Jackson Rathbone Recalls The Hair-Raising Experience That Made ‘Twilight’ Fans Wig Out

Jasper Hale has dozens of crescent-moon-shaped battle scars all over his body; after reading our latest “Twilight” Tuesday, spotlighting actor Jackson Rathbone, you might be smitten enough to tattoo on a few of your own.

A smart, solid actor with charisma to spare, Rathbone could be on the verge of launching a significant career. But as he was quick to remind us, he initially faced the same scorn that plagued co-stars Ashley Greene, Robert Pattinson and others –- as they all came within a hair of ticking off “Twilight” purists.

“The hair, the hair, the hair,” he grinned, remembering the tumultuous days when the “Twilight” filmmakers were experimenting with different Cullen coifs in early promotional photos like this one. “Oh my God. See, there was a problem the first time they did the hair, that first press release. I don’t know; there was some confusion over how to do it.”

“We have a lot of producers, and we have a lot of input coming from all different directions, and so they decided to straighten my hair,” he remembered. “My hair’s naturally curly. It’s also naturally brown, so they dyed my hair for the part. They tried straightening it, and it came out looking awful.”

Now, however, Rathbone says he can look back on those early days and laugh at the pics like they’re bad high school yearbook photos, because at the last minute before cameras began rolling, he reached a compromise with the filmmakers.

“We kind of found a middle ground,” he said of the much-improved finished product, which now looks more like this. “I got to keep my natural hair, which is curly but usually kind of hangs down. And they wanted to see my face, so they pushed it up and out. So basically [that early look] was not my decision at all; it’s just the way things played out.”

For months, Rathbone got to walk around with Jasper’s hairdo, and he has to admit –- he couldn’t wait to get dark again. “Walking around in real life as a blond is a little bit different, I’ve got to say,” he grinned. “I don’t know if I’ve been having more fun, but it’s not bad. … I’m a hat guy. I wear hats all the time anyway, so I’ve just been wearing a hat, double time.”

All right Twilighters, now that you’ve spent your Tuesday with Jackson Rathbone, here’s your TT question of the week: When all is said and done, which young “Twilight” actor will have the most impressive career? Why?