You may know that Robert Pattinson plays the handsome and romantic vampire, Edward Cullen, in the new Twilight Saga movie, Breaking Dawn. But did you know that there is actually a whole other side to his acting career? He has been acting for longer than you’d think, and he has been in some really cool roles. So lets take a look at how old was Robert Pattinson in Breaking Dawn and what kind of roles he has played prior to Breaking Dawn.

Early Roles

Although Robert Pattinson had a small role in the 1998 film, Thirteen, he didn’t really become famous until after Twilight. In fact, before Twilight, the only roles you might have known him for were the villain in The Faculty and the young Henry V in Henry V. But as we’ll see in a bit, he has already played some pretty important roles in his acting career.

The King of Comedy

One of Robs more significant roles came in the form of an adaptation of the Saul Bellow novel, The King of Comedy. Bellow’s novel is set in New York City in the 1950s and follows the trials and tribulations of comedian Jerry Lewis. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1959, and the movie version won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in a comedy in 1967. In the novel, Bellow describes the difficulties of portraying a comedic genius as an aging, alcoholic man, and the similarities between Lewis and King George are uncanny. It’s a great role, and if you’ve never read the novel or seen the movie, it might be hard to understand why some people consider it to be one of Robs most significant. Even now, nearly 50 years later, the role is still considered one of the best performances of his career.

Taxi Driver

For a while, it looked like Peter Sarsgaard was going to be Robs only significant co-star in Breaking Dawn. But Sarsgaard is probably best known for his critically acclaimed performance as the troubled cab driver, Travis Bickle, in Martin Scorsese’s 1973 film, Taxi Driver. Bickle is a washed up, former taxi driver who feels that he no longer fits in with the rest of society and plans to assassinate a presidential candidate. He is obsessed with death and obsessed with the idea that people like him no longer exist in the world. Sarsgaard said that he based his performance on his experiences as a young man in New York City during the late 1960s. But he also said that he drew from anyone he thought would make a good Travis Bickle: “I mean, the guy could be any age really. It’s just that he’s a little more dangerous and a little less inhibited than most people his age.”

Get Shorty

While Taxi Driver is a critically acclaimed film, it’s also probably one of Robs lesser known works. Yet, it was a commercial and critical success and remains one of Robs most popular movies. So popular, in fact, that it was recently named the 7th greatest film of all time by Empire magazine. In Get Shorty, a 1974 comedy crime film, Dennis Quaid plays a slimy American gambler who wants to set up a deal with a dangerous French gangster (Alain Delon). He befriends an unemployed hitman (Andy Robinson) and uses him to get the information he needs to make the deal. The movie is known for its quick wit and dry humor and for being one of the first American films to prominently feature a handicapped character, though Robinson is only slightly disabled.

The Specialist

Even diehard fans of Twilight might not know of another role that Robs played before Breaking Dawn. But if you’ve ever seen the critically acclaimed 1995 film, The Specialist, then you know exactly what kind of role he played before Breaking Dawn: He was a highly skilled operative who had a secret identity as a middle-aged man.

In the film, Robbie plays John Boulter, a freelance spy who gets called out of retirement for one last big operation. While on a train, he meets a young woman named Victoria (Angela Bassett) and her daughter, Vivienne (Robin Tunney), and takes a liking to Vivienne. But when John is brought in to protect Victoria from a deadly assassin, he has to keep his true identity a secret. It’s a fun little movie, but if you’re looking for something more serious, then you may want to look elsewhere.


Speaking of things that are more serious, in 1968, at the age of 22, Robs played the titular character in the original Bullitt alongside Steve McQueen. The film is a 1968 American automobile heist comedy film directed by Peter Wilder and written by David Newman. While it doesn’t exactly fit the narrative of this article, it’s still a great movie and one of Roabs most popular films. In the film, McQueen plays an honest, but inept policeman who teams up with a brilliant, young female driver (Sally Field) to bring down a corrupt organization led by Henry Fonda. The film is filled with iconic cars and stunts and is widely considered to be one of the greatest heist films. If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth a watch.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

In 1991, at the age of 28, Robs took on the role of Prince John, the older brother of the King in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which was also his first major American film. In the movie, after the king is betrayed by his loyal general (Peter O’Toole), he banishes his brother to the forest. In the Sherwood Forest, John meets and befriends a young boy, Will Scarlett (Oliver Reed), who helps the prince overthrow the king and take the throne for himself. John is then forced to flee the country, and the next several years of his life are spent on the run from the law.

The movie is essentially the story of how John became the Robin Hood of Sherwood. And though the role might not seem that exciting on paper, Robs captures the essence of John perfectly: He is cunning, intelligent, and ruthless. If you’ve never heard of Robin Hood, then this is probably the movie you should watch to discover his story. And if you have, then prepare to be reminded of why he is considered such a legendary figure in medieval history.


Seven is one of the most successful franchises in Hollywood history. It began as a 1976 film about a former child star (Janet Leigh) who is kidnapped and held for ransom. Since then, the movie has spawned two sequels and a TV series. In the first two films, Leigh plays an adult version of her character. In the last film, she plays a different character. Robs had a small role as a writer in the original film, but his biggest role was in the sequel, where he played the main character’s psychopathic, older brother. The role would be the beginning of a long association between the two actors.

The Great Game

Though he had a small role in the original film, The Great Game is probably the best example of Robs versatility. In the movie, he plays Robert Redford’s brother, who is invited to join a dangerous game of chess that is being played between England and Russia. It’s a pretty cool role, though it’s not exactly what you’d call a serious one. Still, it’s a great example of Robs comedic talents and an important part of his acting career. You might know him from this movie, or at least have heard of it.


Speaking of things that aren’t exactly serious, though he might not seem like it at first glance, in 2011, at the age of 42, Robs took on the role of Edward Cullen, the sexy and romantic vampire in the Twilight Saga.

The franchise, which began as a short story by Stephenie Meyer, eventually became a five-part film series. Though it was critically panned and bombarded with negative reviews, the franchise became a massive commercial success. More people around the world have watched the Twilight series than have watched all the other films combined. It’s been said that the film series has brought in more than a billion dollars at the box office worldwide.