Robert Pattinson almost lost the role that made him a household name.
The 31-year-old actor is best known for playing vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight series, but he recently told The New York Times that his rebellious behaviour on the set of the first film, released in 2008, nearly got him fired.
Fortunately for Pattinson and his legion of fans, his agents flew in to smooth things over — and the actor now calls working on the series “an amazing luxury.”
“I didn’t have to kiss anybody’s [butt] the entire time. I don’t think I did, anyway,” Pattinson told the Times at Cannes Film Festival, where he is earning critical praise for his latest role as a thief attempting to bail out his brother in Good Time.
Pattinson also looks back fondly on the bond her formed with his fellow Twilight cast mates, which included then-unknown actors Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Anna Kendrick.
It was “amazing luck, as well, to just have fallen into it with the group of people I worked with on it.”
Although Pattinson is still-best known as Edward Cullen, he is at peace with the role that made him a star even as he branches out to grittier projects.
“I think one of the best things, basically, about being a bit of a sellout, is if you’ve done five movies in a series, you’ve had to accept some responsibility for playing the same character,” he said.
Since the Twilight movies wrapped, the actor has worked on less commercial films. He cites 2012’s Cosmopolis, the first movie he made after Twilight ended, as “the first time I worked on something that was quite complex.”
“I especially love the fact that it came out really at the height of my popularity.” Pattison said.
It was “the big turning point for me,” he continued. “I just realised that was what I wanted to do.”
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE