Michelle Trachtenberg Would Have Been Great as ‘Twilight’s’ Bella Swan

COMMENTARY | Michelle Trachtenberg, the young actress best known for having played Buffy’s little sister Dawn in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” almost was cast in the role of a vampire lover, that is to say Bella Swan in the “Twilight” series.

EW Online, which reports the story, invites one to imagine a Bella played by Trachtenberg and not by Kristin Stewart. My own opinion is that such a casting would have improved that franchise tremendously. Trachtenberg has a number of qualities that Stewart seems to lack, including an on-screen personality and the ability to act.

Mind, as far as the success of the franchise in concerned, it really didn’t matter who played Bella. Besides vampire fans such as your humble servant, the “Twilight” series is aimed at young women who want to fantasized about being ravaged and bitten by a soulful, pale, almost anorexic guy who is a 100 year old man in the body of a teenager. Things like characterization, plot, and direction are incidental to this one selling point. It seems to have worked, since the four “Twilight” movies have made many hundreds of millions of dollars since the first one premiered to the gasping and sighing of the young women, along with the snorts of boredom by their boy-friends unlucky enough to be dragged to see the movie.

The addition of a competent actress like Tachtenberg would have improved the films to such an extent that at least the guys would have someone to fantasize about while chewing on the popcorn and counting the minutes until the credits rolled. Kristin Stewert’s Bella, while cute looking, is almost zombie-like in her demeanor. A vampire’s human lover should have a little more fire to her, as reference Sarah Michelle Geller’s Buffy Summers. Trachtenberg would have provided that kind of heat. To make the character even more believable, the filmmakers would have had to provided her with a wooden stake and a sword and let her loose during the combat, just like on “Buffy.”

Of course, the peril for Tachtenberg would be that she would become typecast. Since “Buffy” she has been in a variety of forgettable romantic comedies. Going back to the realm of the macabre would have sealed her career. If she were not doomed to be cast as the blood sucker’s girlfriend, she would be cast as the blood sucker. One tries to avoid that if one is a serious actor or actress.

Source: Michelle Trachtenberg claims she nearly played Bella: Can you envision ‘Twilight’ without Kristen Stewart? Langford Beard, EW Online, Dec 2, 2011

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