When you think of pop culture’s biggest breakouts, most of us will probably think of a young Kristen Stewart. Sure, she may not have been the first to don the Twilight dress, but she was certainly the most successful. After breaking box-office records with the blockbuster movie based on Stephenie Meyer’s vampire saga, Twilight, Stewart wowed audiences around the world with her portrayal of Bella Swan. And what’s more, she’s managed to keep the role despite some setbacks. While the actress has had to juggle wedding plans and paparazzi, she’s remained committed to the role of Bella.

But just as Bella Swan was breaking boundaries, so was the other prominent young Hollywood starlet, Robert Pattinson. Fresh off his Twilight co-starring role, Pattinson proved he had more than just celebrity by leading a real-life romantic campaign to marry his partner, Emily Bacheoff. Their intimate wedding video was shared by millions, and although the couple have since said their marriage was a mistake, their engagement inspired countless fans to propose.

Now that we’re in the midst of another romantic era inspired by celebrity, it’s the perfect opportunity to revisit these two young Hollywood breakouts.

The Early Days

As with any other breakout star, it all started with a bang, literally. After spending seasons playing the secondary character of Charlie in The Vampire Diaries, Pattinson was suddenly catapulted to international fame when he played the handsome vampire Edward Cullen in Twilight. In a reversal of fortune, Cullen became famous and Pattinson became a tabloid darling. He was even named Sexiest Man Alive by Vogue in 2015. Along with his co-star Stewart, who played his human wife, Bella, Pattinson helped to redefine romance in the 21st century.

Romantic Conventions

With Twilight, Meyer revolutionized romantic storytelling. Her previous work, the best-selling Salem series, was about historical figures and the way in which they interacted with each other, as well as the supernatural creatures that co-existed with them. But with Twilight, she turned her attention to modern-day couples and what drove them into a passionate relationship. And what better way to explore this new territory than through the medium of film? As a result, Twilight became the first-ever movie to win all five of the major domestic film awards, including best picture and best director (Meyer). It also won a record-breaking ten Academy Awards, including best picture and best director. In other awards ceremonies, such as the British BAFTA, it took home nine awards, including best film.

Rebooted Casting

While the casting for Twilight may have been a stroke of genius, it was also quite controversial. According to some, the choice of actors for the movie’s major roles was entirely random, and there were a couple of instances where famous faces were simply matched with famous names for no apparent reason. One of these instances was Madonna. The pop superstar was originally asked to voice the role of the Cullen family’s dog, but she quickly proved to be too expensive and had to be replaced with a machine.

Famous Friendships

One of the interesting developments that stemmed from the huge success of Twilight was the amount of press coverage that surrounded the celebrities that Meyer paired with the movie’s famous stars. For instance, Kate Hudson, who plays Bella’s mom, is best known for her work with director Ryan Murphy. While Murphy and Murphy’s relationship with their leading lady is presumably platonic, their off-screen bond is clearly evident in the frequent romantic scenes that they share on screen.

Similarly, Rupert Sanders, who directed the movie, is best known for his collaborations with another Hollywood star, Blake Lively. The director and the actress play sisters in the film, and while they may appear to be completely disconnected on screen, off-screen they are undoubtedly an item, evidenced by the numerous public appearances that the pair make together. For instance, they were recently photographed canoodling near the French Riviera, and they both attended Cannes in May, an event that celebrates the films and filmmakers of the future. Clearly, these three famous faces have a very special connection, and it’s not hard to see why. Taylor Swift, another singer who collaborated with Meyer on the music for Twilight, also has a history of working with high-profile producers and directors. Most recently, the 25-year-old collaborated with Bradley Cooper on the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens and with Dwayne Johnson on the Joker sequel.

Reality Check

Of course, we all want our favorite celebrities to live happily ever after, but that doesn’t mean that their fairy tale stories are reality. For instance, while Pattinson and Stewart may have started off as a real-life fairy tale, their marriage encountered numerous problems that their expert advisors are still working through. Most recently, Stewart filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

Off-screen Encounters

Despite the on-screen chemistry that frequently ensues between the movie’s famous leads, it turns out that they don’t always share the screen. For example, Sanders directed four episodes of Game of Thrones, and while the episodes may not have featured any of the actors involved in Twilight, they were still a part of the franchise. Similarly, Cooper and Lively have been photographed several times over the years, but their relationship is clearly a professional one.

These two hit films were enough to ensure that Pattinson would be closely monitored and followed by fans and journalists. Since then, the British actor has kept a very low profile, appearing only in small roles in movies like Jupiter Ascending and Escape from Paradise. When he does choose to make appearances, it’s usually at an awards show or a film premiere, as he doesn’t want to jeopardize his carefully crafted image. While the press may not be able to make him as accessible as he could be, technology has certainly made it easier for people to keep track of what he’s doing. Fans can now follow his every move through social media, keeping an eye on his every appearance and outing. It seems that while Twilight may have been an incredible experience for Stewart, it’s been a frustrating one for Pattinson.

And it’s not only the fame that’s affected the 32-year-old actor. He’s frequently found himself at odds with the media over the last few years, particularly when it comes to protecting his image. In an interview with The New York Times, he said that he doesn’t like being photoshopped and that he feels like he has to apologize for his appearance every time he opens a new Twitter account. He’s also spoken out against the tide of cyber-bullying that has characterised the rise of social media, particularly when it comes to young people. So, while we may wish that some of Twilight’s stars would get a happy ending, it seems that reality has a tendency to trump fiction.

The Future

With its focus on young love and romantic rivalry, it’s no surprise that Twilight spawned numerous remakes and spinoffs. While all of these feature the same actors as the original, none of them feature Bella and her relationship with Edward. As a result, it’s now hard to find an audience for these projects, as they don’t draw in viewers who were probably never even interested in reading the books in the first place. And that’s a real shame, because some of these projects, particularly the German one, were very good.

These days, Pattinson doesn’t do interviews and only makes appearances at charity events and film premieres. But these days, he doesn’t have to. While he may not always like to admit it, his carefully crafted public image was undoubtedly built on the solid foundation that is Twilight. And as long as the books and the franchise continue to sell, he’ll continue to have work, and it’ll continue to be hailed as one of the greatest love stories of all time.