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Renée is an eccentric, silly woman who will brave any new thing (like skydiving) and come to her senses later. Bella always felt that she was the mother of their relationship, having to guide Renée away from doing ridiculous things, and Renée thought of Bella as her middle-aged child.
After Renée remarries a much younger baseball player, Phil Dwyer, Bella unselfishly sends herself to live with her dad in Forks so that Renée and Phil can travel together. Edward describes Renée’s mind as being incredibly insightful and almost childlike. Renée believes Bella to be more mature than other teenagers her age and gives Bella and Edward her blessing for their marriage.
Bella says she and her mother look alike, but that Renée has shorter hair and laugh lines. Renée originally moved to Phoenix, Arizona after her divorce from Charlie, but then moves to Jacksonville, Florida with Phil. Bella says in Twilight that her mother is her best friend. After Bella becomes a vampire she doesn’t contact her mother, knowing Renée couldn’t handle her change like Charlie could.
Renée’s early history is characterized by her free-spirited and somewhat impulsive nature. She married Charlie Swan, Bella’s father, at a young age, and they settled in Forks, Washington. However, Renée, who always had a bit of a restless spirit, found the small-town life in Forks stifling and unfulfilling. This restlessness led her to leave Forks with Bella when Bella was still a baby, seeking a more vibrant and dynamic environment.
The mother and daughter moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where Renée raised Bella largely on her own. Renée’s approach to life was somewhat unconventional; she often behaved more like a friend than a traditional parent to Bella. This role reversal in their relationship had a significant impact on Bella, who grew up to be mature and responsible from a young age, often finding herself in the position of taking care of her mother rather than the other way around.
Renée’s personality is whimsical and artistic, with a penchant for trying out new hobbies and often relying on Bella for stability and practical matters. Her parenting style, while loving and affectionate, was somewhat erratic, contributing to Bella’s independent and self-reliant character.
Fun Fact: Sarah is a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She was initiated into the Beta chapter back in 1990.
Hometown(s): Saint Louis, Missouri
Career: Sarah Clarke began her acting career with an appearance in a 1999 award-winning commercial for Volkswagen. She followed this with a role in the 2000 short film Pas de Deux and received an Outstanding Performance award at the Brooklyn Film Festival. Clarke’s career soon blossomed with minor roles, including films All About George and The Accident, as well as television shows such as Ed and Sex and the City. In 2001, Clarke auditioned for the role of CTU agent Nina Myers on 24. She won the role on the day that filming began. The wardrobe department didn’t have time to fit her, so she had to wear her own outfit for the entire season of filming. In her three seasons with the show, Clarke was featured in a total of 36 episodes. Sarah guest starred in the episode of House entitled “Control” as a workaholic CEO with congestive heart failure, and in the episode of Life entitled “A Civil War” as Mary Ann Farmer, the owner of a gas station. Clarke also played Renée Dwyer in Twilight, a film adaptation of the novel by Stephenie Meyer. The film also starred Nikki Reed, whom Clarke previously worked with on the film Thirteen. Currently, Sarah Clarke has taken a leading role on a brand new series on TNT entitled Trust Me, alongside Eric McCormack and Thomas Cavanagh. The series premiered on January 26, 2009 to positive reviews. Sarah is expected to reprise her role as Renée Dwyer in New Moon due out November 2009.
About Them: Sarah Lively Clarke was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to parents Carolyn, a homemaker, and Ernest Clarke, an engineer. Clarke attended Indiana University, where she studied Fine Arts and Italian. Sarah first became interested in acting while studying abroad during her senior year in Bologna, Italy. Upon returning to the United States, she began studying architectural photography. She received free acting lessons in return for taking photographs of a cultural arts center, and she studied acting at Circle in the Square Theatre School, Axis Theater Company, and The Willow Cabin Theatre Company. Sarah met her husband, Xander Berkeley, while on the set of 24 (he played her supervisor, George Mason) and they were married in September 2002, a year after meeting. She gave birth to their first child on September 23, 2006, daughter Olwyn Harper. Sarah has two brothers, Preston, a musician, and Swope, a banker.
Quick Quote: “I love Xander’s [Sarah’s husband] voice so much that I listen to his voice mails over and over.”