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What If: This Actress Almost Played Bella Swan in Twilight

Did you know that before the world was blessed with the iconic love story of Bella and Edward, there was almost a different leading lady?

That’s right, Twilight fans. The one and only Emily Browning (Snyder’s Sucker Punch, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Legend) was originally cast to play the role of Bella Swan in the hit vampire saga. But, in a move that left fans scratching their heads, the Australian actress passed on the opportunity.

Now, before you start throwing tomatoes at me for even suggesting that someone other than Kristen Stewart could have played the role of Bella, hear me out. According to Stephanie Meyer, the author of the Twilight books, Browning was her first and only choice for the role (just like Henry Cavill initially was her only choice for Edward.) Can you even imagine a world where Emily Browning is the one swooning over Cavill’s Edward Cullen? I sure can’t.

But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Browning decided to pass on the role; apparently she didn’t see herself as a vampire girlfriend and was feeling burnt out on acting in general. And while I’m sure she was content with her decision at the time, I can’t help but wonder whether she’s now kicking herself.

While Stewart and Pattinson went on to become global superstars, Browning’s career has been a little more under the radar. Sure, she’s still acting, but it’s not the same level of fame and success that Twilight stars have achieved. But, as they say, everything happens for a reason. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be for Browning to play Bella. Or maybe it’s just a reminder that sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

It needs to be said, though, Emily Browning is still out here killing the game. She may not have become a household name like Stewart and Pattinson, but she’s still doing what she loves, and that’s all that matters. Coming off Gaiman’s American Gods, in 2023 we’ll hopefully get to see her in Class of ’07, a post-apocalyptic TV series about a group of women surviving on the island peak of their high school campus. So, the next time you’re binge-watching Twilight, just remember, it could have been a very different story. But, let’s be honest here for a minute, would it even be Twilight without Kristen Stewart? I think not.

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