Robert Pattinson is one of the most popular actors of his generation. He first came to prominence playing the lead in the Twilight film series. Since then he has appeared in a number of films and been regularly featured on the covers of magazines.

The British-born actor attended Oxford University where he studied French literature and philosophy. After graduating he enrolled in drama school in London. It was while studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art that he first came to prominence. His performances in various plays led to him being nominated for a Clarence Derwent Award. He was also selected to represent Britain in the 2011 International Playwright’s Festival in Malta. Pattinson is also popular in Asia, particularly in Japan where he has a large fan base. In 2013 he released the album, Waves, which comprised mostly of Japanese melodies. It reached number two on the Japan album charts and was certified double platinum.

2013: The Year of the Wolf

Pattinson made headlines in 2013 for his mysterious marriage to actress and singer FKA Twigs. The pair announced their engagement in October 2012 and tied the knot two months later. The wedding was attended by 300 guests including some of the leading figures from the music industry. A year later, in October 2013, the pair welcomed their first child, a baby boy.

Pattinson’s previous relationships included short-lived unions with model Stella Maxwell and ballet dancer Emma Bunting. He had previously dated actress Emily Brown for two years before their on-off relationship resumed. A year after they broke up, the 32-year-old actor began dating singer/songwriter Stormie Kirkpatrick. The pair had previously collaborated on Kirkpatrick’s track Sit Down, which was featured on his 2010 album, The Letter. The two were an item until April 2013 when they called it a day.

Pattinson has faced the scrutiny of the press throughout his career. His private life has been the subject of intense interest, with journalists often keen to dig up dirt on the Hollywood actor. His dating history has been splashed across the front pages of tabloid papers, and it wasn’t long before the paparazzi were camped outside of his house. In the past, Pattinson has generally shied away from the limelight, but in 2013 he embraced the attention, often sporting elaborate hairdos and colourful outfits to match.

Love, lust and loneliness

Pattinson was originally slated to play the titular character in the 2013 film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. The part was eventually handed to Charlie Hunnam after it emerged that original actor Charlie Cox withdrew from the project due to scheduling conflicts. Hunnam’s first appearance as Christian Grey was met with critical acclaim and he went on to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

While promoting his role in Foxcatcher, which also won him an award, Hunnam was quizzed about his co-star, stating: “It’s an honour to work with Robert [Pattinson]. He’s such an incredible actor who’s gone on to do such wonderful things.” He continued, “It kind of goes without saying, but he’s amazing. He’s a great guy. We got on famously right away. He’s very, very professional, but also very, very funny.”

Despite his blossoming movie career, Pattinson continued to find time for his music. He teamed up with producer Mike Will Made-It for the 14-track album, Twenty Two, which featured guests including Drake, 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne. The album was released on 7″ vinyl and included two songs that would later appear on the soundtrack to Fifty Shades of Grey. The producer behind one of the songs, Steve Aoki, went on to dub the album the “Steve Aoki album”.

In terms of solo work, Pattinson recorded an album’s worth of material for his 2012 EP, Wristlet. It comprised mainly of cover versions of indie songs with one or two original compositions. The EP was inspired by Pattinson’s love for the American singer-songwriter Jack White. It was named after White’s side project, the White Stripes. Pattinson has also cited the Arctic Monkeys as an influence.

A more mature look

In the past, Pattinson has mainly worked with film composers on his movie scores. However, for his upcoming movie, Water for Sale, he decided to collaborate more closely with emerging songwriters and producers. The 22-year-old actor worked with singer/songwriters such as Phoenician’s Kenrick Dixon and Richard Young on the soundtrack. He even went on to write and produce two of the songs on the album. Water for Sale is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Geraldine McCaughrean. The story centres on a group of orphans who must work together to save their home from being bulldozed by a developer.

Pattinson has also taken on a more mature look in recent years, often seen in magazines and on red carpets. During an interview with GQ magazine in 2012 he spoke about the evolution of his image: “Before, I was just trying to be cute; even in my early 20s, I’d always go to bed with a baby-face pillow. But the more I learned about the craft, the more I realised there was so much more to it. I wanted to play a part where I wasn’t just showing the world my cute side. I wanted to be showing a more cinematic, dramatic side to it.”

Pattinson’s foray into songwriting and producing has also seen him branch out of performing solo. In 2012 he played live with a band, and the following year he released a self-produced five-track EP, One for You, One for Me. He then went on to play a series of live shows with his full band, including a sell-out show at London’s historic Roundhouse. Most recently, he has been performing songs from the album Waves with a 15-piece live band.

In addition to his many accolades, Pattinson has also been nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award, a St Louis Walk of Fame Award and was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! In 2013 he was also made a chevalier of the French order of arts and letters. The list of recognitions goes on.

With a body of work that spans several decades, it’s fair to say that Robert Pattinson is one of the most accomplished and admired actors of his generation. In 2013 he continued to prove why he’s considered one of the greatest acting talents of his generation with an extraordinary performance in the dark and gritty crime drama, The Lost Honour of Christopher Talland. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the movie is based on the real-life saga of English aristocrat and art collector Christopher Talland who was murdered in 1920. The film also won Best Film at the International Venice Film Festival, where it was introduced by Scorsese.

An unpredictable 2014

Pattinson’s publicist confirmed that the actor would not be participating in any interviews or photo sessions in the run-up to the premier of The Lost Honour of Christopher Talland. However, the press officer did offer this tantalising nugget of information: “Rumour has it that the next interview subject will be none other than the enigmatic Mr Robert Pattinson.” The enigmatic Mr Pattinson was indeed the subject of several news stories in the months leading up to the movie’s release.

In November 2013 it was announced that Stephen Hawking had written a new preface that would be included in an 80th anniversary edition of A Brief History of Time. In it he praised the British-born actor for his portrayal of scientist Albert Einstein in The Theory of Everything. Hawking, one of the most distinguished scientists of the 20th century, said that he was “distressed that Hollywood seems not to have recognised [Pattinson’s] talents as an actor”.

Pattinson’s next big screen project is The Great Gatsby, opposite Australian actor and singer Benicio del Águila. The picture marks the English-born del Águila’s debut in a Hollywood production and it reunites him with director Baz Luhrmann who gave him his big break in 2013’s Great Gatsby. The film is based on the classic 1925 novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story follows Nick Carraway, who is returning home to New York City after the death of his wealthy relative, Jay Gatsby. Upon arriving he is keen to help the poor and forgotten inhabitants of the city, particularly his old friend, Daisy Buchanan. The Great Gatsby opens in UK cinemas on 13th January 2014.