Hometown Pride

Twilight Ours

Portland stars in what is expected to be one of the year’s biggest flicks.

By Anna Hirsh May 19, 2009 Published in the November 2008 issue of Portland Monthly

WHEN AUTHOR Stephenie Meyer began writing her phenomenal teenage vampire series, Twilight, she Googled the rainiest place in the United States and found the wee town of Forks, Washington (pop. 3,221), which became the setting for the books. A love story between 17-year-old Bella and Edward, a teenage vampire who’s actually more than 100 years old, Twilight necessitates a dreary climate for good reason—in sunlight, the vampires shimmer and glow, exposing their true identity. But when it came time to shoot the film, which opens November 21, Forks needed a bigger body double. Enter Portland, where Twilight’s production crew spent six months last winter and spring prepping for and filming the flick, one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year. This vampire series is so bloody popular that it’s spawned Twilight pilgrimages, in which fanatics trek across the country to visit sites from the book. Here we give you an inside look at five places where you can sink your fangs into the movie locations, too. 

Madison High School

Several scenes were filmed in the hallways, the administration office, and a classroom at this Northeast Portland high school. But the most important shooting location? The cafeteria, of course. This is where Bella sees sexy Edward for the first time. 

The Carver Cafè

At first you may not recognize the cozy Carver Café, in Damascus, because much of the interior décor was changed. But that’s not the only thing avid readers won’t recognize. In one of a handful of scenes shot here, Bella and her father bond over a meal as she frets about her relationship with Edward. The scene adds a little emotional oomph, but it doesn’t exist in the book.

Blue Heron Paper Company

If you get déjà vu during a mid-movie chase scene through an industrial site where the bad vampires attack and snack on a night watchman, that’s because the same Oregon City location was used in the Tommy Lee Jones/Benicio Del Toro flick, The Hunted.

The View Point Inn

There may be a red carpet, card tables, ice sculptures, orange disco balls, and a sign reading “Monte Carlo,” but it’s really just Bella and Edward’s prom, re-created at this romantic Corbett inn. The prom scene happens to be one of the most important scenes in the book, but just you wait, Twilight fans—while the View Point may be familiar, the ending isn’t. Supposedly there’s a twist that’s not in the book. Location scouts found the perfect home for the movie’s vampire brood. The same house was pictured—minus the vampires—in the first issue of Portland Spaces

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