The Twilight Saga was one of the most widely popular big screen young adult fiction adaptations in the last two decades. It made superstars out of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, who played yjr lead roles of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen respectively. Twilight also received just as much scorn as praise. Fantasy fans, young adult literature readers, and fans of rival franchises all had their gripes with the series.
They felt that the characters were one dimensional and unsympathetic, or they thought that the story was regressive and unoriginal. However, for all its detractors, The Twilight Saga kept up production for five total movies and still has a very devoted following. Fans still root for Team Edward or Team Jacob and still get tears in their eyes whenever they hear Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”. Twilight certainly offered one of the most popular teen fantasy love stories in recent memory.
However, even movies as magical as Twilight have to be made with painstaking effort by many real people. The two part climax of the series, Breaking Dawn Part 1 and 2, called for new practical and special effects never used in the series before. When you go behind the camera, you get a whole different perspective on the fantastic love story that has captured so many hearts. Some scenes and moments just don’t look the same when you take away all the polished presentation and look closely at the cinematic trappings underneath.
Whether you will still love it in a thousand years or not, here are the 20 Behind the Scenes Photos That Completely Change Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2!
20 NIGHTMARE WEDDING
Early in Breaking Dawn: Part 1, Bella has a vision of her wedding that seems to be going beautifully. All of her friends and family are there, and Edward is waiting for her at the altar, but then the Volturi arrive. All of the roses on the aisle turn to blood and the guests’ bodies lay in a pile at her feet.
The scene shows some dire warnings of the threats that Bella faces in her new life. Entertainment Weekly definitely didn’t give too much away, but this behind-the-scenes shot still shows the practical workings of the scene. Stewart and Pattinson are off to the side in costume, while the crew captures a shot of the guest seats and the podium.
19 DIRECTOR CONDON, LAUTNER, STEWART, AND MAKEUP ARTIST
Jacob takes Bella’s marriage to Edward pretty hard - as in his pack mates have to restrain him. Then, when Bella becomes pregnant with Edward’s vampire baby, Jacob is distraught with concern for Bella. He urges Bella to abort the pregnancy and avoid risking her own life. However, Bella refuses to sacrifice the baby for herself.
In the middle of all this emotional turmoil, the director and makeup team have to step in between takes. You can tell this is a behind-the-scenes photo because Taylor Lautner is looking at the director instead of at Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan. Even while undergoing a life threatening pregnancy, Bella still has to look good for the audience and the camera.
18 STEWART WITH STUNT CABLE
The vampires in The Twilight Saga are capable of amazing superhuman feats. They can run at incredible speeds and leap great distances. In Breaking Dawn: Part 2, these powers are on full display, especially during the climactic battle between the Cullens, their allies, and the Volturi. The vampires leap and speed towards each other with powerful attacks.
Unfortunately for the mere human actors, such gravity defying feats don't come so naturally. In this behind-the-scenes shot, Stewart shows some nervous excitement while harnessed up to a stunt cable. The scene itself is a serious battle for the survival of her family. However, Stewart looks like she’s having quite a hoot.
17 PATTINSON GREEN SCREEN
One part of the Twilight movies that almost everyone agrees on is that they include some beautiful scenery and cinematography. The locations in the film are just as sweeping and gorgeous as the story could want.
Unfortunately, though, not all of those locations were real. If this behind-the-scenes photo is any indication, the picturesque location surrounding Bella and Edward’s honeymoon house was mostly realized through computer generated imagery. Pattinson appears walking out onto a water porch, but the water immediately in front of him and landscape beyond is all left to be filled in on a green screen. Admittedly, hardly any of the action in this shot is taking place in the outdoors, but it does break the illusion a little.
16 KELLAN LUTZ AND NIKKI REED
All of the vampires in The Twilight Saga show incredible strength, especially when it comes to destruction or heavy lifting. Emmett Cullen likes showing off his strength in particular. When Edward and Bella announce their marriage, everyone joins in to help prepare for the wedding. The vampires’ strength certainly comes in handy. Carlisle, Esme, Emmet, and Rosalie all do some heavy lifting. The Cullens are big on natural decorations.
In the behind-the-scenes photo for this scene, Kellan Lutz and Nikki Reed are actually lifting tree trunk props in their arms and over their shoulders. It makes you wonder what those “trees” were actually made of if the human actors were able to lift them so easily.
15 EMACIATED BELLA PROP
When Bella is pregnant with Edward’s baby, the pregnancy takes a major toll on her. Her health and physical condition deteriorate and she quickly becomes frail and emaciated. Makeup lets Kristen Stewart display this effect for most of the movie, but for certain scenes around the birth of Renesmee and Bella’s passing, she becomes just skin and bone.
