The Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & 2 movies are the epic conclusion of the Twilight Saga. Spread over two films, and coming in at almost five hours, the movies follow Bella and Edward as they get hitched and start a family together – however, of course, there are some pretty huge complications that get in the way of their domestic bliss.
Stephenie Meyers’ original novel clocks in at over 750 pages, as Edward and Bella’s romance reaches its finale. Producers wisely – or cynically – decided to split the final book into two movies. Financially, the decision paid off: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 chomped down on a $138 million opening weekend at the U.S. box office when it was released in 2011. Its follow up, and the final instalment on the franchise, Breaking Dawn – Part 2, did even better, scoring a mammoth $141 million during its opening weekend the following year.
Incredibly, the movies stick close to the original novel. Loyal viewers are rewarded with Edward and Bella’s wedding, a honeymoon in Brazil, and Renesmee's birth, which had to be carefully negotiated in order for the film to get the all-important PG-13 rating. Fans were also given a seriously turbo charged battle scene that was absent from the books – even if it just turned out to be one of Alice’s vision.
We delve behind the scenes to reveal what Kristen Stewart’s last day on set was really like, how some of the epic CGI was achieved, and Robert Pattinson’s eye-watering pay packet. With the cast and crew spending five years together to bring us the Twilight movies, you can bet there must have been some emotional moments on set.
Here are the 20 Details Behind The Making Of Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & 2.
20 Robert Pattinson crashed a boat
Robert Pattinson comes across as a smooth, suave, and an altogether sensible actor. He has a serious look throughout the Twilight films - one that says he knows exactly what he is doing. However, everyone makes mistakes. At Comic-Con 2012, Pattinson reminisced about shooting the final movies in the series, mentioning what he liked and what he didn’t like, which included a problematic episode at sea.
While on location in Brazil to film Bella and Edward’s wedding, Pattinson found himself behind the wheel of a boat, which he crashed in front of "5000" people.
The crash was, of course, an accident. How embarrassing.
19 Kristen Stewart’s last day was "ridiculous"
After playing Bella Swan for five movies, you would think that Kristen Stewart’s last day on set would have been an emotional roller coaster involving countless tears and hugs. Instead, her last day involved an unpleasant surprise.
"The very last thing I did was step on a rusty nail, before a big promotional tour, running barefoot through fake woods," Stewart told MTV News, describing the last day as "ridiculous." It's not the most glamorous last day at the job. Thankfully, Stewart's foot survived the experience. However, it must've only added to the hectic day.
18 Stephenie Meyer attended Edward and Bella’s wedding
In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 viewers can catch Twilight author Stephenie Meyer at Bella and Edward’s wedding. She appears on the left in a red dress. However, this isn’t the first time Meyer has made a cameo appearance in the franchise. She first popped up as a restaurant customer in the first movie. However, Meyer acted as executive producer and co-scriptwriter for Breaking Dawn, so she was more than entitled to her spot on the pew.
The author sat next to her co-screenwriter Melissa Rosenburg. Apparently, the two even made up a back story for their characters, with Rosenburg telling MTV News: "Stephenie was married to Wyck, and I was [Bella's mom] Renee's friend from California."
17 An intimate scene was cut
Getting a teen-friendly PG-13 is a goal for any YA movie franchise. Failure to do so would have locked out a large number of Twilight’s fan base from seeing the movie. The original book deals with some adult themes, including the first time that Edward and Bella consummate their marriage.
However, in the movie, the feather-strewn intimate scene had to be recut in order for it to get past censors and avoid an R-rating.
In the UK, the movie seemed like it was going to receive a 15 rating, and not the desired 12A rating. The reason? According to Digital Spy, some shots of Edward during the scene had to be cut to get the lower rating. Director Bill Condon made the necessary adjustments to ensure that the film received the desired rating.
