The month of November always marks a turning point in the year. As the summer draws to an end and the weather turns cooler, we are reminded that another 12 months have passed. Life in general may seem dull, yet there is always one occasion or event that marks the passing of the year.
One of the biggest celebrity birthdays this month is that of Robert Pattinson. The 27-year-old British actor turned director celebrates his birthday on November 11th. He is best known for his role in the Twilight series as vampire Edward Cullen. In addition to his acting career, Pattinson has established himself as a powerful director and is currently in post-production on his first feature film, Prisoners.
Birthday Honours For Robert Pattinson
Pattinson was born in New Barnet, North London, on November 11th, 1986. He is the eldest of three children of artist Wendy Leigh and film producer Stephen Pattinson. He grew up in a large family home with his maternal grandparents. It was here that he developed an interest in acting, starring in school plays and participating in amateur dramatics groups. His grandfather, Andrew MacLeman, was an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer, and his uncles, Jeremy and Luke, are both screenwriters. As such, acting was in his blood, as he is the great-grandson of Sir Alan Leman, an English actor and director, and the nephew of Sir Richard Leman, also an actor.
Pattinson attended the prestigious London School of Economics and then went on to study economics and journalism at the University of Edinburgh. He was awarded his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2009 and subsequently completed an MA in economics in 2013. He also holds a black belt in taekwondo, having been taught by Olympic gold medallist Chris Morgan.
Pattinson is not the only famous name on this year’s honours list, as it also includes Stephen Fry, who turned 90 this year and was recognised for his services to literature. Fry’s fans will have plenty to celebrate as he was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Pattinson’s Professional Career
Pattinson first came to public attention as a result of his role as Edward in the Twilight series. The first film in the franchise, Twilight, was released in 2008. He followed this up with a leading role in the action thriller, The Rover, in 2010. Further films in the series include New Moon (2009), Eclipse (2011) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014). In addition to acting, Pattinson has established himself as a director, with his debut documentary, Pattinson, about his family and their artistic legacy, premiering at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2015.
In early December, he will be in Atlanta at the American Film Institute’s (AFI) 2015 AFI Fest, where he will be presenting a panel about the Twilight franchise. At the event, he is expected to be presented with an icon award by AFI.
Pattinson’s Personal Life
Pattinson is famously private and has rarely given interviews about his personal life. His relationship with film director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, whom he has known since she made her debut in Babel, is one of the few exceptions. They have a son named Santiago who was born in July 2015, and have been together since 2014. In fact, they have said that they intend to raise their child with an open, honest and direct approach.
There has been some speculation that Pattinson is engaged. He has been photographed with multiple women, including Twilight co-star Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, whom he met while filming the first movie in the franchise. However, he has always been tight-lipped about his private life and has never confirmed or denied these suggestions. One of the few times he gave an interview about his personal life was in 2010, when he spoke to the UK tabloid newspaper, The Sun, about his two closest friends: “I have very, very strong friendships with both of them. They’re both amazing friends and brilliant actors. I’ve known them both for a while and we just get on so well. I think the fact that we’re all high-profile friends must make for some interesting situations. We joke about it now, but it’s very true. If one of us is in town, the other will definitely pop up to say hello.”
What is known is that he is a keen supporter of various animal charities. In addition to being signed up to a dog walking service, Pattinson has also been photographed with animals in films, including Midnight in Paris and The Rover. He has also been spotted at various animal-related events, including the premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. He is an advocate of vegans and animal rights groups, including PETA and the Green Cross Line, and has been an ambassador for the Happy Meat campaign, which encourages people to consider their food choice. He has even invested in vegan food products, including the Beyond burger and the Impossible Burger. In 2015, he purchased the whole of Bristol Zoo, adding to his extensive collection of exotic-animal sculptures.
Pattinson’s Career In Taekwondo
Despite his fondness for animals, it is his other passion, which he has dedicated a significant amount of his time to, that truly makes him an animal lover. It began when he was six years old and he was taken to a dance class by his mother. He fell in love with taekwondo, a form of martial arts, and has been a practicing member of the International Taekwondo Federation since he was 15 years old. He has competed in events across Europe, winning numerous gold medals, and represented Great Britain in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. He was even the face of a brand new sport when, in 2012, the ITF created a new sport, combat dance, which he helped to design.
In 2014, he launched a kickboxing school in London, named The London Institute Of Martial Arts, which provides children with an opportunity to learn the various forms of martial arts from an international perspective. There is also a scholarship available for high-achieving students, who may be able to further their studies at the London school. In October 2014, he became an instructor at the Las Vegas Institute Of Martial Arts. He was also given an honorary Black Belt in recognition of his contribution to the sport. In September 2015, he was awarded the Dan Cup for his services to taekwondo, joining an exclusive club of five other honorary black belts in the sport. In October 2015, he was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame for his achievements in the sport.
The Queen’s Birthday Honours List
The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2015 was announced in May 2015, and it included a handful of famous names, including Stephen Fry, Robert Pattinson, Léona Clewett, Michael J. Fox and Emma Thompson. The list also included an OBE for film producer Nigel Wooller and CBEs for actors Roger Allam, John Bowcliffe, Colin Firth, Timothy Dalton and Donald Sutherland. Wooller produced the films The Queen’s Sister and The Lost Honour of King Arthur, while Firth and Allam starred in both of those films. The Lost Honour of King Arthur, also starring Dalton, was named Best Film at the 2014 BAFTAs.
The 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List was announced on May 18, 2015, and in it, there were several surprises, including two CBEs for previously unrecognized services to literature. Sir Salman Rushdie received a CBE for his much-acclaimed novel, The Satanic Verses, and Ian Rankin, the creator of the Edinburgh-set detective series, the Inspector Rebus, was awarded a CBE for his services to literature. (Rushdie later joked that he was ‘deeply honoured’ by the award, while Rankin expressed delight at being included on a list dominated by works of fiction.)
The 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List also saw the inclusion of several high-profile actors, including Timothy Dalton and John Bowcliffe, both of whom have a connection to the UK Film Industry Academy, where the annual BAFTA TV Awards are held. The list included a BAFTA for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Michael Sheen in the popular comedy series, The Hunt, which he shared with comedian Mark Addy. (Sheen plays the part of the eponymous anti-hero, a dog hunter who sets out to protect his daughter from a group of teenage eco-terrorists.)