When Twilight was released 11 years ago, it became an overnight blockbuster smash and an instant cultural phenomenon.

The five movies in the franchise grossed an astronomical $5.224 billion at the global box office, with the sequel New Moon breaking box office records at the time as the biggest midnight screening and opening day in history, grossing an estimated $113.5 million.

It was not just the majestic story of vampires and werewolves that captivated the world, but its three then little known stars, reports News.com.au.

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner were young, fresh faced actors when they were cast in the first low-budget film in 2007.

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They then became the three most famous actors in Hollywood at the time as Twilight fever exploded around the world.

Based on Stephenie Meyer's best-selling books, the Summit Entertainment movies, which are all available to stream on Foxtel, followed the story of human Bella Swan (Stewart), vampire Edward Cullen (Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob Black (Lautner) and their tense love triangle in a dangerous fantasy world.

L to R: Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, and Robert Pattinson attend the premiere for the
L to R: Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, and Robert Pattinson attend the premiere for the "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2". Photo / Getty Images

But it was Stewart, who was only 17 when the first film was released, who became the face of the franchise, which saw her be dubbed the highest-paid actor in the world in 2010 and 2012.

And while it seemed on the surface like she had it all — beauty, talent, fame and money, Stewart wasn't coping with her status as a celebrity.

TWILIGHT MADE HER AN OVERNIGHT STAR

When she nabbed the role of Bella Swan, Stewart was no stranger to acting. She had already appeared Panic Room with Jodie Foster in 2002, playing the daughter.

She then scored a role children's action comedy movie Catch That Kid in 2004 opposite Max Thieriot and Corbin Bleu, as well as the television film Speak that same year.

She was only 13 at the time of filming Speak where she played high school freshman Melinda Sordino, who nearly stops speaking after being raped.

Her performance was massively praised among critics.

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Jody Foster with Kristen Stewart in scene from Panic Room. Photo / Getty Images
Jody Foster with Kristen Stewart in scene from Panic Room. Photo / Getty Images

Stewart went on to star in several movies, including In the Land of Women (2007) with Meg Ryan and Adam Brody and Into the Wild, which was directed by Sean Penn.

Stewart was on the set of 2009's Aventureland when Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke visited her for an informal screen test, which reportedly had her "captivated".

In November, 2007, Summit Entertainment announced Stewart would play Bella in the film Twilight. It grossed $55.7 million on its opening day, with Summit quickly announcing they were beginning production on the sequel.

The intense love story between Bella and Edward made the movie popular among young girls, as media outlets began speculating about the real life relationship between Stewart and Pattinson.

Twilight and its stars provided a whole lot of fodder for the tabloids. Photo / Supplied
Twilight and its stars provided a whole lot of fodder for the tabloids. Photo / Supplied

ROMANCE WITH PATTINSON HEIGHTENED FAME

It was really a match made in paparazzi heaven.

The two stars of this generation's most popular onscreen romance finding love in real life.

After much speculation, and several denials from the two stars themselves, a photographer got the money shot of Stewart and Pattinson holding hands as they boarded a flight in London in November, 2009, just before the release of the sequel New Moon.

Stewart, who was already developing a reputation for being cold and unapproachable, had previously told a reporter she said she grew sick of being asked whether or not she was dating Pattinson in real life.

"There's no answer that's not going to tip you one way or the other. Think about every hypothetical situation. 'OK, we are. We aren't. I'm a lesbian'," she said.

"I probably would've answered if people hadn't made such a big deal about it. But I'm not going to give the fiending an answer."

The couple as an item was one of the biggest stories to emerge from Hollywood at the time. Fans and the media couldn't get enough. They were winning "Best Kiss" awards, being chased and hounded by paparazzi and constantly swarmed by fans.

Despite the fact they were obviously together, with paparazzi photos of the pair on dates and of them getting close on red carpets, neither of them ever spoke about their relationship or even confirmed it until July 2012, when Stewart officially acknowledged their union just months before the release of the final film, Breaking Dawn Part 2.

But there was a very scandalous reason why she finally felt forced to address her four year relationship with Pattinson.

RAUNCHY AFFAIR PHOTOS SHOCK THE WORLD

Rupert Sanders with Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth at the premiere of Snow White & the Huntsman in Sydney. Photo / AP
Rupert Sanders with Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth at the premiere of Snow White & the Huntsman in Sydney. Photo / AP

After her 2012 movie Snow White and the Huntsman was released in May, Stewart was caught on camera kissing her married director Rupert Sanders in an affair scandal that even Donald Trump weighed into.

Stewart and Sanders, who had a 19 year age gap, were photographed driving around LA in a Mini Cooper, stopping on the side of the road to kiss and cuddle.

They eventually got out of the car and were seen hugging and holding hands while looking out over a railing.

It saw Stewart's quiet and reserved image shatter overnight and caused outrage among devastated Twilight fans, including Mr Trump, who damned Stewart as a scarlet woman and posted 11 different tweets about her.

The backlash on both Stewart and Sanders, who was married to British Vogue model Liberty Ross, was extreme.

At the time, Sanders had issued a grovelling apology to his wife — who had also appeared in Snow White alongside Stewart.

"I am utterly distraught about the pain I have caused my family. My beautiful wife and heavenly children are all I have in this world. I love them with all my heart. I am praying that we can get through this together," he said. Days later, Ross filed for divorce.

Meanwhile, Stewart was in damage control as it was reported Pattinson moved out of the home they shared together.

She finally addressed their long-term relationship, calling the affair with Sanders a "momentary indiscretion" which "jeopardised the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most".

The affair scandal also put a huge dampener on the fifth and final instalment of the Twilight franchise, which was to be released in November that year, as fans could no longer take Edward and Bella's love story seriously.

HER SLOW RISE BACK TO HOLLYWOOD

Kristen Stewart and Cate Blanchett during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. Photo / Getty Images
Kristen Stewart and Cate Blanchett during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. Photo / Getty Images

Stewart didn't have a movie release for the entirety of 2013 as she spent the back end of 2012 dealing with the drastic public fallout of her affair.

After a stint in big-budget blockbuster hits, Stewart went on to work in smaller, indie films including Clouds of Sils Maria, American Ultra, Still Alice and JT LeRoy.

It helped her work on her craft, focus on projects she genuinely enjoyed and avoid the bright lights of Hollywood while she worked on herself.

"I was finally given a chance to be looked at, not as this thing in this celebrity-obsessed culture that was like, 'Oh, that's the girl from Twilight," she said in a recent interview with Vanity Fair about starring in smaller films.

During the height of her Twilight fame, Stewart was often lashed in the media for "never smiling" and accused of being rude toward members of the press and her adoring fans.

She also addressed that reputation in the Vanity Fair interview, saying, "I think I've grown out of this, but I used to be really frustrated that because I didn't leap willingly into being at the centre of a certain amount of attention, that it seemed like I was an a**hole.

"I am in no way rebellious. I am in no way contrarian. I just want people to like me."

Seven years since her reputation took a huge hit, the 29-year-old is now seemingly being embraced by Hollywood yet again, with three mainstream movies in the pipeline.

Stewart, who is also one of the faces of Chanel, is starring in the hotly-anticipated reboot of Charlie's Angels alongside Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, which will premiere in November.

She also is playing the titular role of Jean Seberg in Amazon Studios' political thriller Seberg, which opens at the Venice Film Festival next week, and the lead in 20th Century Fox adventure-thriller Underwater, coming out next year.

And she is still as tight-lipped about her private life as ever, though Vanity Fair notes Victoria's Secret model and her on-again, off-again girlfriend Stella Maxwell attended Stewart's cover shoot.