Twilight star Robert Pattinson says he can’t understand why the later films in the franchise suffered a backlash from fans.

Pattinson played vampire Edward Cullen in the series and noted that the first film was well received, while the subsequent sequels attracted an increasing level of criticism.

“I don't understand the backlash against Twilight,” Pattinson told The Daily Beast. “The first movie, everyone liked it. But then it was suddenly . . . I don't quite get why people turned on the other ones.

“There are plenty of successful franchises which everyone accepts. But for some reason there were all these political arguments against it.

"People saying, ‘Oh, it's a bad example for women.’ Blah, blah, blah. As if we were all a bunch of dumbasses.

“We're not playing it that way! That's purely your interpretation! We're not trying to make a movie about subservient female characters at all.”

Pattinson added that he felt that the series – based on the books by Stephenie Meyer - made him a better actor.

“I've found that the Twilight movies were probably the hardest jobs I've done,” he said.

“You have so many parameters to play the character within, and also you're doing five movies where you have to play the same point every time and figure out different variations on it. It was really hard. It was like trying to write a haiku.”