Ashley Greene opens up about being glad she didn't play Bella in 'Twilight'

Ashley Greene Is Glad She Didn't Play Bella In Twilight

As for all the romance on set? It was bound to happen.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/Lionsgate

There’s an alternate universe where the cast of the Twilight saga looks very different. Fans may know and love Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen, the psychic member of the Cullen clan and the vampire bestie everyone wants in their life. But Greene originally auditioned for Bella before being asked to read for Alice. She was bummed about not landing the starring role at the time, but in her opinion, it all worked out.

“I’m glad that I did not get that role. I just was not ready for it,” Greene tells Elite Daily, referencing the immense pressure of carrying a multi-billion-dollar franchise as the lead. “I wouldn’t have been ready for the responsibilities that came with it. I was very young, and if I had had a negative kind of response, I think it would have crushed me.”

Looking back, Greene knows Alice was the right role for her. “I’m a really firm believer in everything happening at the right time and as it’s supposed to,” she says. “I think there was such a connection with Alice and it made perfect sense.”

Greene’s been reflecting on the Twilight franchise a lot lately, thanks to her recap podcast, The Twilight Effect, which she co-hosts with her friend, Melanie Howe. In addition to rewatching and recapping all the movies, Greene has been joined by costars like Nikki Reed and Jackson Rathbone to discuss Twilight way “more openly” than they were able to during the original release of the films.

“There was so much going on while we were filming that I think some of that was a little lost,” Green says. “Now being able to reminisce, we’re like, ‘Oh yeah, we could have approached that differently.’ Wisdom and knowledge come with age, for sure.”

With the podcast coming to a close, Greene and Howe are celebrating with a special live episode on Aug. 4, when co-star Peter Facinelli will join them to dish on new behind-the-scenes secrets and more.

But before that, Greene has a lot more Twilight to reminisce on.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Elite Daily: A lot of the fandom is pretty convinced that Alice is LGBTQ+ and a lot of people even ship her with Bella. Did you and Kristen Stewart ever talk about this?

Ashley Greene: No, because this was something that really came up with the [recent] Twilight renaissance: The pandemic happened. A lot of people rewatched the films. I connected with a lot of fans during that time. That was when I was first made aware of this, because I honestly had no idea. It’s something I had never thought about, but it makes complete sense now looking back because I do think [Alice] is this person that doesn’t color inside the lines and is very authentically herself and marches to the beat of her own drum. You can see this relationship with Bella and how she cares for her, and so now it makes perfect sense to me. But at the time it was definitely not something we ever discussed, because I just didn’t perceive her that way. But I will say that I am completely 100% OK with this new revelation. I think it’s awesome.

ED: Do you think Alice and Bella would make a good couple?

AG: I feel like it would be a lot of bickering. They’re both very headstrong. I feel like Edward’s maybe a better match for her because I think there are a lot of things that Alice is very passionate about that Bella just can’t be bothered with.

ED: You recently reunited with Nikki Reed on The Twilight Effect and you recounted some of the drama between you two over the years. How did talking through some of that old drama change things?

AG: I really wanted to give fans an insight into our world that they hadn’t yet seen before. So for me and Nikki, that was something that we squashed a really long time ago. It really was in large part due to this kind of wild thing that we were thrust into, but also that we were 20, and perhaps a little more dramatic than we are now. I loved highlighting that because it does show you the humans that we are now are so much better aligned than where we were in our youth.

ED: You’ve also previously spoken on your podcast about the kind of fatherly role Peter Facinelli took on set. What did he do during filming to earn that reputation?

AG: One, he was one of the only adults, even though Peter is so young at heart. There was some wisdom that he had, especially for me coming into this so new to the game. He had already had a couple children. But also, he was just really big on kind of bringing the crew together and hosting dinners and kind of every wonderful thing that you could expect.

ED: Many fans have also latched onto the idea of Facinelli as “Daddy Carlisle.” Considering him as a bit of a father figure, how do you feel about all the thirst fans have for him?

