By KEVIN WILLIAMSON
LOS ANGELES -- Catherine Hardwicke knew she'd probably be damned no matter who she cast as Twilight's blood-drinking dreamboat Edward Cullen.
Perhaps not since they cast the first Harry Potter movie had so many fans had such specific -- and vocal -- opinions about who should play Bella Swan's 107-year-old beau. Robert Pattinson eventually got the role.
"I had looked at everybody else," says director Hardwicke, who previously helmed Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown. "Even people that the fans suggested, we'd try to contact them. Are they the right age for it? Are they interested? Are they available? When that was done, do they look good in person or do they just look good in the photo?
"We tried to check out everybody that the fans suggested, but those suggestions were really bad, actually ... Brad Pitt's a bit too old to be still in high school. I felt confident that I'd looked at everybody they had seen and farther, and then I looked at millions of other people too, and so I knew what the choices were out there."
Helping make up her mind was the rapport that Pattinson shared with Kristen Stewart, who Hardwicke had already signed as her heroine.
"I loved her in Into the Wild ... I felt like she was going to be pretty great. And then it's finding chemistry. And when Rob and Kristen work together, you know, you could feel it in the room. It was kind of scary, kind of cool, you know?"