While it’s always fun to speculate about the upcoming Oscar nominations, it’s more interesting to wonder who will actually walk away with the golden statue from next year’s Academy Awards. Sure, big-name stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt seem like sure things, but who else could surprise us?

One man who is frequently overlooked in the conversation about Academy Award winners is Edward Pattinson, a former child star whose career almost imploded after he fell prey to a scammer who pretended to be his manager. Since the incident, Pattinson has kept a relatively low profile. But thanks to a new film called The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain, we can see a different side to this intriguing actor. Let’s take a look at the details of Pattinson’s fascinating life before diving into the details of the film.

Childhood And Start Of Career

Edward Pattinson was born on July 29, 1968, in New York City. His mother, Barbara, is an actress, and his father, Stephen, is an Englishman who worked as a television producer in the U.S. After moving to London when he was three years old, he began attending Eton College, where he majored in English literature. He then went on to the University of Oxford, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English history in 1991. At Oxford, he met future Wife number one, Victoria Beckham, who was then Victoria Adams.

While at Oxford, Pattinson appeared in several plays, including the legendary Alan Ayckbourn’s Absence, which was performed twice and was later turned into a movie. After graduating from Oxford, Pattinson decided to pursue a career in television. He began by assisting an advertisement agency on a campaign for Absolut Vodka, and then landed a role in the comedy series Oh So Happy (1995) starring John Cleese and Terry Jones. The following year, he played the teenage son of Walter Matthau and Claire Bloom in the Coen brothers movie The Limonadverse (1996), which also starred Matthau and Bloom. In 1998, Pattinson landed the role of Mark Darcy in the historical romance television series Bridget Jones’s Diary, based on the bestselling novels by Helen Fielding. In 2000, he played the title role in the Merchant Ivory adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, a performance for which he received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

In 2002, Pattinson married stylist Victoria Beckham. The couple has three children. Shortly after, he moved to Ireland to film The Tiger And The Dragon, which was released in 2005. While shooting the movie in Thailand, he decided to temporarily put his acting career on hold to spend more time with his family. After The Tiger And The Dragon, he and Victoria returned to London and began work on her cookbook, Becking World. In 2006, he played the teenage son of Walter Matthau and Barbara Hutton in the comedy Mrs. Parker and the Parkers. That same year, he also starred in the comedy series Mr. Bean: The Animated Series, based on the popular British comedy series. In 2007, he played the role of John Dee in the historical thriller The Devil’s Tomb. In 2009, he appeared in the crime drama series The Borgias, and in 2010, he appeared in the comedy The Boat That Rocked, based on the song of the same name. In 2011, he played Basil Rathbone in the adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Nile. In 2012, he appeared in the comedy Extras and in 2013, he was seen in the comedy Our Selves.

Dangerous Scams And Life-Threatening Illness

As mentioned, Edward Pattinson’s Hollywood career almost came to a halt after he fell prey to a scammer who posed as his manager. The actor was contacted by a woman named Danielle Chiesi, who claimed to be acting on behalf of a man named Guy Chambers. According to Chiesi, Chambers had seen a news article about Pattinson and wanted to meet the talented actor. But instead of meeting with the personable young man, Chambers was confronted with a con artist who looked exactly like him.

During their “meeting,” which took place in an expensive hotel in Central London, they began a conversation in which the con artist convinced the actor to hand over his entire fortune, claiming that he was going to produce a film that would make him famous. When he asked how much money she needed to secure his investment, she told him there was no way he would get his money back, and that he would need to find the money somewhere else. She then proceeded to ask for a £20,000 (“Twenty Thousand Pounds”) deposit, which the actor happily paid. A couple of weeks later, he received a call from Chiesi, who told him that his money had been used to secure filming dates in Bulgaria and Romania.

As it turned out, there was no film called Lazarus, and Chambers never produced any legitimate movie or television projects. Nevertheless, the con artist managed to dupe the actor into wiring money via Western Union to a dummy account in the Caribbean. When confronted by the police, Chambers was unable to provide any evidence that he was in fact the producer of supposed movie Lazarus. But he did have a copy of a “management contract,” which he’d signed in Vanuatu (a fictional country in the South Pacific), claiming that he’d been kidnapped by pirates and forced to sign the contract.

Chambers was sentenced to four years in prison, suspended for two years. During that time, he had to repay £135,900 to Pattinson.

This was by no means the first time that something like this had happened to Edward. He’d already been involved in scams in the past, defrauding unsuspecting friends of his with a “get rich quick” scheme. But this proved to be his biggest mistake, professionally speaking.

The actor learned his lesson and distanced himself from the limelight. He and Victoria had to put their lavish spending habits on hold and filed for bankruptcy. To make matters worse, his medical exam revealed that he was at risk of heart disease. Soon after, he decided to take a sabbatical from acting to focus on his health. While on sabbatical, he worked as a security guard and an office assistant. In 2014, he publicly apologized to Victoria for his part in the scam, which had derailed their marriage for a time.

The Revival Of Edward Pattinson

Thankfully, Edward Pattinson’s health seems to have improved since his medical scare. In 2015, he was finally able to get back to work, appearing in the comedy series Vinyl. But it wasn’t until recently that the British public got a glimpse of the full extent of this dramatic reversal. In the fall of 2016, a film named The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain began screening in British theatres, and a few days ago, it was announced that Variety would be releasing the film in the United States. The film is based on the true story of how Edward avoided bankruptcy and managed to resurrect his acting career after falling prey to a scammer.

Director David Leisure has stated that he was inspired to create the film after becoming obsessed with the Edward Pattinson story and determined to do justice to it by weaving it into a compelling narrative. The film takes its inspiration from the classic English ghost story, “A Warning To Young Men,” in which a young man is plagued by strange visions and finds himself unable to enjoy his youth. The film version updates the setting to the early 2000s, and centers on the character of Edward, who is played by Irish actor Colm Meaney.

Meaney, who hails from Dublin, had initially signed on to play the role of Spiderman in the latest Marvel movie and then had to drop out at the last minute because of a scheduling conflict. Fortunately, the producers saw fit to cast another actor in his place, and Meaney ended up playing the role of the young Edward. While Meaney does an excellent job as usual in his role as Edward, the highlight of the film is undoubtedly Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the Devil — yes, the Devil — as an old, white, Englishman named Alan Turing.