AG: I think it’s wonderful. I mean, good for him. He takes care of himself, and he’s a great-looking dude, and he has a wonderful personality. There’s a different perspective people have this go-around, like with this Twilight resurgence, than what we initially saw. [When the films first came out], the focus was so heavily on the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob, that there really wasn’t that much focus on going like, “Oh yeah, Carlisle’s a hot dad.” And now at this point, people are really taking notice and it’s so fun and it makes him blush and it’s fantastic.

ED: In the past, Kellan Lutz revealed that he had a crush on you during filming. You’ve also revealed that you once had a crush on Jackson Rathbone. And Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart famously dated on set. What was the romance scene like on set?

AG: We worked together for a really long time and also it was a really young, good-looking cast, so I feel like that’s really natural. You’re in such close quarters with these people, and our lives shifted and we connected with each other in ways that we couldn’t really connect with a lot of other people because they didn’t understand what we were experiencing. I think that kind of lends itself to you developing some sort of feeling for someone. But I think, luckily, for most of us it was really innocent and a crush was as far as it went and so it didn’t really bring any drama to the set.

ED: You star in one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history, the baseball game in the first movie. Why do you think that scene is so enduring in the fandom and how do you personally feel about it?

AG: I think it was the first scene that we ever filmed of Twilight and we couldn’t see [director] Catherine [Hardwicke’s] vision yet. We were just like, “What is going on? It kind of just seems like chaos.” You put trust in your director and then you see the finished product and it’s this epic, iconic scene. So it’s just really a nod to people’s visions and the movie magic that happens, because on set it was just such a different experience.

ED: I heard you didn’t know how to play baseball when you shot the scene. Is that how Alice’s iconic leg kick when she’s pitching came to be, or was the leg kick inspired by something else?

AG: I just... I just did it. I didn’t know the first thing about playing baseball, so I had no business pitching that baseball. It was one of those things in the moment, and it looked very good and so, of course, Catherine was like, “Yes, do that again.”

ED: Are there any fun keepsakes or photos that you have from your time on set?

AG: I took my Cullen crest, so I have that, which is really special. And then I have — it was never highlighted in the film, but there’s a ring that I wore throughout the series, and it’s this tiny black heart with a little diamond in the middle of it, and I said that it was the wedding ring that Jasper and Alice had together that I get to wear throughout the series.

ED: Of all of the cast, who would you most like to work with again, and in what capacity?

AG: Peter [Facinelli] and I have talked about working together and having him direct me in something. I think being able to have my on-screen dad direct me in something would be really really cool.

ED: When was the last time the whole cast was together?

AG: Oh gosh, probably the last premiere, as far as all of us. There are quite a few of us, so we see each other separately. We recently spoke about trying to do some sort of family dinner to invite the cast, because it would be cool to bring us back together again.

ED: Do you see any more Twilight or Twilight-adjacent projects for yourself in the future?

AG: I don’t think there’s room for me to reprise my role because this was shot a while ago, and we are vampires and we don’t age. But I would love to see someone else pick up the baton. I think they just have to leave enough time in between because fans are so passionate about the current cast. You want to leave a little bit of room so that there’s no backlash.

ED: Since you’re expecting your first child, I must ask — will you let them watch the Twilight movies? And if so, when?

AG: It’s so funny, I’ve found that with family, they’re less inclined to watch my films with me than you would think. So I’m wondering if it’s going to be the same with my kid, if they’re going to just be like, “Ugh, Mom, whatever.” But hopefully, they’re interested. I feel like kids make fun of their parents when they’re actors, so I feel like they’ll probably have a bit of fun at me. But there’s something very cool about this industry. We have this kind of time capsule of our lives that a lot of people don’t get, so I think that part will probably be cool, that our kid will get to go, “Oh my gosh, that’s when you were my age in this film.”

Fans can get tickets to the Aug. 4 live episode of The Twilight Effect via Moment House.