As a kid, Charlie Pattinson always dreamed about being a heart throbbing pop star. While he may not have followed through with his childhood ambitions, he has since become one of the most in-demand British actors of our time, starring in hit TV series and films such as Shameless, Meryl Streep’s Nightingale, and TV movie director Roman Polanski’s Macbeth, among many others. In 2020, after months of staying indoors due to lockdown restrictions, Pattinson was finally able to find his feet again, and the 49-year-old has been enjoying a revival in the form of an acting comeback.

An Interview With a Multi-Cultural Star

Pattinson has been cast in a range of high-profile projects, from period dramas to superhero movies. His versatility and charm has made him one of our most-loved British actors. We caught up with him at the Cannes Film Festival to find out what he’s been up to since lockdown restrictions were eased, and how he intends to spend the rest of his life.

What has been your most memorable moment since lockdown restrictions were eased?

There are so many highlights, but I think one of my favorite moments was doing the press rounds for the Netflix series, Macbeth. I play Macbeth, this really famous character from William Shakespeare, and it was such an honor to be able to work with the great Kenneth Branagh, who directed the mini-series. We shot the scenes in England, and it was just such an experience to be there during that time. It was everything I dreamed it would be, and it was my first chance to show the world my other side—the comedic side—which I think people will enjoy. 

How would you describe your own personal style?

I think my style has evolved over the last couple of years. When we were filming Macbeth, I was working with this amazing costume designer, Heidi Klein. She did my Shakespeare costumes, and I remember going into her little office, and she was just going through ideas for Macbeth, which was great. She had a whole costume collection going through, and I remember looking at all these costumes and thinking, “Oh my God, what am I going to wear?” I had to make a pros and cons list for each of the outfits, and it was quite honestly a lot of heavy thinking. When we finally decided to do the final cast list, I looked through it and was quite relieved to see that I had chosen the same outfit for myself as I had for Lady Macbeth! (Laughs) So, yeah, I would say my personal style has evolved from an early punk look into something more elegant and gothic, and I’m really happy with how it all turned out.

How does a role as a leading man compare to your previous roles?

Well, it’s quite different, isn’t it? I think when you’re doing theatre, you’re kind of doing a one-man show every night, and you have to bring the whole play to life. With films and TV, you’re generally acting in scenes with other people, so you have to bring your A-game every day and make sure that you’re giving your all in there. It’s a different ballgame, that’s for sure. But I also think that there are some really great similarities. When we were filming Macbeth, I remember talking to Kenneth Branagh about it. He worked with Shakespeare a lot, and he said that some of the monologues from the play are some of the most difficult to act out. And that’s true. They’re really tough. But the great thing about it is that it makes you stronger, and that’s what you need as an actor, isn’t it? You need to be stronger, mentally, to pull off the scenes like that. So, in that way, it’s kind of like doing Macbeth, but with other people around you, and it’s something new.

How do you intend to spend the rest of your life?

I would like to keep doing what I’m doing now. I would like to work as much as I can, in both film and television. And when I’m not working, I would like to keep myself busy with anything that interests me. I love traveling, so I would like to spend a lot of time going to places that interest me. And when I get bored of that, I would like to start making up stories and writing songs. So, as long as I stay healthy, I think that’s all that matters.

Thanks to Pattinson’s tireless work ethic and talent for improvisation, we will no doubt continue to see his name attached to iconic films and series for years to come. Whether he’s playing Richard III or King Lear, the 49-year-old seems to have an answer for every character he plays. We can’t wait to see what the next big project is going to be.