The Haunting of Bly Manor premiered, in full, on Netflix on Oct. 9 and viewers can’t get enough. It’s not as viscerally scary as Season 1, but it surely leaves the viewer in a state of mourning at the end, as well as deeply unsettled throughout. Basically, it does what it sets out to do, which is tell a ghost story that becomes one about love along the way.
In all the commotion of the series, it really is a story within a story. And one of the actors actually had a role in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Haunting of Bly Manor].
‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ was a retelling the whole time
The season starts with Carla Gugino in a hotel room, which was a surprise because her appearance wasn’t advertised beforehand. Her character heads to a wedding rehearsal a little late, and the audience doesn’t know her name nor her relation to the couple getting married.
Then after their dinner, they’re seated in front of a fire, with the bride and groom going on about a ghost story involving the venue. Gugino’s character then offers her own ghost story. This ends up being the whole of The Haunting of Bly Manor, starting with Dani (Victoria Pedretti), an au pair in London in the ‘80s.
It’s eventually revealed that Gugino is the older version of Jamie, the gardener in the story. And the bride is actually an adult Flora. She and her brother Miles forget the events of Bly Manor, for whatever reason, which is why Jamie told them the story to begin with. To them it would be a fantasy; not a retelling of their childhood traumas.
The bride was in ‘Breaking Dawn Part 2’
Other than the returning cast members from The Haunting of Hill House — Pedretti, Gugino, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Henry Thomas, and Kate Siegel — there aren’t a ton of well-known actors involved. T’Nia Miller from Years and Years might be noticeable as Hannah Grose, the housekeeper. And iZombie’s Rahul Kohli is definitely recognizable.
The people in the bridal party weren’t as well-known, though. This includes the bride, played by Christie Burke. However, she has been in a major motion picture, and that is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. Viewers definitely wouldn’t be able to tell though. And that’s because her face didn’t appear in the film.
Burke played the role of the adult version of Renesmee Cullen at the end of the film. This is when Alice Cullen has a vision of Jacob Black and Renesmee’s future, once they’re a couple later on and she’s grown up. Bella and Edward are there with them. It’s a really serene moment and brings the whole conclusion together.
CGI was used to change her face so that an aged Mackenzie Foy appeared there instead
Burke’s face was replaced with an aged version of Mackenzie Foy’s, who played Renesmee as a child. This was used not just for the adult Renesmee, but also for the baby and toddler versions of her as well.
“Renesmee’s the biggest challenge on this film,” Bill Condon, the director, said in a featurette for the movie. “First from a technical point of view. We made a decision early on. In the book, she doesn’t mature as quickly a rate as she does in the film. But everything that she needed to do in the latter part of the movie, especially on the field and in the battle just wasn’t feeling right for a toddler.”
They wanted to show the depth of this human-vampire hybrid child, and keep Foy’s face in the movie throughout. So while it makes sense to superimpose her face onto the adult version, aka Burke, Foy’s face was on all of the versions of Renesmee to keep continuity and also allow the baby and toddlers show more mature emotions
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