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In an interview that will make a lot of Twi-hards very happy, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke reveals that it was love at first sight for Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart -- and she has the video to prove it! Hardwicke, who directed the first installment of the supernatural romance, tells Newsweek that casting the vampire Edward was a challenge. She already had Stewart lined up to play the human heroine, Bella, when she got a call about a British actor named Robert Pattinson. And at first, she was very skeptical.
"He had been fired from his last job, he was unemployed, he was in debt," Hardwicke, 55, recalls. He was also determined: Pattinson paid his own way to fly to Los Angeles to read with Stewart at Hardwicke's house. And the rest was history.
"I have footage of their first meeting at my dining-room table," reveals the director. "Kristen was like, 'It’s got to be Rob!' She felt connected to him from the first moment. That electricity, or love at first sight, or whatever it is."
Hardwicke turned their mutual crush into major onscreen chemistry, but there was one problem: Stewart was four years younger than 21-year-old Pattinson. Hardwicke made her leading man "swear on a stack of Bibles" that he wouldn't lose his head.
"You’ve got to realize that Kristen is 17 years old," Hardwicke told Pattinson. "She’s underage. You’ve got to focus, dude, or you’re going to be arrested."
So we've got an older man who promises not to romance a high school girl, a girl who falls for him anyway, and a forbidden romance that has to be hidden from the world. Truth and fiction in Twilight are a lot more alike than we thought!
Rumor had it that Hardwicke was fired from the Twilight franchise, but she tells Newsweek that it was entirely her own decision; she didn't want to work at the fast pace the studio was demanding for the second film.
"I do not regret it at all, thank the Lord," she says. "The truth is I liked the first book the best."
Hardwicke's new film, Red Riding Hood starring Amanda Seyfried, comes to theaters on March 11. Pattinson and Stewart are currently filming the second-to-last Twilight film, Breaking Dawn: Part 1.