16 There was a swear jar on set
Having 12-year-old Mackenzie Foy play Renesme in Breaking Dawn: Part 2 meant that the other actors had to watch their language around the young actor. One solution was to put in place a swear jar on set for anyone who swore. When asked about who contributed most to the swear jar, Foy was admirably tight-lipped, telling MTV News: "Everybody cussed a little bit, but I'm not going to say who said the most, because I don't want anybody's mommy to hear, because I know if me or my brother says something, we get in trouble."
Though it seems like not every member of the crew and cast held their tongue on set, the idea of placing a swear jar on set was a sweet one. It just goes to show you how close the crew and cast were by the end of the series.
15 CGI and prosthetics were used for Bella’s rapid weight loss
Breaking Dawn – Part 1 sees Bella go through several life changing events. There’s the marriage to vampire-beau Edward Cullen, her pregnancy, and the birth of Renesmee. Robert Pattinson described the latter scene to Los Angeles Daily News as “perhaps the ickiest birth scene ever filmed.”
Being pregnant with a vampire-human hybrid takes, apparently, a heavy toll on ones body. Bella suffered from rapid weight loss, which made her look incredibly ill. To achieve this look without Kristen Stewart going on a Christian Bale-style The Machinist diet, special effects experts used a combination of prosthetics and post-production CGI. “We ended [up] referencing thin fashion and runway models with very defined jaws and cheekbones,” Breaking Dawn's visual effects guru Edson Williams explained to Hollywood Life.
14 The book’s cover made a cameo
Edward and Bella escape for a romantic getaway in Brazil, where they enjoy beautiful views of the sea and occasionally play a few games of chess. Fans of the book might notice that the chess set that the lovers use to play their flirtatious game has the traditional white pieces alongside some not-so-traditional red pieces.
This is a nod to the cover of the Breaking Dawn novel, which depicts a white queen piece in the foreground with a red pawn behind it.
The pawn and the queen both represent Bella. Chess buffs will know that once a pawn gets to the other end of the board – or, in this case, the end of five movies – it turns into a queen.
13 Robert Pattinson wore a wig for reshoots
Twilight is known for its many dubious wigs, or, at least, hair that looks like a wig. Kristen Stewart wore one for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, as she'd already cut her hair to shoot The Runaways. Taylor Lautner also sported a wig in the original movie before he was able to chop his locks and hit the gym for his New Moon look.
Incredibly, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 included Robert Pattinson to the list of Twilight actors who were forced to wear wigs. During reshoots for the movie, the actor had to don a wig. He described the experience as "being like Frankenstein’s monster." The actor went on to describe the toupee at a Comic Con panel: "I couldn’t believe my last two days on Twilight they put this orange wig on my hair."
12 Stephenie Meyers collaborated on the twist ending
Unlike other authors, Twilight creator and Breaking Dawn scriptwriter Stephenie Meyer doesn’t seem overly concerned about changes to the source material. When mulling over what to do with the ending in a Vancouver steakhouse, Meyer and fellow writer Melissa Rosenburg wrestled over how to translate the novel’s finale into something better suited for a Hollywood blockbuster.
They came up with snowbound battle sequence that saw, in an unexpected twist, two members of the Cullen clan lose their lives. However, everything turned out to be fine, as this would just be one of Alice's visions. “So both of us were trying to figure out how do we make that cinematic? It's just that back and forth, and the idea hits — wait a second, it's all happening in Alice's mind. It's actually referred to in the book, we just don't see it in the book. So the beauty of film, you get to see it," Rosenburg explained to MTV News.
11 Stephenie Meyer chose the wedding dress designer
While Edward looks pretty suave in his tuxedo, it’s Bella’s wedding dress that is the real head-turner when the two tie the knot in Breaking Dawn – Part 1. The gown was designed by Carolina Herrera, who was personally chosen by Stephenie Meyer to produce the gown. Costing $35,000, the gown isn't exactly affordable and, considering that Bella’s family doesn't have much money, it must have taken them a while to save up.
