There aren’t many couples as in love as Phoebe Bridgers and Robert Pattinson. The singer-songwriter wrote a poem about their whirlwind romance a few years ago that perfectly sums up their whirlwind courtship: ‘We met at a party/held at a house in the country/he played guitar/I played cello/We danced and talked till midnight/And then he invited me up to his room/I knocked on the door/He opened it wearing only a robe/and grabbed my wrist/pulled me inside/We made love until sunrise./He fell asleep cradled in my arms/I stayed there for a while/Then packed my things and left. ‘
The couple have been inseparable ever since. They have attended countless premieres and award ceremonies together, and have frequently been photographed holding hands (although their hands are most often intertwined with those of their publicists).
They have even collaborated on some songs, most notably the piano-driven ‘Black Velvet’ which Pattinson introduced at a recent concert in London. In a press release accompanying the show, he described their collaboration as ‘both unique and wonderful’. ‘When I play songs with Phoebe, we try and put our individual personalities into them, but it ends up being such a collective songwriting process,’ he said. ‘Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – but it’s always fresh.’
A Surprise Engagement
It wasn’t just their music that attracted fans to the pair. They also managed to captivate audiences with their stunning looks. Pattinson, who often collaborates with stylists on his fashion choices, has admitted that he regularly has to fight to keep up with his celebrity girlfriend. ‘I’ve been with her for so long that I don’t know how to act anymore,’ he said in 2015. ‘I have to remind myself that I’m with a human being and not just another f***ing celebrity.’
He is particularly known for playing with vintage pieces and classic menswear. Together, the two have been credited with reinventing the way certain trends such as ‘graphic tees’ are seen. When they have attended fashion events together, fans have taken the opportunity to take pictures with them. One such image, which was shared widely on social media platforms in the early 2010s, shows them standing side-by-side in a leopard print dress that clings to their figures in a highly-anticipated fashion collaboration. The image caused quite a stir among their followers.
Fans have often speculated about the couple’s future. When asked in an interview about whether or not they would get married one day, Pattinson responded that he and Bridgers ‘haven’t really talked about it’ and that ‘[w]e’ll see’.
In March 2019, the couple were among the many famous faces to attend the launch of the UK’s first-ever DesignSwan, which is a collaboration between Swarovski and Central St Martin’s College. The event was graced by the Duchess of Cornwall, and among the other famous attendees were Kate Moss, Lily Cole and Isabella Blow. Just a few weeks later, the designer invited the pair to attend the 2019 Met Gala in New York City as guests of honour.
A Creative Writing Career
Bridgers, 33, grew up in a literary family. Her grandfather, the late Donald McGill, was an award-winning author of both fiction and non-fiction, and her grandmother is the poet, writer and translator Kathleen Trevors. She attended Harvard University, where she studied English and Creative Writing. After graduating, she moved to New York City, where she lived for four years before heading back to her home in Los Angeles. On her return, she began putting her experiences and observations into song. She cites Kate Bush, Björk and PJ Harvey as her favourite singer-songwriters, and has described her music as ‘rock meets opera’.
In 2015, she released her debut album, Phoebe Bridgers, which entered the Top 10 in the UK album charts. The Los Angeles Times gave it a glowing review, praising it for being ‘[a] debut album that doesn’t feel like a debut album’ and calling it ‘an album that should’ve been made a long time ago’. The New York Times also gave it a rave review, hailing it as ‘fresh and unusual’, and noted that it ‘has the potential to radically expand the horizons of contemporary pop music.’ In the US, the album reached #12 on the Billboard Top Albums chart, as well as #6 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.
Bridgers released her second album, Stranger In Moscow, in May 2018. The BBC called it ‘a polished and intriguing pop album’, while The New York Times noted that it ‘builds on’ the ‘rock-opera’ influences of her debut.’ In September 2018, she signed a record deal with Universal Music’s imprint, One Little Indian, to release her third studio album. The first single, ‘Black Coffee’, was premiered by Zane Lowe on Beats 1, and marks her first venture into alternative music, with lyrics that address social issues. In addition to her solo work, Bridgers has collaborated with artists including Sia, Maren Morris and Halsey on songs for film and TV. She has also participated in charity singles and concerts, most notably for Women’s Aid and the Humane Society.
The Evolution Of A Romance
The couple first met on the set of the 2005 film, The Pianist. After filming had wrapped, the director approached them and asked if they’d like to have a drink together. According to Pattinson, they ended up spending the whole day together, and the following week he asked her out for coffee. It wasn’t long before the media had begun to speculate about whether or not the couple would get engaged, with some reports claiming that their blossoming romance was ‘the next big thing’.
Their love story, however, didn’t follow the conventional path. Instead of falling in love at first sight, they dated for two years before they worked out their first official date. They spent most of their time apart working on their art projects, travelling and engaging in public fora as a couple – including appearing on stage at the 2011 TEDGlobal conference in South Africa.
In a 2006 interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Pattinson discussed the couple’s work-ethic: ‘It’s great because we both have demanding schedules and equally precious chunks of time. So, one of us will plan a night out and the other will be like, “All right, I’ll get my things done and meet you there.” [Working together like this] is ideal because it stops all the bickering about who’s going to do what and when.’
Bridgers, for her part, has said that she sees their personal and professional lives as ‘one big project’, and has spoken about how she draws inspiration from their travels and their ‘incredible’ collaboration: ‘We love to explore different cultures and meet new people, so that definitely influences anything we do,’ she told Harper’s Bazaar in an interview in 2016. ‘But for sure, professionally we’re able to bring in a lot of different elements from our experience, and that’s what makes it exciting – not just for us, but for our fans and anyone that likes listening to interesting music.’
A Musical Dynasty
Their collaboration naturally led to them working together on songs. During an interview with the New York Times in 2006, Pattinson teased: ‘You’ll soon find out that my life is a lot more chaotic than it seems. I have a musical dynasty going on behind the scenes… There are so many different people that I’m working with that you wouldn’t normally class as singers, but they’re all contributing to the project in some way or another, and it’s an amazing team.’
He then went on to namecheck some of his collaborators: ‘We’re sort of like an all-star band, and everyone’s playing a part in making the music what it is. It’s not like we’re writing one song and having everyone else play their part. It’s more like we’re writing every song as a team and then having everyone get a song credit. So it’s a real team effort.’
The list of musicians, songwriters and engineers who have collaborated with the couple over the years is a veritable who’s who of contemporary music, including My Chemical Romance, Panic at the Disco, Weezer, Death From Above 1979, Hot Chip, HAIM, Passion Pit, DJ Set and more.