Robert Pattinson is one of the most famous English actors of his generation. To celebrate his 25th birthday, we look back at his incredible career, and find the best hairstyle for each role.

Early Career

After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Pattinson made his acting debut in the 2013 film, The Lost Valentine. In this romantic comedy, he plays a fashion photographer who travels to Italy to photograph the wedding of his best friend. While in Florence, he befriends American film producer Hilary Swank and her boyfriend Christian Malbon (played by Jason Segel). Pattinson’s character, Nick, helps them to plan their bachelorette party in London and begrudgingly becomes their escapist roommate. As the film progresses, he develops a crush on Swank’s character and she turns his head with her beauty. The Lost Valentine is a fun and fluffy romance that will make you laugh and cry throughout. Pattinson’s early films were mostly set in Europe, where he frequently starred in films by acclaimed directors like James Van Der Beek and Wes Anderson.

Pattinson then moved to Los Angeles, where he became known for his collaborations with acclaimed directors, and for playing opposite some of the biggest stars of our time. In 2016, he became a brand ambassador for Elizabeth Cole cosmetics, and started working on a sequel to 2015’s Remember Me, which he plays the dual role of Alex Rider and Raoul Wallenberg. The Lost Valentine and Remember Me were both box office failures, but still hold a special place in the hearts of fans.

The Favourite

In the 2018 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel, The Favourite, Pattinson plays Sir Walter Elliot, a handsome and intelligent young baronet who inherits his family’s decaying estate in Ireland. While on a visit to his ancestral home in England, he meets Elinor (Sandra Bullock) and Marianne (Olivia Colman) – two young ladies who challenge his assumptions about society, and who teach him to love again. The Favourite is a romance between childhood friends who are thrust into a marriage of convenience. Bullock and Colman’s performances are pitch-perfect, and the costumes and set design are breathtaking. The film is based on the author’s unfinished work, and was directed by Olivia Colman, who also wrote and produced it. It goes without saying that you should watch this one, if only for the beautiful Irish countryside and breathtaking mountain backdrop, which is worth the price of admission alone.

An Education

Pattinson’s portrayal of 19th century philosopher and political agitator, John Stuart Mill, in An Education, will stay with you for a long time. The actor, who was born in London and raised in the United Kingdom, portrays Mill as a brilliant yet arrogant man who is both friend and teacher to iconic English author, Charles Dickens. In a rare collaboration, the two worked on a novella together called The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but in the end, Mill did not live to see the story through to its end. They collaborated on Mill’s Autobiography, which contains an extensive section on his childhood, and which is regularly held in high esteem by readers and philosophers alike. You can’t teach an actor to act like Mill, but you can certainly learn a lot from this incredible performance.

Pride And Prejudice

The character of Wickham, with which Pattinson is most associated, began as a supporting character in director Andrew Davies adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice. After a bit part in the 2005 miniseries, The Lost Prince, he got the lead in the BBC’s 2009 series, Vanity Fair. In this adaptation of Austen’s classic Pride And Prejudice, Wickham (Pattinson) is a handsome man who believes that his lineage makes him superior to others. He uses his position of power to take advantage of any woman who comes within his orbit, including his friend, Elizabeth (Katherine Schwarzenegger). Ultimately, Wickham is exposed and humiliated for what he really is, a contemptible person who despises himself for being so weak and vain. The character then goes on to have a somewhat tragic end, as you might expect from a Jane Austen adaptation. The film was adapted for the screen by Colin Bucksey and starred a then-unknown Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd.


While you might not expect to find Pattinson in a contemporary film, the actor has proven that he can play any role with exceptional skill. In Quentin Tarantulin’s 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds, he plays the role of Colonel Hans Landa, a German officer who teams up with a group of Jewish soldiers to carry out a lethal rampage. It’s safe to say that, when it comes to portraying Nazis, Pattinson is at the top of his class. He received a rare perfect score from the American Film Institute for his role as Landa, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Tarantulin described the actor as “a magnificent combination of evil and elegance.” You can watch a compilation of Landa’s finest moments, which include him giving a dazzling performance of a song and dance routine, in this YouTube video.

Van Helsing

One of the most exciting and original films of the 2010s is the vampire drama, Van Helsing. The film adaptation of the character created by authors Sheridan Le Fanu and Richard Mathews features an outstanding performance by the great Ian Mckellen. Mckellen plays the part of Professor Van Helsing, a paleontologist who teams up with a nosy, young Englishwoman (Emily Browning) to battle a legion of vampires in early 20th century Budapest. The film was directed by Adam Bohme and features an original score by Greek film composers, Mikko Kokkonen and Yannis Markopoulos. The gregarious professor teaches Browning about paleontology while also falling for her. It gets bloody and gruesome as they try to uncover the mystery of Van Helsing’s past, but the film still keeps you on the edges of your seat. Emily Browning’s character is the daughter of the actress Merle Oberon, who famously played King George in the 1950s film, Demetrius And The Hippogriff, which also starred Mckellen and Ian Mckellen.

The Town

After spending the better part of a decade playing anti-heroes and villains, Pattinson returned to his roots as a character actor in the 2010 American crime drama, The Town. This film, adapted from the Brian Burnham novel of the same name, tells the story of Joe Pendleton, a Boston Police officer who teams up with a small town sheriff (Pattinson) to take down a local drug lord (Kevin Bacon). The Town is often cited as one of the best American films of the 2010s, and it’s easy to see why. Not only does Bacon and Pendleton’s Joe bring an endearing charm to the film, but it’s also full of interesting characters, nicely developed relationships, and dynamic action sequences. It’s a great story, told extremely well by Burnham, who also wrote the screenplay.

The King’s Speech

In the 2012 biographical film, The King’s Speech, written and directed by Geoffrey MacMahon, Pattinson plays the role of King George VI, who had to reign in Great Britain during the Second World War. The film shows the monarch’s struggle to overcome a speech impediment that he was born with. The speech impediment, which eventually became known as “The King’s Speech,” rendered George VI incapable of speaking without stammering. He was ultimately succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth, who would later become Queen Elizabeth II. After the war, the king suffered from severe depression and died of a heart attack in 1952 at age 51. The film won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, as well as Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress for Pattinson and Helena Bonham Carter, and it’s also been recognized with several other awards, including a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. You can read an interview with Geoffrey MacMahon, in which he discusses the making of The King’s Speech in more detail, in this week’s edition of the LIDB Film Podcast.