The Twilight movie franchise could have looked very different.
Instead of launching the career of British actor Robert Pattinson as sparkly vampire Edward Cullen, the popular films almost starred Josh Peck in the leading role. On the Monday, October 23, episode of his podcast. “Good Guys,” Peck, 36, revealed that he auditioned for the part — and made it pretty far in the process.
The episode featured guest Taylor Lautner, who portrayed werewolf and Bella’s other love interest, Jacob, in the five Twilight movies, which were released from 2008 to 2012. During their conversation, Peck, who got his start on the Nickelodeon show Drake & Josh, revealed that he auditioned for the role of Edward.
“I remember it’s like 2006-7, they’re like, ‘Audition for this movie Twilight, it’s based on a book, it’s going to be great,’” he recalled. “I send in my tape … [for] Edward. A month later, I’m with my manager, he goes, ‘It’s down to you and three guys. You’re close.’”
Peck said that he was shocked he was still in the running to play Edward, particularly because of his weight. “I’m like, ‘Really?’ I hadn’t even had a tummy tuck yet, I’m like there’s no way, he’s got to be so shirtless. It’s not going to happen,” he said.
“Spoiler alert, didn’t get it,” Peck continued jokingly. “But I remember, and then seeing R Patz playing this part, I’m like, in what f–king world were they like, they’re like, OK, here’s what we’re thinking. Chris Hemsworth or Stanley Tucci.’ Like, what the f–k?! Impossible!”
Peck has previously spoken out about his struggles with his weight and substance addictions. In his 2022 book, Happy People Are Annoying, the How I Met Your Father actor said his main childhood memory was being fat.
“For me, when I think of childhood, the singular, powerful, and all-consuming memory that comes to mind is being fat,” Peck recalled, adding that his “first love,” food, helped him reach almost 300 pounds before he was a teenager. “I have good memories from childhood too, of course, I grew up with a deep awareness that I was loved, decent, cared for, and blah blah blah, but FAT, very very fat.”
After spending years playing the “fat, funny kid,” Peck said his role in the 2004 film Mean Creek inspired him to lose weight.
“My character, George Tooney, was heartbreaking, and it was the first time I ever got to play someone so painfully flawed, someone who couldn’t get out of their own way, someone so human,” he wrote.
Peck earned critical acclaim for his performance and decided to make a change to further his acting career. Through diet and exercise, the actor lost 120 pounds over the course of a year and a half.