Why Emily Browning Turned Down The Role Of Bella In Twilight

Australian actor Emily Browning made her Hollywood debut in Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" back in 2004 after starring in primarily Australian-made films and television shows. Browning's career exploded from there and she was seen in a number of popular movies, including "Stranded," "Suburban Girl," and "Sucker Punch."

Despite the actor's success, making the decision to move from her hometown of Melbourne wasn't easy. In a 2015 interview with The Guardian, Browning shared that after moving to Los Angeles to film "A Series of Unfortunate Events," she wasn't inclined to stay and make it big in Hollywood. "I saw a world I didn't want to be part of," Browning confessed. "I was hanging out with kids ... who only knew the film industry, and it freaked me out. I had certain people who were telling me, if I was lucky, I could be the star of a Nickelodeon show. I thought, 'No, I can't do this. I need to get out of here.' And for a while, I thought I didn't want to be an actress."

Luckily for her fans, Browning returned to the United States after finishing high school to pursue more acting projects, but she was never completely certain about what she wanted for herself. The actor's career suffered stops and starts because of this uncertainty, leading her to turn down key roles, like Bella Swan in the "Twilight" franchise. Keep scrolling to find out why Browning turned down the role. 

Bella Swan was not in the cards for Emily Browning

Emily Browning went through a period of tumultuous years in which she struggled to come to terms with her decision to pursue an acting career, as reported by IndieWire. She wasn't a fan of the Hollywood scene and wasn't sure she wanted to devote herself to a life in the limelight. During this time, she contemplated quitting acting altogether and moving back home to her native Australia. Unfortunately, she happened to still be living in limbo when the fantasy saga, "Twilight," moved from a best-selling teenage book series to a project for the big screen. 

Author Stephanie Meyer had the perfect actor in mind to play her beloved Bella Swan, and it wasn't Kristen Stewart; Meyer originally wanted Browning to play the role. Browning explained to Indie Wire that she didn't turn down the role per se, she just chose not to audition. "The author at one point stated that I would be her ideal Bella, but I chose not to audition because I was at a point in my career where I wasn't sure I wanted to work, I definitely didn't want to sign onto a trilogy," she explained.

Browning actually takes issue with the accusation that she turned down the role of Bella. She says it had nothing to do with the role itself and everything to do with the fact that she simply didn't want to work during that period of her life. Surprisingly, this wasn't the only big role she decided not to audition for. 

Emily Browning opted out of another hit franchise

"Twilight" wasn't the only teen saga that Emily Browning had the option to star in. According to IndieWire, she was also pressured to audition for a role in "The Hunger Games," a science fiction dystopian trilogy that stars Jennifer Lawrence. "I've never read the book to be honest — which I know is terrible of me," Browning admitted to the publication, adding that she was nervous about auditioning for the films. 

Browning went on to explain that the public reaction to her turning down yet another teen franchise was harsh. "It's always hard for me to talk about these kinds of things because I know there was a big deal with 'Twilight' and my involvement with people wanting me to do 'Twilight,' so I'm always like, 'Oh, people love this book so much I don't want to get involved, I don't want to talk about it!'" The truth is that Browning read for "The Hunger Games" on more than one occasion, but it just didn't pan out for her. 

It's understandable that Browning was hesitant to jump feet first into a nonstop Hollywood career. According to the interview she gave to The Guardian, Browning feels that the Hollywood lifestyle isn't all it's cracked up to be. For starters, she says, "Hollywood movies are made for white men, and that's something I think about and which bothers me all the time." As a result, Browning is incredibly picky about the roles she takes on.