At one point or another, most of Earth’s population has probably heard of Robert Pattinson. Since his megastar turn came in the 2007 film version of the popular Harry Potter book and movie franchise, many people have been transfixed by the British actor. Who hasn’t dreamed about meeting the gorgeous and enigmatic Briton, being able to talk to him about anything, and falling madly in love?
Not to fear though, because while Robert is certainly magnetic and possesses a good sense of humor, he is not really that kind of person. Like most famous men (and women for that matter), Robert has his good side and his bad side. Before you judge him as being a heartless playboy whose sole purpose in life is to seduce and abandon young women (like many a cinematic anti-hero before him), it’s worth knowing more about what Hitchens said regarding him.
1. “He’s Not Your Typical Hollywood Bob”
One of the first things that came to mind when I heard about Hitchens’ passing was the following quote: “He’s not your typical Hollywood Bob. In fact, he’s exactly the opposite. He’s a really sweet, humble kid and he’s been really badly misunderstood.” That’s because, like many famous men before him, Hitchens was obsessed with the notion that he was God’s gift to women. While this charming attitude may have endeared him to his many female fans, it made him far more accessible to smart, funny, and clever women like myself. He was also much more interested in discussing ideas and concepts rather than personal relationships and idle chit-chat. For a celebrity whose fan base is mostly made up of adolescent girls, this may be considered a plus. As for the so-called “idle chit chat” between Hitchens and Robert Pattinson, it was actually fairly interesting to watch. Mostly about literature and politics, with a side of gossiping about Hollywood celebrities, this sort of conversation was a far cry from the typical “meet cute, fall madly in love, and then spend the rest of your life together” couple’s chats that one usually finds in romantic comedies.
2. “He Looks Like David Bowie”
One of the most prominent critics of the 21st century was Theodor Adorno, who is considered the founder of the “Theory of the Resonance Phenomenon”. For Adorno, a person’s appearance is an expression of their psychological state. In other words, if you look at Robert Pattinson’s mugshot, it’s likely that you’ll see the broken heart that he carries around with him. In a similar vein, the Marxist thinker, Antonio Gramsci, believed that an individual’s physical appearance is significantly related to their social positioning. He further insisted that when someone’s social standing changes, so too does their physical appearance. Gramsci saw the world through a decidedly “long-term” lens, whereas Adorno focused on more “immediate” concerns.
3. “He’s Really Sexually Aware”
With all the talk surrounding AIDS and the stigma that still clings to it, it’s probably not a great idea to talk about sexual matters with a person who is not of the same sex as you. This is especially true if that person is physically touching you or otherwise being intimate with you. Luckily, while Robert is aware of and respectful of traditional gender roles, he nevertheless sees things differently. He’s really sexually aware and, at times, takes his sensual interests quite seriously. He may be a bit of a “seducer”, as some people have characterized him, but he’s not doing it to be mean or to hurt anyone. On the contrary, his line of work naturally leads him to connect with different kinds of people and expose him to all sorts of experiences that he would never have access to otherwise. In the same way that his filmography includes roles in both Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Twilight, in which he plays a vampire, Robert’s career has taken him to places and allowed him to meet people who are not your typical Hollywood insiders. In fact, it’s fair to say that Robert, like most famous men before him, has had some “celebrity sex”, as the tabloids like to put it. While his heart may be in the right place, his options may not be. And that, my friend, is a dangerous combination. As for his fans, let’s just say that they tend to be a bit aggressive. When it comes to Robert Pattinson, the phrase “do you know where I can find him?” often leads to “do you know how I can fuck him?” This does not mean that all of his fans are pedophiles or that he is responsible for their actions. Just that there is a lot of pent-up demand for what he has to offer, and some people will stop at nothing to satiate their desires. While he may not be responsible for the actions of the rabid fans who stalk and harass him online, he nevertheless bears some responsibility for the aggressive nature of his fan base.
4. “He Has a Dark Side”
If there is one thing that has become abundantly clear over the past few years, it’s that the British actor has some pretty dark secrets. Aside from the numerous allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he has always vehemently denied, there is also the fact that he has been the victim of several brutal attacks. Most notably, in 2012, he was jumped by a group of men who beat him up and stole his Mercedes-Benz. Robert has never been one to hide his feelings or his emotions from the public. While he may not always have taken the high road, he has certainly never hidden the fact that he’s a bit of a victim of circumstance. Because of this, he has always had the tendency to be highly emotional. To those around him, he seems to be holding it together well, but he has never been an easy person to be around, especially when he is upset.
5. “He’s Not Going to Change”
Finally, let’s not forget that one of the most beautiful and intriguing men in the world isn’t exactly suited for a one-night stand. For a man who has been in nearly every kind of relationship under the sun (and the moon and the stars too), there is no foreseeable future for Robert Pattinson. This does not mean that he is boring or loyal to one person. On the contrary, he is highly opinionated and tends to hold strong beliefs about right and wrong. While this may make him unpredictable, it also makes him all the more interesting. It’s not going to change just because he has achieved a certain level of fame or notoriety. Far from it. In fact, it may even increase the chances of him being misconstrued as a villain or a monster.
It should be noted that this is not a piece of celebrity gossip or an attempt to destroy Robert’s image. Quite the opposite. I’m writing this article because I feel that we need to balance the image of Hollywood’s golden boy with the facts behind his public personna. While he may not be a bad person (at least, not all bad), he has done some questionable things that have caused a lot of pain to others. It is imperative, therefore, that we scrutinize his work, but also consider the circumstances that have made him who he is today. If we want to truly understand and appreciate what is special about Robert Pattinson, we must examine the context of his life, celebrity, and work to separate fact from fiction. After all, that is how real understanding and real appreciation grow. So while we mourn the passing of Christopher Hitchens and celebrate his remarkable life, let’s not forget that his final years were troubled, and he often said some pretty harsh things about the entertainment industry and the people in it. But, despite his best efforts, he couldn’t change who he was. In fact, he might even have complimented himself on being “a bit of a perfectionist”, which is one of the traits that led to his eventual downfall. His spirit and passion for justice and truth will live on, not in his physical body, but in the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved him. The same can be said for Robert Pattinson, whose life and work will never be the same. One thing is for sure; he will always be considered one of cinema’s most fascinating and enigmatic figures. And, at the end of the day, that is a beautiful compliment.