“I always just thought at the time — I was, like, 21 — 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, and just be kind of incredibly serious all the time,” Pattinson said of his approach to the dynamic between his Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan. “I mean, it’s kind of like what teenage relationships are and that’s what makes it sort of feel like that. But, everyone kind of wanted it to be, like, No, they should be happy and having fun, that’s what people want, that’s the teen romance thing.”
“You wanted it brooding a little bit,” Stern followed up.
“Yeah, and now the whole series is known like a brooding thing,” Pattinson said with a laugh.
Explaining that the producers gave him a copy of Stephenie Meyers’ book where they had highlighted “every single instance where my character smiled,” Pattinson said he used a different color to highlight “all the times when he frowns.”
Things escalated to the point where his agents had to step in, flying to the movie’s set for an intervention of sorts. “I thought I was pretty safe, and they flew up and there were like, ‘Yeah, you have to do the opposite of what you’re doing now or you’re going to get fired today,’” Pattinson recalled.
“So how did you hold your ground, how did you know what to do?” Stern asked.
“I didn’t,” the 31-year-old actor admitted, laughing. “I came back after lunch and I was like, ‘Hiiii!’” — his voice high-pitched and peppy — “‘I wanna keep my job!’”
Looking back, though, Pattinson sees where he went wrong.
“I was probably going a little bit too miserable,” he told Stern, “and there was some kind of compromise made.”