The actor who plays Caius in the Twilight movies, Jamie Campbell Bower, could have played Edward instead of Robert Pattinson. Caius appears in New Moon, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and Breaking Dawn – Part 2. He’s one of the leaders of the Volturi, the most powerful vampire coven, and an enemy of Bella and Edward’s who wants Bella dead, because she’s a human with knowledge of vampires. Of the three Volturi leaders, Caius is known as the cruelest and most ambitious, advocating for vampires to eat humans.
Bower portrays Caius as quiet, cunning, and villainous, with long blond hair and a devilish smile. Though he doesn’t receive much screen time in the movies, he is a fan-favorite, which can be largely attributed to Bower’s delightfully dramatic performance. In addition to his work in the Twilight franchise, he’s also acted in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Stranger Things, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
In a recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast hosted by Josh Horowitz, Bower reveals that he was in talks with the Twilight creators about playing the role of Edward. He was seriously discussed as an Edward contender, but never ended up auditioning, because he was busy with Sweeney Todd. However, the Twilight team weren’t quite ready to give him up just yet – they invited him back to audition for the role of Caius, and despite forgetting his lines during his audition, he got the part. Check out his full quote, below:
They were really interested in me reading for Edward, and they were like, you know, ‘This sort of dedication that Jamie brings to his roles…we’re really interested in seeing him in all of this and all of that,’ and it just didn’t work out at the time, because it was around the same time that I think Sweeney [Todd] was being released is when they were interested in seeing me, and I think life was just so crazy and hectic, it was just one of those things that just never came to fruition, and yet, cut to movie 2 and they’re like ‘Hey, want to come and play a bad guy?’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, I’d love to!’ But also I was not great in that audition either, I remember…
I never screen tested or auditioned for Edward, it was more of just a conversation, where they were like ‘We really want Jamie to come along, we’d love him to be a part of this, we see him as a potential Edward…’ and it just didn’t work out, but then when I went back to read for Caius, I was still so young, I was like nineteen… and I forgot the lines, and I said I was really sorry in the audition. I remember my agent at the time called me afterwards and was like, ‘The audition was fine, just never say sorry in an audition again.’
For fans of the Twilight movies, it’s interesting to think about how different the franchise would have been with Bower in the lead romantic role as opposed to him playing a villain. In that alternate version of Twilight, perhaps Edward would have been blond, or would have had a completely different personality. It’s also funny imagining Bower in some of Pattinson’s other iconic roles, since, by stealing his career progression, he could have been the one starring in this year’s The Batman.
A decade after the final movie in the Twilight franchise premiered, all the actors have moved on to other roles, including Bower. He’s been cast in Horizon, an upcoming Western directed by Kevin Costner. Continuing his trend of playing villains, he played Vecna in Stranger Things season 4, a telepathic monster who proved to be the show’s ultimate big-bad, meaning he will also return as Vecna in Stranger Things season 5. So, while he didn’t end up playing Edward in the Twilight movies, everything worked out fine in the end for Bower.
Source: Happy Sad Confused