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Why Victoria Was Recast In The Twilight Movies

 Rachelle Lefevre in Twilight: New Moon.
Rachelle Lefevre in Twilight: New Moon.

Have you ever pondered the reason behind Victoria being played by a totally different actor in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse? That’s because Rachelle Lefevre was replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard in the third film, leaving many fans to wonder why.

When The Twilight Saga premiered back in 2008, it took the world by storm. While the Harry Potter franchise was concluding with its last few movies (Half-Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows films), the vampire-romance was the latest movie series that shook up the fantasy genre at the box office – and it ended up causing vampire mania.

Team Edward vs. Team Jacob shirts and signs began to pop up everywhere as fans of the franchise would crowd the theaters each year to see the next installment of the blockbuster series. Then, leading up to the release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, it was confirmed that the actress who played Victoria, Rachelle Lefevre, would be replaced.

For all of those who were confused as to why Lefevre ended up leaving the role of Victoria, and how it all played out, here's what we know...

Rachelle Lefevre in Twilight.
Rachelle Lefevre in Twilight.

Rachelle Lefevre Played Victoria Before She Was Recast With Bryce Dallas Howard In Eclipse

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As a bit of a refresher, Victoria was one of the main antagonists following the events of the first Twilight movie, in which she was introduced along with some of her vampire companions.

When her mate, James, was killed due to Edward Cullen, she began her own personal revenge plot against Bella Swan. The vampire was involved in several attempts on the teenager’s life. Eventually, though, she was defeated.

For the first two movies, Victoria was portrayed by Rachelle Lefevre, which was considered her first major movie role. However, in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Bryce Dallas Howard took over the part.

Rachelle Lefevre in Twilight.
Rachelle Lefevre in Twilight.

Lefevre Says That Summit ‘Fired Her’ Over A ‘10-Day Conflict’

When Lefevre was recast back in July 2009, prior to Eclipse filming, she released a statement to Entertainment Weekly about how stunned she was. She cites the reason was due to a scheduling conflict with another film she was working on at the time:

I was stunned by Summit’s decision to recast the role of Victoria for Eclipse. I was fully committed to the Twilight saga, and to the portrayal of Victoria. I turned down several other film opportunities and, in accordance with my contractual rights, accepted only roles that would involve very short shooting schedules. My commitment to Barney’s Version is only ten days.

Lefevre would continue to say that while Eclipse had a filming schedule of “three months,” she was “fully prepared to continue to honor” her part in the movie, it seems Summit would not accommodate her ten-day break for Barney’s Version. Instead, the film company chose to “simply recast the part.”

Rachelle Lefevre in Twilight.
Rachelle Lefevre in Twilight.

Summit Says That It Was Because Lefevre Withheld Her Shooting Schedule From Them Until The Last Minute

However, Summit Entertainment had a different take on Lefevre’s recasting. In another statement also from Entertainment Weekly, released in July 2009, Summit said that the reason they fired Lefevre wasn’t because she had another opportunity – it was because she kept it to herself instead of informing the company:

Contrary to Ms. Lefevre’s statement, it is simply untrue that the Studio dismissed her over a ten day overlap. It is not about a ten day overlap, but instead about the fact that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is an ensemble production that has to accommodate the schedules of numerous actors while respecting the established creative vision of the filmmaker and most importantly the story…Ms. Lefevre’s commitment to the other project – which she chose to withhold from Summit until the last possible moment – makes her unfortunately unavailable to perform the role of Victoria in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

The studio also contended that the filming of Barney’s Version would have not only taken her away during days of “principal filming,” but from “required rehearsal time for the third Twilight film.”

Bryce Dallas Howard in Twilight: Eclipse.
Bryce Dallas Howard in Twilight: Eclipse.

Bryce Dallas Howard Was Excited To Be A Part Of Twilight, But Some Fans Were Understandably 'Totally Bummed'

As you can see, there are some conflicting statements here. Even so, when actress Bryce Dallas Howard took over the role, she was excited to become Victoria for Twilight. She even spoke about it in an interview with MTV in December 2009, saying that it was “juicy” to play a villain:

Victoria is a wonderful character. ... It's awfully juicy to play a villain. To play someone that's just evil; Victoria is evil. And I think with "Eclipse," it ends with quite a huge battle, a big spectacle, and it's very scary. It's a very, very scary book and very terrifying set of circumstances, and I think the Cullens are in jeopardy in a way that they never really have been before. It was a really, really exciting world to be a part of, because it was so scary and the stakes were so high.

Understandably, some fans were a bit upset over the news. MTV compiled fan reactions from several readers of the website in July 2009. One user said they were “totally bummed” about Lefevre not being able to finish the role, and Eclipse was the last movie she was going to be in.

However, other fans were more inclined to understand. One user, titled Eden, said that it “her choice” to take the other role, and that Dallas Howard would “do a great job” because she was a great actress.

Whatever the case may be, Bryce Dallas Howard did end up taking on the role of Victoria, and the film series came to an end in 2012. At least now, you might have some idea of exactly what happened that made the Twilight world turn upside down in 2009.