It would be dangerous for Stewart herself to reach that condition, so the crew created a frail Bella prop to stand in for the actress when she only had to appear still and withering. It looks extra creepy in this behind-the-scenes shot. The Bella prop is suspended on cables while Stewart herself stands next to it with and awkward smile.
14 LAUTNER WITH DYING BELLA
Jacob rushes to Bella’s side when she’s going through the birth of her daughter. Even though Edward is very indignant at his presence, Jacob stays right next to Bella. He’s there through the agonizing birth and when Bella’s life fades away.
The scene where Bella gives birth and passes away feels crowded around her, as most of the Cullens want to help any way they can. In this behind-the-scenes shot, Jacob seems to be the only one attending to Bella, but it is still very crowded around Bella with lighting pieces and multiple cameras capturing every angle. It’s difficult to tell if this is the prop Bella or Kristen Stewart actually on the stretcher.
13 CONDON, STEWART AND PATTINSON
Director Bill Condon just can’t seem to leave Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson alone. To be fair that is part of his job, though, since he is in charge of the whole production. It’s difficult to pin down what the cast and crew are in the middle of shooting from this photo.
The set is clearly an indoor location and there are no other actors in the shot itself, so it could be during Bella and Edward’s honeymoon or even during a private conversation before the wedding. Bella’s non-pregnant belly and healthy look definitely suggest a scene from earlier in the movie. Stewart and Pattinson also look as though they are still in character while Condon is directing them. Edward Cullen looks a bit standoffish.
12 MICHAEL SHEEN DECAPITATION
In Breaking Dawn: Part 2’s final battle, Bella and Edward work together to destroy Aro. It takes some serious strength and acrobatics, but they manage to rip Aro’s head right off of him. The sequence in the movie makes it look like a fluid motion from one attack to the next.
However, this behind-the-scenes photo of the two on one fight tells a different story. Bella is grabbing at Aro’s neck and his forehead from on top of his shoulders, but she has to use a stepladder to get in that position. At least from this angle, it looks like Sheen is keeping in character as he tries to claw into Edward’s face.
11 CAIUS AND KATE
Many main characters meet violent ends over the course of the imagined battled between the Cullens and the Volturi. Jaime Campbell Bower reprises his role of Caius in Breaking Dawn: Part 2 and joins his coven to punish the Cullens.
In the course of the battle, he gets overtaken by Lee Pace’s Garret, MyAnna Burning’s Tanya, and Casey LaBow’s Kate. All three are allied with the Cullens. Kate holds Caius in place on his knees while Tanya rips off Caius’s head at the parting of his mouth. The behind-the-scenes photo here looks right in the middle of a take. Bower’s eyes are wide as he pretends to be immobilized by Kate’s shock power.
10 PATTINSON CRACKING UP
The birth of Renesmee and the end and rebirth of Bella is one of the most dramatic sequences in both movies. Renesmee is almost lost and Bella almost doesn’t come back after the trauma of giving birth. There certainly isn’t any levity in the scene.
However, it wasn’t so easy for the actors to stay so composed while filming, at least judging by this behind-the-scenes photo of Pattinson. He’s standing on set over Bella’s body, his arms and his shirt are covered in blood and he’s hunched over laughing. Perhaps the scene was so over the top that he had to let out some humorous reactions, and maybe Stewart is just out of frame also convulsing with laughter.
9 FOY, STEWART, PATTINSON AND LAUTNER
After the battle with the Volturi is over -- or more accurately avoided -- Edward, Bella, Renesmee, and Jacob all meet up. Edward and Bella have accepted Jacob as Renesmee’s guardian and Bella promises Renesmee that they will all be together now. Alice also foresees Renesmee as a young woman living happily with Jacob.
As always, director Bill Condon is on the scene to orchestrate this triumphant family moment for the Cullens. He has Kristen and Pattinson waiting while he gives some unknown direction to little Mackenzie Foy. Lautner stands to the side. Condon stands out from the characters in costume because of his thick rain coat. From this angle, we can’t see if Foy is keeping Renesmee’s wise-beyond-her-years, soulful stare going.
8 FOY, STEWART, PATTINSON AND JACOB RIG
The werewolves in The Twilight Saga movies look lackluster. That criticism has stuck with the franchise throughout all five films. They are too cartoonish and under detailed. Whenever they fight with the vampire characters, it’s hard to believe that they are real threatening shapeshifting creatures.
However, during the shots when Renesmee rode on Jacob’s back, at least one part of the werewolf was real. The crew constructed a furry flank section of the werewolf that Foy could straddle and left the rest of the werewolf for filling in later with computer generated imagery. In this behind-the-scenes shot, you can see a crewmember controlling the rig from behind while the camera is probably rolling.
