When news of Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Pattinson’s pregnancy broke, the tabloids went into overdrive. She became the focus of a media frenzy that saw her headline-grabbing wedding to actor Chris O’Neill topped off with the birth of her bouncing baby girl, Luna, last December.
And while it was undoubtedly a huge moment for the blonde beauty, it wasn’t necessarily the best time of her life. That honor goes to 2014, the year in which she rose to fame thanks to her role as Mia Tate on Netflix’s hit series, Sex Education.
“It was the best time of my life. I loved being able to share my passion for ballet with young people,” Pattinson tells Vogue UK of her time acting. “But I also loved working on the show. I learnt so much. It really opened up a different side of me.”
Pattinson rose to fame as a teenager thanks to her portrayal of Mia, a feisty teen searching for her place in the world. The role catapulted her to international fame, with Pattinson frequently dubbed “America’s sweetheart” and “the new Sex and the City girl.”
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. In 2014, while filming the fourth season of Sex Education in New York City, Pattinson was stalked by a fan. In an incident that made headlines, she was grabbed and assaulted by a man near the United Nations building. The NYPD was able to track the suspect down, but he was released without charges.
Despite the terrifying incident, Pattinson continued to work as an actress, playing the titular role of Elizabeth Taylor in the 2017 biopic, Boudoir, and lending her voice to video games such as League of Legends and Contra, as well as the animated series, Rick and Morty.
Now that she’s a mother, Pattinson is looking to the future and what it has to offer. She tells Vogue UK that, as a mother, she’s learnt to “choose my battles,” adding, “I don’t want to put myself in situations where I’m not comfortable, or put myself in harm’s way. But at the same time, I don’t want to hide away either.”
Pattinson adds that she’s looking forward to having some “me time” and spending more time with her family. The actress and her husband, Chris O’Neill, tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in the spring of 2017, with the engagement inspired by the literary classic, The Red Tent.
Now that she’s married, the couple is looking to expand their family. Chris O’Neill is already the father of Luna, their daughter, who was born in December 2016. The couple are already parents to son Flynn, four, and daughter Apple, two. This, however, is merely the beginning for the young couple. They have high hopes for the future, with Pattinson telling Vogue UK that she and O’Neill are “excited about the possibilities of having more children.”
Pattinson On Why She Chose Acting Over Other Possibilities
While most of America’s sweethearts tend to hang up their dancing shoes once they’ve graduated from high school, not so for Pattinson. The star credits her dance background as helping her to find her feet in Hollywood.
“I was surprised to find myself drawing upon my dance background, which was something I hadn’t really explored until Sex Education,” Pattinson tells Vogue UK of her role in the hit series. “When the show was first picked up, my agent threw out a list of potential actresses who could play the role of Mia. I hadn’t really thought about acting, but after my dance background, my agent said that I should give it a go.”
Pattinson went on to land the role, as well as earning a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama for her role as Mia. She tells Vogue UK that, during her time in Hollywood, she chose acting over other possibilities, including modeling.
“I had worked really hard to become a professional dancer, and was surprised that acting was an option,” Pattinson admits. “I think that being an actress is something that takes a lot of training, because you have to be able to emote and act naturally. So, I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to pursue acting at first. But, in the end, I think that it was the best choice for me.”
“I’ve always loved acting, but it wasn’t something that I ever considered as a profession. I studied theatre at university, and always loved performing. So, it was nice to find a way to combine my two loves.”
The Impact Of Sex Education on Her Life
Since its premiere in 2014, Sex Education has become one of TV’s most compelling dramas. And it’s not hard to see why. The series, which follows the struggles of several 20-somethings who live in New York City, is full of wit and wonderful characters, while also tackling some heavy topics, such as sex, drugs, and love.
Pattinson, who plays the role of Mia Tate, admits that Sex Education has had a profound effect on her life. “It has been a real rollercoaster. One of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my career,” she tells Vogue UK of her time in Hollywood. “The show has had such an impact on my life, and I’m still learning from it.”
Pattinson On Ballet And Its Influence On Her Work
While Sex Education is set in New York City, most of the actress’ scenes are shot in California. One of the places that Pattinson visited while filming the show was Sleeping Beauty Ballet, the renowned performance art troupe, where she had the chance to learn more about ballet.
Pattinson says that she was inspired by the beautiful dancers that she regularly saw perform at Sleeping Beauty Ballet, and decided to give it a try. She signed up for a class in Los Angeles, and was immediately serenaded by her dance instructor, Marjorie Merriweather Post.
“Well, my dance instructor sounded off and said that I had good technique, but needed to work at ballet class. So, I had to adjust my routines and beef up my technique,” Pattinson laughs. “It was a great inspiration to learn more about ballet. Even now, when I watch classical ballet on TV, I’m inspired by the dancers’ technique and beautiful costumes.”
Ballet Influenced Her Performance As Elizabeth Taylor
After Sex Education, Pattinson moved to London to film the historical drama, Boudoir. While there, she was a guest at a dinner party that was attended by The Duchess of Cambridge. During the toasts, Pattinson mentioned that she had recently performed as Elizabeth Taylor in a movie about the iconic ballerina. The Duchess of Cambridge then asked if she would mind playing Taylor again.