The gown is made from crepe satin and Chantilly lace and has 152 buttons along the back.
Meanwhile, Edward's tuxedo was fitted for his character. Costume designer Michael Wilkinson told MTV News that Edward’s tux reflects the vampire’s age. “No off-the-rack! Never. I drew up my ideal ideas for all the tuxedos. We wanted them to have a vintage feel, that sort of Edwardian turn-of-the-century vibe,” he said.
10 The Pulp Fiction shot earned the movie an R-rating
Breaking Dawn’s traumatic birth scene pushes at the limits of what is acceptable for a PG-13 movie. Bella almost doesn’t make it through the scene and we see Edward's reaction to her worsening condition. At one point, we would've seen him plunge a syringe filled with vampire venom into Bella’s heart to stop her passing away in a moment reminiscent of Pulp Fiction, when John Travolta’s Vincent takes extreme measures to revive Uma Thurman's Mia. While this scene was filmed, it didn’t make it into the final film, although it was one of the crew’s favourites scenes.
Visual effects supervisor John Bruno explained to Flickering Myth that “when the film went out for ratings, Bill called me and said, ‘We’ve got an R rating.’ I went, ‘Oh that means I’ve got to lose my favourite scene.’”
9 Elizabeth Reaser’s contact lenses were "excruciating" to wear
Playing a vampire in Twilight isn’t without its drawbacks. Not only are you caked in make-up to make you look as pale as possible, but you also have to wear coloured contact lenses all of the time. Elizabeth Reaser, who played Esme Cullen, had some strong views on her lenses. She told Vanity Fair: “Oh my God, they were beyond annoying. They are excruciating.”
It turns out that some days were worse than others, particularly the final battle scene, which involved big chunks of snow, which was made out of paper, getting lodged under the contact lenses. It sounds painful. In the same interview, Peter Facinelli recalls Reaser waking up with swollen eyelids. It was then that he realized that, though he plays a doctor, he wasn’t able to be much help.
8 Sofia Coppola and Gus Van Sant were in line to direct
While the Twilight franchise might have received a drubbing from the critics – and it really did, with Breaking Dawn – Part 1 sitting at 24% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes – it always had decent directors behind it, who helped to put Stephenie Meyer’s tween fantasy onto the silver screen. The original movie was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who was responsible for Thirteen. After that, Chris Weitz helmed New Moon and Eclipse saw David Slade take the director's chair.
While Bill Condon, who directed Gods and Monsters, took on Breaking Dawn, it’s interesting to note that Sofia Coppola and Gus Van Sant were also in the running to direct.
What they would have done with the final two entries in the saga would have made for fascinating viewing.
7 There were more wolf shots than any other Twilight movie
Breaking Dawn - Parts 1 & 2 have more wolf shots in them than all of the other Twilight films combined - and they all look really good. According to the visual effects supervisors, the transition from human to massive wolf is directly inspired from Stephanie Meyer’s novels. In the books, there isn’t any big transformation scene. Instead, it’s a choreographed shift in form, which usually happens when the person becoming a wolf is annoyed.
Phil Tippett, who’s VFX company had been handling Twilight’s CGI lupines since New Moon told Flickering Myth: “They transform very quickly and that was a magician’s slight of hand trick. It’s not like An American Werewolf in London (1981) or The Wolfman (2010), where it was all about the scene of transformation. This is not the same kind of deal. You’ve got a 150 pound kid and he has to turn into a 1500 pound wolf really fast so there’s no time to think about it.”
6 Michael Sheen’s daughter wasn’t happy with his casting
Michael Sheen thought that his 13-year old daughter would be happy when he landed the part as big bad Aro in the Breaking Dawn movies. However, it turns out that this wasn’t the case. “I thought she was going to be really excited, when I said that I was going to be [Aro], but in fact, she was really annoyed,” the actor told Collider.