7 PREGNANT BELLA PROP
Instead of having Kristen Stewart lose weight, the production crew of Breaking Dawn: Part 1 made a prop version of Bella while emaciated. This prop stood in for Stewart while Bella was expiring. The crew also apparently used it for a few shots when the baby was still inside Bella.
In this screen shot from a behind the scenes video, a crew member points to the Bella prop in the makeup studio. The prop Bella has a definite baby bump. It’s hard to tell from this photo if the Bella prop is suspended above the ground of if it’s being held up from underneath. The prop only ever had to lay horizontal for the actual scenes in the movie.
6 FANNING AND SHEEN ON SET
The Volturi are an ancient aristocratic coven that fancy themselves as the rulers of all vampires. The Cullens conflict with them throughout the movie, but that conflict comes to a head in Breaking Dawn: Part 2. The Volturi march in force to apprehend Renesmee, believing her to be an immortal child.
However, before the Volturi can emerge from the tree line ready for battle, they have to arrive on set. In this behind-the-scenes shot, Michael Shannon and Dakota Fanning are seen at some production location. Fanning has a white jacket in contrast to the solid black and red that the Volturi are known for. She’s also smiling at the crew members around her so she’s definitely out of character.
5 PATTINSON, LUTZ AND CULLEN ALLIES
When the Alice has a vision of the Volturi coming for the Cullens, they call on other vampire covens to come to their aide. This lets Breaking Dawn: Part 2 introduce a bunch of new vampire characters from around the world, each with their own extraordinary powers.
The different covens and other vampires all have a common cause in opposing the Volturi. Tracy Heggins’s Senna, Judi Shekoni’s Zafrina, Noel Fisher’s Vladimir, and Guri Weinberg’s Stefan all feature in this behind-the-scenes shot, next to Kellan Lutz’s Emmett and Robert Pattinson’s Edward. The camera crew take up the blurry foreground of the photo. It looks like Pattinson may be looking at his cue cards next to the camera itself.
4 STEWART, PATTINSON AND FOY
When the Volturi learn of Renesmee’s existence, they immediately think that the Cullens have made an immortal vampire out of a child, which is strictly forbidden for vampires because it risks drawing suspicion from humans. Of course Renesmee isn’t a child vampire, she’s a vampire hybrid born to a human mother and vampire father. The Cullens want to prove that Renesmee is not what the Volturi suspect, so they gather their allies in case a fight breaks out and present Renesmee to Aro.
In this behind-the-scenes shot, Bella and Edward stand guard by their daughter’s side. They’re probably starring down Aro and the Volturi, who may or may not be arrayed out of frame when this shot was taken.
3 STEWART, FOY AND THE JACOB RIG
Obviously the production crew of Breaking Dawn: Part 2 couldn’t get a real werewolf for Mackenzie Foy to ride on, so they created a mounted rig with a furry section of Jacob’s back so Foy could realistically sit on it. The rest of the faithful imprinted werewolf was added later with computer imagery. However, during filming, the werewolf rig was partially operated by a crew member so that it could sway as the werewolf “moved.”
This behind-the-scenes shot includes the crew member at the front end of the rig. He’s crouching with his hands on an extended bar to make it move. Stewart is right next to Foy, who is mounted on the rig, and looking seriously at the imagined Jacob.
2 20.CONDON WITH STEWART AND PATTINSON
Bella and Edward are supposed to have some privacy on their honeymoon. They are supposed to have spacious lakeside cabin with sweeping vistas and a chessboard all to themselves... until director Bill Condon has to step in.
Instead of a private, relaxing, romantic atmosphere, Stewart and Pattinson are clearly getting down to business with Condon. The director certainly has some direction to offer, with a mounted camera at the left side of the frame. In fact, there are probably dozens of film crew members all around Stewart and Pattinson. They are just out of frame of this shot. Perhaps the camera caught Stewart at the wrong time, but it also looks like her eyes are half lidded.
1 CONDON, STEWART AND PATTINSON
Edward and Bella spend a lot of Breaking Dawn: Part 1 discussing how they are going to consummate their marriage. Bella wants to do it before turning into a vampire, but Edward is concerned that the act would injure Bella too severely. Any discussion about consummating a marriage is probably best held in private.
However, Bella and Edward can’t even get their privacy here. Stewart and Pattinson are sitting up in bed while director Condon has some unknown words to offer the actors. It is a very important scene between Bella and Edward after all. One can only imagine what was said or what was going through Pattinson’s mind at that moment to make him look so sour.
What do you think of these behind-the-scenes photos? Are there any other shots of The Twilight Sage: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2 that fans need to see? Let us know in the comments!