob Pattinson.' And I said, 'Did he read for us?' And she said, 'No.' And I said, 'Why?' And she said, 'I don't know.' I said, 'Well, let's see if he can read.'"

After sending an audition tape to Summit, Pattinson did a chemistry read with Kristen Stewart at Hardwicke's home.

"Rob and Kristen auditioned on my bed, the kissing scene," Hardwicke said. "Rob was so into it he fell off the bed. I'm like, 'Dude, calm down.' …At the end, Kristen was like, 'It has to be Rob.' I could tell they had a lot of chemistry, and I'm like, 'Oh my God.'"

Listen to the podcast interview below.

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