This article was published in the October 2017 issue of GQ. Subscribe here for more amazing stories about men and style.
The last time we heard from Robert Pattinson was at the London premiere of the upcoming film Midnight Special. Amidst thundering applause, a grinning Pattinson waved to the crowd onscreen as his wife, Winona, gave a speech about his courage and perseverance.
Since then, he’s kept a low profile. Apart from some brief appearances at premieres and award shows, the 30-year-old actor has largely stayed away from the limelight. Which is a bit odd, because he’s one of the most in-demand men in Hollywood right now. Over the past six months, he’s appeared in four films – three of which are directed by his wife. And not only is he working with her, but he’s also playing a supporting role in her next movie, Twilight.
To mark this momentous occasion, we decided to revisit our 2012 feature on him. In it, we spoke to Pattinson about his fashion choices and misconceptions about fame and money. Two years later, he’s evolved quite a bit. Now aged 30, he’s still not content with being the best-dressed guy in the room. Instead, he aspires to be the best version of himself – an improvement on his 20s and early 30s, when he was often seen partying with Hollywood’s elite.
How Does Fashion Fit In?”Fashion” is a bit of a broad term, but it can be used to describe how I dress, what I wear. If I’ve got something in my closet that doesn’t work, I’ll get rid of it and buy something new that does. For example, when I was younger, I used to wear a lot of black. When I was in a relationship with Charlize Theron, I would wear white a lot. So when I met my wife, Winona, we decided to combine the two. I wear a lot of white now. Fashion is also about expressing yourself through what you wear and feeling comfortable in your own skin. It’s about having fun with what you wear and not being afraid to try something new. You never know what will become popular and you don’t want to be left behind. That’s what’s exciting about fashion.
Why Is Style Important To You?”Style” is important to me because it’s unique to each individual. Everyone has their own style, whether they like to express it or not. I don’t wear the same style as someone else. Everyone’s style is different and that’s what makes it special. Having a style also means that you don’t have to follow the trends. You can just be yourself and express your personality through your clothes. That’s what I like most about style – it doesn’t follow the trends, it sets them.
Who Is Your Fashion Hero?”My fashion hero is definitely Tom Ford. Not only is he a great designer, but he’s also extremely talented at knowing how to dress people. He dresses men and women in a way that is effortless and stylish at the same time. If I could be like him, that would be amazing. I have so much respect for designers like him who can make anyone look and feel great. There are also a lot of other designers who I admire, like Dior and Prada. They always put a great fashion spin on everyday objects, like jeans and blazers. It’s not just about clothes – it’s about making a statement and being unique and creative.
What Is The Most Stylish Thing You’ve Ever Dressed?”The most stylish thing I’ve ever dressed is definitely my Tom Ford suit. It was made out of a beautiful maroon silk textile with a white pattern on it. I wore it in the 2008 movie The Runaway Jury and I received a lot of compliments on it. That was a special moment because I remember being really happy with how I looked in that suit. It was a complete contrast to how I looked in my last movie, which was The Rum Diary. That was a really funny movie to film – it was very dark and intense. I felt like a very different person in that suit! – The most stylish thing I’ve ever dressed is definitely the Tom Ford suit I wore in The Runaway Jury.”
Despite his success, Pattinson still has a lot to learn about life in the public eye. As he points out in our GQ interview, people will often ask him questions about his private life, rather than his work. Which is understandable – it’s hard to find something newsworthy when you’ve already been in the headlines for a while because of your hectic social life. Just last year, his one-night stands with Megan Park and Charlotte Riley were splashed across tabloid newspapers across the world. Although he’s been dating English model and actress Emily Brown for more than a year, the couple rarely makes their relationship or his work public.
How Does Your Private Life Compare To Your Work Life?”Even though my work and private life are two different things, there is a connection. You learn a lot from your private life, even if it’s just in terms of being more thoughtful and aware of the people around you. Everyone has a private life, even those famous people we admire so much, like Tom Ford and Leonardo DiCaprio. So I guess that makes me more normal! I remember a time when I didn’t care about any of this – it was when I first got into acting, back in university. There was no focus in that area of my life, other than my studies. I would often skip classes and go to the pub next to study, rather than go home and do my homework. Acting was everything to me back then – it was my identity and my passion. Now that I’ve found a way to combine my study with my creative side, I feel a lot happier and more fulfilled. It’s changed my life for the better. And it makes for a more interesting story when you combine my work and private life – it makes it more relatable for people. It’s not like I’m always sitting at home, bored, wishing I was at work. It’s a mixture of the two, which I think makes it more interesting and complex. People relate to that. They want to know about my personal life, but they also want to know about my work life. I think that’s why I’ve been able to draw such a great audience in my videos. I’m not sure if people just want to be friends with an attractive man, or if they want to know more about my stories and my adventures. It’s a bit of both, I guess. A little mystery never hurt anyone – it can certainly make for more interesting conversation. It also makes for better television.”
How Have You Changed Since Your Early Years?”Since my early years, I’ve definitely changed a lot. Back then, I was very, very shy and would often keep my body language very closed off. I was hiding a lot and never really comfortable in my own company. Since meeting and getting to know my wife, I’ve opened up a lot more and become a lot more comfortable in my own company. I’ve also become a bit more of a family man. Back then, I would regularly film projects in the summer, as well as study for my A levels. These days, my wife and I are very hands on with our child, Ever, who is now two. We want to be there for each other and be a good role model for her. We enjoy spending time with her and playing with whatever toys she has in her room. It’s important to us that she knows her grandparents love and support her and that we’re here for her whenever she needs us.
Pattinson’s style has also evolved over the years. Back in 2011, we wrote an article about him and labeled him a male version of Megan Fox. Since then, he’s added a few extra pounds and grown his beard, which he says he “didn’t know whether to grow or shave off.” That was probably one of the best decisions he ever made, as it makes him look a lot more mature and powerful.
At the same time, he’s kept a few of his trademark habits. Like when he’s wearing a hat. “I always wear a hat. No matter what the climate, I’ll always wear a hat,” he told us. “It’s just one of those things that I do. It could be a beanie, a cowboy hat, or a ball cap. Anything that covers my ears and keeps the sun off is fine by me!”