While some may still want to argue that Hollywood’s golden era was indeed the “Hollywood” era, the fact is that we’re living in a time when the movie industry’s influence reaches far beyond the silver screen. Case in point: Katy Perry. The pop singer’s Hollywood story began in 2013 when she launched her highly anticipated Prism album. The record was a critical and commercial success, debuting at number-one on the Billboard Top 100 Albums chart and earning Perry a diamond certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. The album’s title track became her first single to top the Billboard 100, while her other singles “California,” “Roar,” and “Firework” all peaked inside the top 10.
It was the biggest year of Katy Perry’s career to date, and her Hollywood lifestyle was on full display. A few months after the album’s release, Perry graced the cover of Vogue, which profiled the star. Under the lens of legendary photographer Inez & John E. Moran, Perry showcased her incredible curves in a black and white spread. She made headlines around the world when she premiered her new song “Dark Season,” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! She followed the performance with additional shows in London, where her set featured a towering inflatable doll that she posed with for the occasion. And, of course, there was that whole “Dress” video debacle. But let’s be honest: All of this was probably inevitable. A decade earlier, in 2003, Perry had released her debut single “I’m Into You,” which peaked at number 55 on the Billboard Top 100. For someone who has always been compared to a mini-Me version of Kim Kardashian (the similarity is admittedly uncanny), Perry’s rise to fame wasn’t exactly a shock.
A Night With Katniss
Perry’s media blitz continued in 2019 with the premiere of her sixth studio album, Witness. The project was inspired by both the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and the dystopian novel A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. In addition to the album’s nine-song track list, the premiere included a special performance from Perry herself, who recreated the album’s climactic scene, in which she plays a handmaid forced to carry out an abusive taskmaster’s orders. But even before the album’s release, we knew something was up. On March 20, 2019, Perry confirmed in an interview with Vanity Fair that her staff had been unexpectedly let go two weeks earlier. Though she didn’t specify the reasons for the layoffs, it wouldn’t be a great mystery. As Perry herself acknowledged, “I can’t promise this isn’t going to happen to me next.”
While a number of factors may have led to the layoffs, it’s clear that the circumstances surrounding them bear much investigation. According to two anonymous sources who spoke to Vanity Fair, Perry was fired after she spent the night of March 18th with Robert Pattinson, the actor and director who’s perhaps best known for playing the title role in the 2012 film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. The publication says that Perry’s camp denies the claim, but it wouldn’t be a shocking allegation, especially since rumors of the couple’s relationship had already begun to circulate online.
If you’re unfamiliar, The Dark Tower series—which, let’s be honest, you probably aren’t—tells the story of gunslinger Roland Deschain, who, armed with a bowie knife, sets out to slay a giant spider which has invaded the town of Dunwich. While the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, was published in 1982, it wasn’t until 2012 that the series gained the widespread popularity it now enjoys thanks to King’s post-apocalyptic epic. As the story goes, in March 2019, after months of speculation, it was officially announced that Perry and Pattinson would be joining forces for a movie project based on the Dark Tower series. The movie, which will be directed and co-written by Pattinson, won’t be his first time working with the King of horror; he previously directed two episodes of Netflix’s 1980s-set horror series Narcos, featuring Vanessa Merricks.
An Unusual Business Partnership
It was already a banner year for the 49 year-old Robert Pattinson. In June 2019, one of the most decorated actors of his generation was finally recognized for his considerable talents when he received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of an aging rock star in the film Jude. The recognition was long overdue, as it came on the heels of an incredible run that saw Jude earn him rave reviews and multiple Oscar nominations. In addition to his work in Jude, Pattinson has appeared in major film franchises such as The Avengers, Battleship, Wildlife, and Twilight, The Twilight Continues. He also earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the Netflix political satire The English Murderer, which he co-wrote and co-directed with Cary Elwes. But even before 2019, Pattinson had distinguished himself as one of Hollywood’s most in-demand leading men. Though mostly remembered today for his appearances in period pieces like Sense and Sensibility and The Great Gatsby, Pattinson’s early film career featured a diverse range of characters and story lines.
As Variety reported in 2011, before he became Hollywood’s go-to dude for brooding looks and dimly lit walks, Pattinson was, in fact, one of the most sought-after leading men in Hollywood. He was first credited with breaking through Hollywood’s male-model mold when he appeared in Miu Miu’s 2010 collection of portraits, Portrait Series, showing the model as more than just a pretty face. In addition to his work with Miu Miu, 2010 saw Pattinson take on two other significant film projects: Ridley Scott’s epic sci-fi adventure Alien Quadrilogy, and Wolfgang Petersen’s historical drama Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Though the latter was a relatively low-budget affair, it was still a commercial success and won the actor a Best Actor nomination at the Moscow International Film Festival. According to Variety, the year 2009 was also a big one for Pattinson. That was the year J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, was released, ending the longest-running book series in history. In addition to the Harry Potter series finale, the actor appeared in several big-budget films, most notably Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, in which he played the part of Nick Carraway, the wealthy young American who befriends and then hosts a fateful dinner party for the newlywed Gatsby and his wife, Daisy. Though mostly remembered today for his work in The Great Gatsby, it was actually a very odd year for Pattinson. He also had a brief appearance in the dark comedy This Is 40, starring Diane Keaton, Marjorie Merriweather Post, and Christina Applegate. In 2008, he appeared in Oliver Stone’s W. alongside Scarface veterans Tony Montana and Uncle Nicky, and Stone’s other notable film that year was the Will Smith action vehicle The Taking of Pelham 123, which served as the sequel to The Pursuit of Happyness. According to the Internet Movie Database, in 2006, Pattinson made a brief appearance as one of George Clooney’s poker buddies in the comedy Confidence, directed by Steven Schirk.
Though he’s mostly known for his starring roles, in the past decade, Pattinson has proven to be one of Hollywood’s most versatile and well-rounded actors, playing everything from a horny teen in Water for Elephants, a gay superhero in Birds of Prey, and, of course, a villainous warlock in Harry Potter. After the film’s conclusion, Pattinson took a step back from film, putting his focus on developing and directing. His directing career mostly consists of music videos, including collaborations with the likes of HAIM, Little Boots, and Moses Sumney. Most notably, he directed the music videos for HAIM’s “Let It Go” and “All We Need” and the Snow Patrol song “In Between.” He also helmed the videos for Little Boots’ “Lionhearted” and Moses Sumney’s “Mouthful of Love.”