Even before their engagement and recent announcements of their upcoming wedding, it was clear that Robert Pattinson and FKA twiggs were a perfect match. They share the same dark hair, green eyes, and impish grins. They both enjoy a good joke and a cold beer. Much like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, their friendship and their romantic pursuits provide us with insights into life as well as the appeal of the famous detective and the doctor’s improbable pairing.
Pattinson’s Sherlock Holmes
When Robert Pattinson was cast in 2012’s “Sherlock Holmes,” it seemed like a long shot for the 27-year-old Englishman to fill the shoes of the legendary detective. After appearing in several low-budget British horror films, he was almost unrecognizable as Sherlock Holmes. But audiences may have never seen his mugshot anyway, as he refused to leave England to film the series.
The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes
Pattinson’s name didn’t appear on screen for the first time in seven years in 2018’s “The Empty Bag,” but he was still present on the set as Holmes. This time, the detective’s client was played by Benedict Cumberbatch, with Martin Freeman taking on the role of Sherlock’s friend and neighbor, Watson. But despite the screen time, Pattinson was still determined to stay away from Hollywood. The following year, he would finally surrender to the pressures of stardom and accept a role in the upcoming “Skyscraper,” directed by Bertie Carvel.
Despite the ups and downs of his career, it’s obvious that Sherlock Holmes is one of the most recognizable faces in British culture. After several film and TV performances, the character lives on in the form of merchandise, including bobbleheads, mugs, and t-shirts. It’s also become an annual tradition for fans of the character to attend the famous Spektor Festival, which celebrates the work of acclaimed Russian composer Igor Spektor, with whom Sherlock Holmes is said to have been obsessed.
Pattinson and Sherlock Holmes
Pattinson and his character partner have become so intertwined over the years that it’s difficult to determine where one ends and the other begins. While they might not always appear to have the happiest of relationships, it’s clear that Sherlock Holmes and Robert Pattinson’s friendship goes beyond their professional partnership. In fact, the detective seems to practically live at Campari’s with his good friend. The following images from 2014 suggest that the two men share a close bond as well as an appreciation for the finer things in life.
Pattinson even admitted that he sees Sherlock Holmes as a mentor, someone he looks up to and admires. The actor has cited the detective’s personal life as well as his expertise as inspiration for some of his own choices. When asked about the character’s iconic pipe, Pattinson explained that he uses the same one as the great detective. In fact, many of the character’s iconic traits — from his deerstalker hat to his love of deerstalking — were originally inspired by real-life occurrences. On the subject of Sherlock Holmes’ clients, Pattinson has stated that he thinks of them as friends, adding that while working on the cases was “entertaining,” it was also “very tiring.” When it comes to the character’s extraordinary brain, Pattinson has said that he doesn’t consider himself a genius, but he does come from a family of intellects. “Just because I’m good at certain things doesn’t mean I’m a genius,” he said. “I’m certainly not going to say I’m a genius at anything. But I have a brain that sometimes works at full capacity and sometimes doesn’t work at all,”
An Impressionistic Portrait
While a documentary film on the making of “Sherlock Holmes” would have been fascinating, it’s the finished product that really shines. Like many of its famous inspirations, “Sherlock Holmes” is an impressionistic film. It weaves together vignettes of Sherlock Holmes in the process of solving a case with scenes from the detective’s life. There’s no attempt at historical accuracy; this is more like a love letter to Sherlock Holmes, detailing his many adventures and the colorful characters he encountered along the way.
The resemblance between the late, great Sherlock Holmes (1854-1935) and Robert Pattinson is uncanny. The two men even share the same monocle. But it’s not just about genetics. The Sherlock Holmes Society of London notes that the 27-year-old English actor perfectly captures the elegance and eccentricity of the great mystery creator. The film’s director, Guy Ritchie, said he was “overjoyed” when he saw how accurate Pattinson’s portrayal was. “Sherlock Holmes is one of the most iconic and recognizable figures in history,” Ritchie said. “To see someone live up to that level of authenticity and to understand the kind of man that he is, is quite extraordinary.”
For years, Sherlock Holmes has been depicted in popular culture as a lone wolf, traveling the world and battling bad guys. But the reality was far from it. The legendary detective was friends with, and is said to have been obsessed with, his colleague and friend, Dr. Watson. The following clip from “Sherlock Holmes” shows off the incredible camaraderie between the two men, as they investigate a strange telegram together. It’s clear that they trust and rely on each other, which is essential to the success of their partnership.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Watson
As previously noted, the TV series “Sherlock Holmes” cast Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role. The 34-year-old British actor is a self-proclaimed huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, and has credited the iconic detective as a personal inspiration. It’s been theorized that Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the brilliant doctor is something of a counterpoint to Sherlock Holmes’ own personality. Much like his character Sigmund Freud in “Sherlock Holmes,” Cumberbatch is a very private man who rarely gives interviews. But what a brilliant, affable interview he gave! When asked about the appeal of playing the character, Cumberbatch said he thinks it’s the combination of Holmes’ personal attributes — his intelligence, his intuition, and his eccentricity — with Dr. Watson’s more practical and analytical elements. “I think that’s what makes it interesting,” Cumberbatch said. “I think people can see themselves in that character. He’s intelligent and inquisitive, and he challenges the conventional way of thinking.”
Watson’s Incredible Journey
Although he’s never been one to shy away from controversy, Sherlock Holmes has taken on a new importance for Martin Freeman, who plays his friend and neighbor, Dr. Watson. After appearing in several TV comedies, the English actor decided to forgo a career in comedy and pursue a life in medicine. When his portrayal of Dr. Watson in “Sherlock Holmes” was met with universal acclaim, it marked the beginning of a new phase in Freeman’s career. Since then, he’s regularly appeared in big-budget movies, led organizations, and become an advocate for medical research.
While on the case with Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson is often referred to as the character’s sidekick. But it’s clear that the roles are meant to be shared. Indeed, it’s been suggested that in addition to being Holmes’ friend and assistant, Dr. Watson is also his son. Freeman, who wrote the “Sherlock Holmes” foreword, has stated that he thinks of the two men as father and son. When asked about his personal involvement in the iconic detective’s cases, Freeman responded, “I feel like I was in most of them, actually.”
An Unreliable Ally
While it’s wonderful to see the Sherlock Holmes Society of London officially recognize the brilliant accomplishments of Robert Pattinson, it’s also worth noting that the detective’s own fans have been quick to point out that he’s an unreliable ally, who does not always tell the truth. The following clip from “The Valley of Fear” shows Holmes defending himself from accusations that he was intoxicated at the time of their partnership. “It is my habit to tell the truth,” Holmes says in the scene. “And I can swear that I am quite sober now. I have not had a drink since I returned from India six months ago. And I intend to keep it that way.” Unfortunately, as the saying goes, honesty is the best policy when no one is watching. But that’s not practical when you need someone to help you out of a tight spot. As such, it seems that even among his most devoted followers, Sherlock Holmes still hasn’t completely shed his reputation as a lying, cheating scoundrel.