The many talents of our ‘Twilight’ stars

It is very well-known that the Twilight cast is a multi-talented bunch, particularly when it comes to music. Several of the Saga’s actors are notoriously musically-inclined, and in fact a couple of them are actively involved in performing on a regular basis. There are other skills floating around the cast, too.

So, to keep things streamlined (especially since every character in the Saga has been cast by now), here’s a run-through of the known castmembers who have major talents outside the thespian realm.

  • Robert Pattinson (“Edward Cullen”)

Almost no one would deny the fact that Robert Pattinson has a voice . . . especially after that lovely “Songs from a Room” performance, which was fully revealed last month.

Pattinson’s singing voice was featured twice on the soundtrack for Twilight (for songs he and his long-time pals wrote: “Never Think” and “Let Me Sign”). He was also featured on the soundtrack of his pre-Twilight indie How To Be (although the music there was intentionally so-so) a few times.

For a while there, it was heavily speculated whether Pattinson would ever venture into compiling his own music album, and many fans direly hope he would. Time shall tell . . .

Another talent Pattinson seems to have is a way with modeling for photographs. True enough, he did do a stint in modeling during his early days, and that has carried over quite well into the many, many photo-shoots we’ve seen from him (this one being my favorite; yours?).

  • Kristen Stewart (“Bella Swan”)

Kristen Stewart first displayed her penchant for music performance in the 2007 hit Into The WildShe received a writing credit for one of the two songs (“Tracy’s Song”) performed in the film, and in 2010, she took it up a notch and portrayed Joan Jett in The Runaways, rocking out for a whopping eight songs on the soundtrack.

It is said that Kristen Stewart likes to “jam” in her spare time now, but the likelihood of her going pro with it outside of film is slim . . . Shame, right?

  • Taylor Lautner (“Jacob Black”)

While he might not be one of the many musically-inclined castmembers of the Twilight Saga (at least, that we know of), Taylor Lautner’s got his own unique skill-set to boast: martial arts. Before becoming an actor (and, so the story goes, the thing which brought him into acting in the first place), he was a world-class martial arts champion.

See this video of a young Lautner displaying his intense routine.

His abilities have translated well into doing his own stunt-work for the Twilight Saga and his latest, Abduction, and he’s all set to be the next big “blockbuster star,” according to many; his power-punch prowess is, no doubt, at least partially to thank for the attention he’s been getting. The discipline he gained from being a martial artist helped him to gain thirty pounds of muscle in the matter of months – a feat which sealed his fate as the Saga’s one and only “Jacob Black.”

  • Anna Kendrick (“Jessica Stanley”)

In addition to being an Oscar-nominated actress who has her pick of the script lately, Anna Kendrick has quite a set of lungs. There’s a reason she’s one of the youngest Tony nominees in history; she killed it on Broadway, even as a tiny pig-tailed girl.

  • Peter Facinelli (“Carlisle Cullen”)

Papa Cullen has really come into his own over the past couple of years, showcasing a talent which lay dormant for many years, it seems, until the opportunity to display it arose: screen-writing. Just this February, Peter Facinelli saw the first of his scripts come to life on-screen (with one of the main characters portrayed by his wife, Jennie Garth) in Accidentally In Love, and now things really seem to be coming together with his second such venture, Loosies . . . One also might contend that Facinelli’s knack for business is a skill as well; he’s just begun his own production company, Facinelli Films, which recently optioned a few children’s books’ adaptation rights. 

  • Jackson Rathbone (“Jasper Hale”)

If being cool isn’t talent enough, Jackson Rathbone’s also got his very own, rather successful band to brag about: the 100 Monkeys. The group has been steadily producing music over the past few years, sticking together through his grueling shooting schedules and location changes, and they’ve just released their second full album, “Liquid Zoo.” The beauty of the 100 Monkeys’ performances is that each member of the band will switch instruments – mid-performance, mind you – so he’s not just a guitarist or bassist, he’s both and then some!

Rathbone and his Monkeys recently composed the score for his film Girlfriend and he’ll be trying his hand at it again with Zombie Hamlet.

  • Billy Burke (“Charlie Swan”)

Papa Swan’s foray into the music world is something new for him, but it’s been a passion long-existent by all means. Last year, he released his first album and video, “Removed.” Burke, conscious of the public’s perception of actors-turned-musicians, was careful to separate himself from the crowd, promising good music . . . which he followed through on.

