While most people are still in lockdown, Netflix users have been able to continue their busy schedules and have sought out a new crop of shows to binge-watch. One of the biggest success stories of the past couple of months is Edward Pattinson’s “Oddball” and its sequel “Oddball Season 2.” The actor plays Charlie Price, owner of an organic cider mill in the fictitious “Green River Valley” in the U.K. The series follows him as he deals with the ups and downs of being a miller and a single father. In 2019, Pattinson followed up his successful comedy series with a third installment—also set in the Green River Valley—which received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. It is now one of the most popular shows on Netflix UK and has scored Pattinson a host of awards and nominations, including two BAFTA TV Awards, an International Emmy, and a Royal Television Society British Comedy Award. In this article, we’ll explore some of the factors that helped Pattinson become a breakout star in 2019 and review some of his best work.

The Rise In Popularity

To begin with, Pattinson’s popularity has risen thanks in part to his role in Oddball. The premiere episode, which was released in April 2019, scored Pattinson an average of 7.1 (out of 10) on TV Score and garnered over 150 million views across all platforms, making it one of the most popular shows on Netflix UK at the time. Since then, Pattinson has appeared in various magazine covers and been the focus of numerous interviews and articles. He’s also proved to be a prolific social media user, regularly engaging with his fans across platforms including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

A Comedic Performance That Involves The Audience

Another reason why Pattinson has seen such success in 2019 is that his comedy involves the audience. As the U.K. stands at the forefront of COVID-19 testing and lockdown restrictions (particularly in London), Pattinson’s “Oddball” has proved to be an invaluable source of comic relief. The series is often satirical, parodying COVID-19 guidelines, government responses, and the self-isolation that comes with the pandemic. In the trailer for “Oddball,” Pattinson’s character is shown sporting a T-shirt that reads: “I’m an oddball. I don’t follow the rules.” Many fans have adopted this motto and have been celebrating Pattinson’s unique brand of comedy during this time. In a November 2019 tweet, Pattinson wrote, “Actors are weird. We don’t just act, we actually spend most of our time thinking and feeling. So when you see us on camera, that’s all you’ll ever see.” A video of Pattinson delivering this monologue to a London audience in late-September went viral, scoring over 1 million views on YouTube alone. The actor has since reprised the monologue for various comedians’ charity shows and appearances on streaming platforms, further establishing Pattinson as a comedic force to be reckoned with.

An Actor Who Develops And Departs From Character

As previously mentioned, Pattinson’s Oddball involves a lot of comedic performance. This is markedly different from the actor’s previous work. In addition to Oddball, Pattinson starred in 2018’s “The Lost City,” a film adaptation of Jack Gilbert’s “The Man in the Brown Suit.” The film was a critical and commercial flop, but it did provide the audience with a glimpse of Pattinson’s versatility. As the film’s villain, Hugh Grant, noted in his review, “Pattinson plays a convincing scumbag, with just the right touch of Scottish accent (for which he’s probably best-known). Most impressive is how he develops and departs from his character, switching from brutish thug to sympathetic human being in the blink of an eye.” Similarly, in Oddball, Pattinson undergoes a transformation as the series goes on, growing increasingly empathetic as he deals with the trials and tribulations of being a single father in the U.K. during the pandemic.

A Fresh New Take On A Well-Rounded Character

Perhaps Pattinson’s greatest strength as an actor is that he is sympathetic to complicated characters. This is evinced by his work in “The Man in the Brown Suit” and “Oddball.” Although Hugh Grant’s character in the latter was an unrepentant villain, audiences nevertheless rooted for him. This was most likely due to Pattinson’s lovable cast of characters. The series’ first episode opens with a brief glimpse of Price’s family—including his kids, who are played by Gemma Merna and Miles Richardson—frolicking around a swimming pool. This scene serves as a stark contrast to the rest of the episode, which focuses on Price’s attempts to woo wealthy heiress Audrey Rose (played by Amber Heard). For Audrey, it is the perfect marriage of partner and lover; however, it is soon revealed that Price is keeping a significant amount of his assets for himself, leaving her with nothing. Even though Audrey is a self-professed gold-digger, she is still a damsel in distress, and Price’s decision to walk away leaves her devastated. It’s this kind of complexity that makes Pattinson so endearing on-screen and ensures he’ll be a highly sought-after actor in the coming months and years.

A Breakout Star And A Well-Deserved Success

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Pattinson is arguably one of the most talented new actors to emerge this year. In 2019 alone, he has received rave reviews for his work in Oddball, made notable appearances on two award-winning Television series (including Game of Thrones), and scored a BAFTA TV Award nomination for his role in 2018’s “The Iron Lady.” On the acting side of things, Pattinson has also been a guest speaker at various conferences, most notably the Royal Television Society’s Digital Creative Exhibition in London and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts’ Digital Creative Exhibition in New York City. In April 2019, he was invited to give a talk at Harvard Business School on the topic of “Building Brand Loyalty in the Digital Age.” According to Harvard Business School professor Josh Angrist, one of the co-founders of The Future Council, “Charlie is one of the most exciting new comedians to emerge in recent years. With his unique brand of hilarity and insight, Charlie will become a firm favourite on Netflix UK. The audiences for ‘Oddball’ and ‘The Iron Lady’ will be eagerly anticipating his next installment.” In light of this recent success, it seems Pattinson is set to continue his rise in popularity in 2020 and beyond.