Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are best friends. It seems like every photo we see of the on-screen couple, they’re hanging out and being cute. But, how did they become friends in the first place?

After being photographed together on a number of occasions, the on-screen lovers finally found themselves as cast members of the same film. For Twilight fans, it was a dream come true – they were able to watch Stewart play the character of Bella, with whom Pattinson’s character Edward falls in love. Naturally, they fell in love with each other too.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is the ultimate happy ending for the star-crossed lovers. A year after filming wrapped, they’re still best friends and recently, she even opened up about her love for him in an interview with Elle UK.

“We have always been really close, even though we haven’t really done much away from the cameras,” Stewart revealed. “It’s just been us hanging out and being really supportive of each other’s work. We are both in a really good place in our own personal lives and we’re able to support and be there for each other.”

“I think a big part of it is that we come from such different places. I come from Kansas, while he comes from England. We both have really good hearts and we are meant to be together even though we’ve had our ups and downs. I think that’s real love,” Stewart continued. “You don’t always have to be in the same place in order to support each other’s work and to care about each other’s personal lives. It’s definitely a sign of a healthy relationship when you can talk about your feelings and be there for each other in the way that we are.”

“I don’t think there was ever any question of whether or not we would end up together. It’s just been a matter of when. It’s not like we’ve been sitting around waiting for the universe to give us a sign. We’ve been searching for that sign for a long time and, finally, we found it in each other,” Pattinson gushed. “We’ve been through so much together. She’s been there for me through all of it. I think we’re both really happy that this is the ending we’ve always wanted.”

Their Similarities Make Them Feel Like They Can Relate

Aside from their on-screen chemistry, Stewart and Pattinson also have a lot in common. They’re both British and they both grew up in the limelight. While Stewart had the advantage of being a child actress with prominent movie roles coming before she even turned 21, Pattinson had to wait until he was 25 to land his first major role in the Harry Potter series. After playing the young wizard in the first three Harry Potter films, he went on to become known for his more mature acting roles in films like Twilight and Snow White and the Huntsman.

Even though he’s accomplished at 25, he still feels like a ‘child’ in many ways. According to E! News, he says he ‘never felt like [he] had a chance’ to grow up. In an interview with Esquire UK, he shared, “I feel very much like a child in a way, in that I’ve never felt like I could really grow up and do these kinds of things. I feel like I’m still just finding myself.”

As a result, he still doesn’t feel comfortable in his own skin. During a conversation with Total Film, he shared, “I know that I’ve done quite well for myself, but I still feel like there’s something missing. I don’t feel that I’ve achieved all that I could have in terms of my personal life and my professional life. People can take these roles for granted, but it’s not something that comes easily.”

For many, it was Stewart’s maternal instinct that drew her to the young Rob. After meeting him when he was 26 and she was 27, and instantly realizing that they had a connection, she stepped in to be an ‘older sister’ figure for him. Their parents had already divorced, and Stewart wanted to provide her soon-to-be ex-fiancé with some stability. They wed in 2011 and since then, have been a devoted couple.

On the other hand, Pattinson had to grow up fast. His mother, Doria, was killed by cancer when he was 13, and his father, Peter, remarried a few years later. He had to learn to be a man of the world quickly. In a 2014 interview with Elle UK, he shared, “I was always very close to my mother, but I didn’t really have a father figure in my life until I was about 16 or 17. After that, my stepfather started to fill the role and become more of a father figure to me.”

He found comfort in films like Twilight and The Hunger Games, in which he played supporting roles. In the first film, he was able to channel his grief over his mother’s death in a sympathetic way. While on the set of The Hunger Games, he was able to grow closer to Hailey Welch, who played Finnick’s daughter, Primrose. In an endearing interview with Harper’s BAZAAR, he shared, “[Welch] is the closest thing to a real-life mommy that I have. So, being able to spend time with her on set and off set was really important to me.”

In addition to his acting abilities, what also sets Pattinson apart from many other A-listers is his down-to-earth nature. In a 2014 interview with Harper’s BAZAAR, he shared, “There are a lot of highly successful people out there who can afford to be more selective about the people they surround themselves with, but in my mind, success should never be about your bank balance. It’s about the person you are becoming.”

He continued, “I want to be around people who challenge me and inspire me and help me grow as an individual, rather than just as a famous person.”

One of the ways he does this is by making a concerted effort to become more like his fans. In a 2014 interview with Esquire UK, he said, “I’d like to be accessible to people. I think it’s really important to have a presence that isn’t just about my work. I want to be able to connect with my audience as a person, rather than just as a performer.”

Pattinson isn’t the only famous person who’s surrounded himself with a ‘family’ of friends. According to a 2016 article in Cosmo UK, ‘influencer’ culture has “created a world where everyone is friend-zoning celebrity.’” In an apparent effort to avoid the appearance of ‘favoritism’, many famous people have learned to be more ‘generous’ with their personal connections. In fact, when you compare this to the ‘bro-centric’ culture of previous decades, it’s clear that the tides have shifted.

“I’ve always been really lucky to have amazing friends. When I was younger, it was always my dad’s friends that I would hang out with; he was part of a rowing club and they were all really funny and sweet men. Then, when I turned 16, I started to make my own friends. They came in all shapes and sizes and we would do anything together. It was really one of the highlights of my life,” Pattinson gushed in the above-mentioned interview.

What Made Them Feel More Comfortable In Their Own Bodies?

According to the same article, part of why Stewart and Pattinson are so supportive of each other is that “they both struggled with [their] bodies and how they were represented in the media.” For years, both women have been targets of vicious ‘body shaming’ on social media platforms like Twitter. While Stewart has learned to love her body and is comfortable in her own skin, Pattinson still feels that his body fails to live up to cultural expectations of what a ‘man’s body’ should look like.

When he was 19, he suffered from an eating disorder that caused him to lose a great deal of weight. While he started to recover, he still occasionally wrestles with his weight. In the above-mentioned interview with Harper’s BAZAAR, he said, “I’ve always felt that my body isn’t representative of men in general, and I’ve tried to change that, in a way. I don’t like being defined by my looks, but I also want to be confident that people will respect me for my work, rather than my appearance.”