1. Stephenie Meyer, author of the four-book Twilight series, was a 29-year-old stay-at-home mom in Phoenix when she started the set. “I lost sleep to write. I mean, you had to give something up, and I wasn’t giving up my time with my kids.”
2. The Twilight saga starts when Bella Swan moves from Phoenix to Forks, Wash. to live with her father. Soon she meets a mysterious classmate named Edward Cullen and romance sparks. He plays hard to get at first, but all bets are off when he finally reveals his big secret; he’s a vampire.
3. Other key characters in the story include Bella’s police chief father Charlie, family friend Jacob Black who attends a separate school, but visits Bella with his father Billy…and then the Cullen family. Dr. Carlisle Cullen works at the local hospital and is responsible for turning his family members into vampires while on their death beds.
4. Dr. Cullen hunted vampires 300 years ago before being bitten and transformed during an attack. He hated what he had become and forced himself to feed on animals rather than humans. His entire family maintains a vegetarian lifestyle, which allows them to take up a residence and live among mortals.
5. Edward and Bella’s story came to Meyer in a dream. “I woke up and I was just wrapped up in this idea of what was going to happen next; was he going to kill her or were they going to be together, because it was 50/50 at that point.”
6. A web search of rainiest places in the continental U.S. led Meyer to Forks. Her vampire clan needed to settle in a place with overcast skies year round.
7. Bella’s experiences at Forks High were modeled after Meyer’s own life. The writer describes herself as a 5 amongst Barbie-like classmates at her Scottsdale high school, but once she moved to Provo, Utah for college things changed. Like Bella, she was awestruck at the immediate attention she was getting from the opposite sex. “In Provo, surrounded by normal people, I was more like an 8,” Meyer confesses online.
8. Meyer avoided describing Bella in the books to give readers a chance to put themselves in her shoes. At the fans request she posted this on her website, “In my head, Bella is very fair-skinned, with long, straight, dark brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. Her face is heart-shaped—a wide forehead with a widow’s peak, large, wide-spaced eyes, prominent cheekbones, and then a thin nose and a narrow jaw with a pointed chin. Her lips are a little out of proportion, a bit too full for her jaw line. Her eyebrows are darker than her hair and more straight than they are arched. She’s five foot four inches tall, slender but not at all muscular, and weighs about 115 pounds. She has stubby fingernails because she has a nervous habit of biting them.”
9. The book cover of a single apple represents the forbidden fruit in the Bible. “I used the scripture from Genesis because I loved the phrase “the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.” Meyer says on her site: “The nice thing about the apple is it has so many symbolic roots. You’ve got the apple in Snow White, one bite and you’re frozen forever in a state of not-quite-death… Then you have Paris and the golden apple in Greek mythology—look how much trouble that started. Apples are quite the versatile fruit.” 9. Meyer wrote a 600+ page Twilight sequel, Forever Dawn, for her sister’s birthday before she knew the series would be published. The reason it didn’t make the cut for the masses? Too racy! When she found out the books would be targeting a young adult audience, she rewrote it as New Moon.
10.Twilight is followed by New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.
11. Meyer’s unfinished fifth book, Midnight Sun, mirrors Twilight from Edward’s perspective. She stopped writing it when a draft of the manuscript was leaked online. She tells fans on her site, “I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working … and so it is on hold indefinitely.”
12. Meyer, a Brigham Young English Literature major, sent out 15 Twilight query letters to agents. She received five no replies, nine rejections and one request to see it. “A month later I had an agent; another month later I had a three-book deal.”
13. The Twilight title is inconsistent internationally. Some of the other titles used are: Until Dawn (Germany), Temptation (Finland) and Fascination (France).
14. In Japan they split the novel into three books, The Boy Whom I Love is a Vampire, Blood Tastes Sadness and The Vampire Family in the Darkness.
15. When the filmmakers came calling, she offered a list of demands — all the rules of her vampire world must remain in place, no fangs, no coffins, the bloodsuckers sparkle in the sunlight, the Cullens must exist by their present names and in their present forms and characters can only be killed off if they died in the book.
16. She also requested that the line “So the lion fell in love with the lamb,” not be changed. “That line is actually tattooed on people’s bodies — which I don’t approve of, by the way — but I said, you know, if you take that one and change it, that’s a potential backlash situation.”
17. Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown and The Nativity director Catherine Hardwicke was quickly tabbed to direct. She says her goal was “capture that feeling: how it feels to be in love for the first time, and loving somebody so much that you’d literally be willing to turn into a vampire.”
18. Hardwicke knew Bella required an actress with “a lot of depth” and “a lot of soul” and she found it in Panic Room star Kristen Stewart. “What I’ve seen of Kristen’s work, she is one of the few actresses of her age that has had the opportunity to do that and has shown us that she can.”
19. Thousands of actors tried out for the part of Edward via tapes and auditions, but it was Robert Pattinson who landed the role with a kiss. Says Hardwicke: “We did the kissing scene on the bed…when I saw Rob and Kristen there [and] the electricity, I was like, ‘Ohhhh, this could be good!”
20. The casting caused controversy among fans, but the actors keep taking it in stride. “I read the book, I can’t know any less than they know about her,” Stewart says while Pattinson admits he paid attention to the fan site complaints at first, “I was expecting it…I agree with them.”
[PAGEBREAK] 21. The cast of Cullens includes Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle), Elizabeth Reaser (Esme), Ashley Greene (Alice), Jackson Rathbone (Jasper), Kellan Lutz (Emmett) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie), while Taylor Lautner plays Jacob Black.
22. To capture the look of Forks, Wash. Hardwicke battled Portland, Ore. area weather to get her northwest backdrop. “We didn’t want it to be rainy or sunny, it had to just be cloudy,” she explains. “When you look at the charts for Portland it says cloudy in the winter—28 days.”
23. Hardwicke used a minimal amount of CGI in the film and all landscapes are the real locations, “We didn’t have the Harry Potter budget to build a forest. We had to go to a real forest and suffer the weather,” she says.
24. Even the scene of Bella and Edward climbing trees and looking out over what is actually the Columbia River Gorge, required stunt doubles and helicopters. “When it is Rob and Kristen, that’s on a cliff… [the doubles] were wired and the helicopter got so close we thought they were going to get blown off the tree. It was a pretty badass stunt.”
25. They used a special device to capture the glide of the enemy vampires, James (Cam Gigandet), Laurent (Edi Gathegi) and Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre). Called, the Magic Carpet Ride, it’s pulled along the ground so even if the actors are running or walking, it looks like they’re flying across screen.
26. Fans will find one of Pattinson’s original songs on the soundtrack “Never Think” and a surprise bonus track if they purchase off Itunes. Hardwicke originally offered him the chance to develop a love theme for the film, but he declined.
27. He does actually play the love theme in the film, written by Carter Burwell. It comes during a scene with Bella at the piano.
28. Pattinson admits he felt a “connection” working with Stewart from the beginning, and Entertainment Weekly says he was overheard proposing to the starlet more than once on set, but she shrugged him off.
29. Love connections or not, the two got hot and heavy onscreen and OK reports Pattinson even fell off the bed during one of the shoots.
30. Good news for fans of the series—the last three story installments are being rushed into development.