  • Nikki Reed (“Rosalie Hale”)

Before she was “Rosalie,” Nikki Reed made a name for herself by authoring the script for the 2003 indie hit, Thirteen, a venture which would lead her into acting at the behest of her then-director and friend, Catherine Hardwicke. While she hasn’t penned any more screenplays since, she certainly hasn’t given up on writing. Once a month or so, she updates her blog, IamNikkiReed.com, with some fairly insightful and refractive nuggets about life. She’s definitely still got writing in her blood, in other words.

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Whether she’ll ever pick up the pen to create another film is hard to say; but if she ever does, no doubt it’ll be something worth watching.

  • Gil Birmingham (“Billy Black”)

Anyone who’s been on a Twilight convention stop with Papa Black on-board knows that Gil Birmingham has a way with the guitar. He’s got an exciting, soulful way about him on-stage, especially when he’s ripping out with the blues.

  • Michael Welch (“Mike Newton”)

Did you know that Michael Welch used to be in a Pearl Jam cover band? Yep; as a drummer. He can still play.

  • Christian Serratos (“Angela Weber”)

Christian Serratos’ extra skill-set comes in the form of dance. She’s trained in several different types of dance (ballet, jazz, etc.), and she also has some experience with competitive figure skating. “Now I just do it therapeutically,” she has said. Those talents could certainly come in handy on-screen someday . . .

  • Cam Gigandet (“James”)

There’s a reason Cam Gigandet looked so fierce in his fight scene for Never Back Down; he’s got a black belt in Krav Maga (an Israeli martial art).

  • Michael Sheen (“Aro”)

Michael Sheen, in addition to being a world-class stage and screen actor, also has quite a knack for comedic impersonations. Obviously, this goes hand-in-hand with acting, but how could a list of Twilight’s most talented not include Michael Sheen? It couldn’t; so impersonations count (at least for him).

  • Jamie Campbell Bower (“Caius”)

Jamie Campbell Bower is a singer, stemming back to his days with music theater and leading on up to the present, with his band The Darling Buds. His lungs have come in handy on-screen, as he sang three pieces for his break-out film, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (see, for instance, his "Johanna"; nice, isn't it?).

  • Dakota Fanning (“Jane”)

Knitting, horseback riding, playing the piano, dancing . . . Is there anything Dakota Fanning can’t do?

  • Daniel Cudmore (“Felix”)

Big and brawny as he is (a fact which betrays his very subtle demeanor), you might expect that Daniel Cudmore has a history with sports . . and indeed he does. Snowboarding and skiing and football were his biggest priorities at one point or another, and this has served him well with his career in acting. Not a lot of actors can do the types of stunts Daniel Cudmore is capable of . . . which is why he was hand-picked to be Colossus for X-Men and the equally large Felix for The Twilight Saga.

  • Alex Meraz (“Paul”)

Alex Meraz is a seriously talented painter and sketch artist. Like, really really good. His website has tons of examples.

  • Tyson Houseman (“Quil Ateara”)

Tyson Houseman has a big passion for the arts, which is what lead him to that fateful New Moon audition of course. His favorites are photography, drawing, and painting.

  • Tinsel Korey (“Emily Young”)

Something of a throwback to the Nora Jones tradition, Tinsel Korey can sing. Even Robert Pattinson says so (see the Eclipse DVD commentary). Sample “Letter,” a song which she produced and self-released.

  • Jodelle Ferland (“Bree Tanner”)

Another Twilight castmate who’s shown a knack for art is Jodelle Ferland. She often treats her Twitter followers to picture of her creations, which have included an Eclipse Easter egg and a sketch of Taylor Lautner.

  • Booboo Stewart (“Seth Clearwater”)

Booboo Stewart and his sister Fivel have been making music for a while, including producing and self-releasing the recent song, “Rainy Day.” His casting as the Jacob Black protégé Seth was almost fated as he, too, is a former world champion martial artist.

  • Maggie Grace (“Irina”)

Maggie Grace might not be known precisely for her singing skills, but she has talent at it nonetheless. For Lost, she sang a bit of “La Mer,” quite nicely at that.

  • Lee Pace (“Garrett”)

Lee Pace has shown an inclination to singing on-screen and on Broadway. Ever seen Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day?

  • Mia Maestro (“Carmen”)

Mia Maestro is a classically trained singer. In fact, she’s known just as much for her music as her acting. Take a listen to “Wedding” for reference.

  • Lisa Howard (“Siobhan”)

Lisa Howard’s experience with singing comes in handy with her regular stints on Broadway; oh, and she just released her first album as well.

Surely as time rolls on, more Twilight cast talents will reveal themselves, but so far? Not too shabby of a showing, right?



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