Some people have questioned whether or not the father of actor Robert Pattinson was in fact the man who inspired his son’s character in the Twilight Saga. While it is true that the two men share the same last name, it is not as though they are twins separated at birth. Robert Pattinson was born on August 18, 1981 in London, England to journalist Keith Pattinson and film producer Diane Von Furstenberg. He has a younger sister named Grace who is an accomplished equestrian. The family eventually moved to the U.S. when Robert was a child. He grew up in Santa Monica, California and attended Santa Monica High School before going on to study filmmaking at Columbia University.
Robert Pattinson’s Early Life
As previously mentioned, Robert Pattinson was born in London on August 18, 1981. His parents were actually married in 1973 when his father was 40 years old and his mother was 28. It was an age difference of 8 years between them. They later divorced in 1976 and went their separate ways. It was a very acrimonious split with both sides expressing their disapproval of the other in the media.
While still a child, Robert Pattinson moved with his mother to New York City where they eventually settled in an apartment on Central Park West. In 1980, his family relocated to the United Kingdom for a visit and while there met with Queen Elizabeth II who had previously been his great-grandmother. While in London, they stayed at Buckingham Palace a number of times and had tea with the queen. It would be the last time they would ever set foot in England. Robert Pattinson’s early life was shaped by and he frequently referenced this time in his work. He even described the experience as though it were a feature-length film he was starring in:
“I grew up in England. I spent a lot of time with the Queen when I was a kid. That was the highlight of my childhood. I used to love going to Buckingham Palace and meeting the Queen. Those were the people I looked up to when I was a child. I wanted to be just like them when I grew up.”
Diane Von Furstenberg, Robert Pattinson’s mother, eventually remarried to financier Alan Schwartz in 1987. The couple’s only daughter Natalie married film music composer Harry Gregson-Williams in 2012. Schwartz died in 2014 and Diane Von Furstenberg passed away in 2017 from complications due to Alzheimer’s Disease. Diane Von Furstenberg was 70 years old at the time of her death.
In Search Of Robert Pattinson’s Father
A number of years after the death of Diane Von Furstenberg, journalists continued to ask questions about her son’s origins. The actor himself remained tight-lipped about his family history but eventually gave an interview to The Telegraph in which he said:
“I don’t know what my dad was like. I know he was very glamorous, a real ladies’ man I think. He had a lot of fun. But I don’t know if he liked me very much.”
It’s not like Robert Pattinson was trying to hide the truth about his father. He simply didn’t know much about him. But it wouldn’t be the last time he’d be asked about his father. In fact, his character Jacob Black specifically mentions his biological father in his diary. While in New York City visiting Diana Von Furstenberg, Robert Pattinson’s mother, he sneaks off to meet his dad for lunch. But when he gets there, he finds out that his dad has recently died. While he initially buried his emotions in a bottle of whiskey, he eventually confronts his grief by walking the streets aimlessly until he finds himself at a tavern where he meets a hunchbacked dwarf who helps him grieve his losses.
Some Believe That Actor Is Not His Father’s Son
While Robert Pattinson has remained relatively tight-lipped about his family, there are individuals who have tried to connect the dots between Robert Pattinson and his father. One of these individuals is Peter Gotck, who wrote a book about the subject titled Robert Pattinson: Traces of the Vampire. In it, he speculates that Robert Pattinson’s real father could have been one of the following people:
“The most obvious candidate is Joe Perry, a Hollywood movie producer who was also Robert Pattinson’s godfather. According to Perry, Robert was born shortly after midnight on August 18, 1981. Joe and his wife Helen were in London at the time, searching for the perfect Christmas present for their son. When their plane landed, they found out that their hotel room wasn’t ready and spent the night in a nearby restaurant. When they went to the hospital in the morning to meet the boy’s mother, she told them she wasn’t feeling well and asked them to go home. When Joe and Helen arrived back in L.A., they were greeted by a woman holding a baby. The next day, they learned that the boy’s biological mother was a twenty-year-old heroin addict who had given birth to him during a brief stint in a Hong Kong prison. The irony of the situation is that Joe Perry, who has the same birthday as Robert Pattinson, is actually 17 years his senior.
Robert Pattinson’s Career In Hollywood
As previously mentioned, Robert Pattinson was born in London on August 18, 1981. He then moved to New York City with his mother Diane Von Furstenberg and stepfather Alan Schwartz. He initially found success in television as a child actor, starring in such shows as The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and Tales From the Crypt. He also had a recurring role in the CBS TV show The Odd Couple as the younger version of Bill Murray’s character. It wouldn’t be until he turned 18 that he began to really pursue a career in Hollywood. He moved back to Los Angeles in search of roles and eventually landed his first leading role in the romantic comedy What Happens Next?
He followed this up with another film titled The Believer which he also wrote, directed, and starred in. This was the first time that he had ever tried acting on camera and he said that he felt confident in his abilities even though it was his first time ever acting in front of a crew and in front of the camera. The Believer went on to win the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. A number of critics also called it one of the best films of the year.
New York City Films
Besides making his debut in Hollywood with The Believer, Robert Pattinson went on to star in a number of films set in New York City. He played the lead in the 2010 drama The New York Times about the newspaper’s fight for survival in the era of digital journalism. Then in 2013, he headlined John Wick, a film adaptation of the popular John Wick series of action-thriller novels. Wick was directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad. The film also stars John Oliver, Peter Stormare, and Lance Reddick. Stahelski and Kolstad would again collaborate with Pattinson on the Keanu Reeves-starring film Ghost Chain. This year alone, he has appeared in two films: the biographical drama Dirty Gold about the real-life mining tycoon George Hipple and the romantic comedy Looking For Christmas which he also wrote and directed. Both of these movies are set to premiere at the end of the year.
More Questions About Jacob Black
While we’ve learned a great deal about the father of Robert Pattinson, it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever know the answer to the question of whether or not Jacob Black was inspired by any specific man. In the books, Jacob’s father is called Robert Black and it is never stated that he was inspired by anyone. That being said, it is widely believed that the character of Jacob Black was in fact inspired by Robert Pattinson. In the books, Jacob Black is a struggling young artist who meets and eventually marries Belinda. While his wife is on vacation, Jacob sneaks off to visit his father who happens to be away on business in Turkey at the time. While there, he gets into a fight with a bunch of Arab sheiks and stabs one of them in self-defense. He soon finds himself in prison where he befriends a Turkish prisoner named Mustafa. Mustafa teaches Jacob how to fight with a sword and after he gets out of prison, Jacob begins training with Mustafa in the countryside. Later on in the story, Jacob’s master Ismail gives the artist his name as a reference to the character:
“I am thinking of calling him Jacob Black,” the old man said slowly as he traced the line with his finger. “It is a very fine name.”
So, while we may never know for certain if Robert Pattinson was inspired by his father or not, at least we know that Jacob Black was inspired by the son of Keith Patton and Diane Von Furstenberg.