Sheen’s daughter didn't think that her dad was right for the role, telling him that Aro is completely bald – a look that the actor doesn’t go with in the movie. In the end, she changed her tune and was excited for her dad. It's a good thing, too, as Sheen is terrific as Aro, giving the vampire a comedic lightness, which makes his evil turns all the more menacing and surprising.
5 Complex CGI was used to age 10-year-old Mackenzie Foy
Producers chose 10-year old actress Mackenzie Foy to play Edward Cullen and Bella Swan’s daughter, Renesmee - a character who appears as both a child and as teenager in Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
Instead of casting different actors in the role, the filmmakers stuck with Foy for the two movies and used a complicated mix of CGI and techniques used to predict what missing children will look like in the future.
Edson Williams, who movie's visual effects head, explained the process to Flickering Myth: “To accomplish this task, we shot an 18-year-old model running through a park, and then captured Mackenzie’s performance in the Lola Projection Rig. Using Flame software, we modified Mackenzie [Foy]’s facial features to look much older, and then modified a CyberScan of Mackenzie to match the older proportions created in the Flame.”
4 There was a dance off before the final battle
What better way to ease the tension before a big battle than with a dance off? When the Cullens and werewolves square off against the Voltauri at the end of Breaking Dawn – Part 2, an epic battle takes place. However, there’s also a version of the scene where the Cullens break into a choreographed dance routine, much to the surprise of the opposing vampire hordes.
Mia Maestro, who plays Carmen, organized the throw down to '80s Eurythmics’ thumper "Sweet Dreams". One reason for the Cullens to break out some sweet moves was that the cast had been filming against a green screen for six straight weeks and needed something to cheer them up. "We needed the morale boost, I think, to unite us all in vampirehood and joy," Maggie Grace told MTV News.
3 Peter Facinelli might have taken Carlisle’s ring
In Hollywood, it seems to only be customary for actors to take home some of their wardrobe – whether it’s a favourite piece of clothing, an item of costume jewellery, or some other keepsake to remind them of their time on set. Peter Facinelli, who played Dr. Carlisle Cullen, was personally attached to Carlisle’s ring.
The actor had already tried to take the ring home with him after New Moon had wrapped. However, producers reminded him that there as only one ring so they’d need it back for subsequent movies in the series. However, all bets were off with the final instalment. “When we did Breaking Dawn—Part 2, [the ring] might have or it might not have been left on my finger when I got home,” the actor told Vanity Fair.
2 Kellan Lutz worked out for 7 months for the movie
Actors do a lot of waiting around on set while complex scenes are set up, lit, and every member of the crew is placed where they are meant to be. This is the reason why actors, or at least highly-paid A-listers, have tricked-out trailers to hide in between shots. Kellen Lutz, who played vampire Emmett, did something a bit different, though. He filled his time by working out.
“I got really big. Seven months of working out? That’s double the time we had for the other movies. I just was eating and working out, because I had a lot of downtime,” Lutz revealed to Vanity Fair.
The results are definitely obvious during Emmett's arm wrestling match against Bella, where Lutz's bicep looks like it's ready to pop.
1 Robert Pattinson got a huge paycheque for Breaking Dawn
The chemistry between Kwisten Stewart and Robert Pattinson brought a lot to the original Twilight – both on and off the screen – and was therefore a huge part of the movie's success. Considering that the film grossed $351 million worldwide, the actors felt like they should have received a bigger paycheck for their efforts.
When it came to negotiating paycheques for New Moon, the leads knew their value – after all, it would be complicated to have to recast the role of Edward or Bella just after the franchise had started. According to TMZ, producers agreed to pay the pair a $2.5 million bonus for Twilight. However, that’s nothing compared to the reported $25 million that Robert Pattinson took home for his work on Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & 2.
Did you know about any of these behind-the-scenes secrets about Twilight Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & 2? Let us know in the comments!