"And how long have you been seventeen?"

Q&A with Stephenie Meyer

from the twilight lexicon

Q:  How young do the vampires pretend to be and how old can they manage to pass for?  Obviously, Edward looks the youngest at 17, but the other “siblings” were in their 20s when they were changed.  Do they all claim to be the same age when they first arrive in a city?  And how long can they stay before the humans grow suspicious?  At 17, I would think Edward has a hard time passing for anything older than 25.   

Stephenie Meyer:  The Cullens each have their own range of ages they can get away with.  Carlisle is the key, since he likes to work as a doctor; it’s his range that dictates the length of time they can stay in one place.  Though he is only 23, he usually pretends to be somewhere from twenty-eight to thirty-five.  If no one is getting suspicious (with Edward, they can gauge that) and they like where they are, sometimes they push it. They can all get away with older more easily than younger because of their mature way of speaking and acting. Edward’s range is about fifteen to mid-twenties. He has been to medical school twice (helping Carlisle keep current), but he’s never tried to practice.  He can’t handle blood the way Carlisle can.  Emmett and Jasper have a hard time passing for younger than eighteen, but with their perfect credentials (birth certificates, driver’s licenses, etc.) people tend to accept whatever story they tell.