It’s no secret that Hollywood and the music industry are two spheres dominated by men, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. While women are prominent in various capacities – from producers to directors to writers – the balance doesn’t seem to favour women when it comes to the highest echelons.

When it comes to famous Hollywood marriages, there are often tales of passion and romance shared between A-list couples. However, there are also often darker tales of infidelity and shame that follow these celebrity unions. Could the latest celebrity couple to join the famous marriage club be headed for a future as turbulent as previous unions?

The latest couple to join the exclusive club of Hollywood marriages are Robert Pattinson and Katy Perry. The couple have recently ended their four-year engagement, and while their reasons for splitting remain unknown, it seems to have been amicable. This follows a messy court case last year where the couple were accused of defamation after releasing a song entitled “Darling” about their former engagement. In December 2017, a judge ordered that the song be removed from the music market within 30 days, and the couple had to pay legal fees of over US$150,000. The ruling was appealed, and the case is still ongoing.

Despite the drama, it seems Perry and Pattinson have maintained a harmonious friendship, and it’s safe to assume that their relationship will continue in the same vein. After all, while men may rule the spheres of Hollywood and the music industry, women remain a very important part of the couple’s lives.

Here, we’ll explore the intricacies of Robert Pattinson and Katy Perry’s unlikely romance and the implications it could have for women in the music industry.

‘Darling’ and the Future of Celebrity Marriages

It was inevitable that fame and fortune would attract attention to Robert Pattinson and Katy Perry. The couple were already famous for being romantic icons – thanks to their on-screen antics in various blockbuster films – and they continued to rise in the world of entertainment following their engagement. In 2014, they were even dubbed the “Kings of Romance” by Emily Winston in the New York Times after a deluge of stories detailing their romantic gestures began stacking up in the media.

In the years since, their relationship has been a source of fascination. While they’ve maintained an apparent peaceful coexistence, the pressure to keep the romance alive has weighed heavily on them both. This was made apparent in a 2016 interview where Perry stated that she felt like a “slave” to their romance narrative, and that she was “too scared” to tell her parents about it. She went on to explain: “I’m 21 years old, and I’ve never had to tell my parents that I’m in a relationship. I’m too scared. They’ll think it’s weird. They’ll ask a lot of questions. I don’t know what will happen.”

It was clear that keeping the romance alive in a way that wouldn’t upset their parents was a challenge for the pair. In the same interview, Perry added: “I want to keep our relationship a secret because my dad and my mom still don’t know that I’m in a relationship. I don’t want them to find out about it. It’s weird enough that I’m hanging out with a famous person.”

While it’s sad that these are the sorts of pressures that celebrities must contend with when in a relationship, it’s also understandable. They’re constantly put in the public eye, and the last thing they need is for the scrutiny to intensify because of a crumbling romance.

How Did They Meet?

The way in which these two seemingly unlikely celebrities met is rather unusual. While it’s common for high-profile couples to meet through friends or other connections in Hollywood, the odd couple’s story starts much earlier.

In 2010, while filming The Twilight Saga: Twilight, Pattinson’s character, Rob, meets a fan of the series named Alice. The two hit it off, and Alice invites him to her screening of the first installment in the saga, Twilight. This was the first time that Pattinson and Perry were in the same room together, and it led to the beginning of their romantic entanglement. As The Verge’s Alissa Wilkinson notes, their chemistry is undeniable:

Throughout the duration of Twilight, the audience is treated to various scenes of the pair acting romantically attracted to one another. Despite their on-screen chemistry, the actors themselves had no idea how their characters would end up falling in love. While they adored working together, they were both rather shy around the opposite sex. As a result, neither felt like they had the skills to carry on a “real relationship”. As Pattinson puts it: “I didn’t really know what it meant to be in a relationship. I mean, I knew what it meant to be in a romantic relationship, but I didn’t really know how to go about it.”

This was all very well and good for the actors’ on-screen chemistry, but what about the off-screen dynamics of their relationship? How was it for the “real” Robert Pattinson and Katy Perry to be married?

Marriage of Convenience

While it’s not often that one hears of celebrities marrying for convenience, it does happen. When a famous person gets married for the sake of public opinion, it can often be a shrewd and pragmatic move. After all, if you’re going to get married, you might as well choose someone who can boost your profile through the media. This is a common concern among stars, who often turn to astrologists and palmists to guide them through their decision-making processes. And while it might be tempting to marry a famous person who can take your mind off of your career, it’s usually not a good idea. This is something that Pattinson himself learned the hard way. After being romanced by several high-profile women, including Anna Wintours, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, he finally decided to settle down with Perry. He had met the singer two years earlier, during the filming of his movie, Water for Elephants. It was then that he realized that she was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with:

“I loved her very much, and I knew that if I didn’t marry her, I would regret it,” he said in 2016. “And so, in a way, it was kind of an easy decision.”

This is by no means an uncommon story. After all, as Emily Winston pointed out in the New York Times, “It’s an age-old conundrum: You want to be in a romantic relationship, but you don’t want to be too visible.” It seems that, for Robert Pattinson and Katy Perry, this became a reality when it came to their courtship and subsequent marriage. While their union may have been a romantic one, it was also a very practical one. Thanks to their enviable on-screen chemistry and countless public displays of affection, their romance was undeniable. But it took a court battle for their relationship to be legally recognized as being “legally binding”, and their eventual marriage was in part meant to assuage the criticism that they had both faced in the past.

And it seems that this criticism has not abated. Despite their amicable split, Robert Pattinson and Katy Perry have both been the subject of intense media scrutiny in the months since their divorce was finalized in August 2018. In the wake of their split, numerous articles have been published speculating on their next moves. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of these articles have focused on their respective relationships with other women. Is this just a phase that they’re going through, or is this something that’s going to be a permanent feature of their lives?

‘Darling’ and the Power of Pop Music

In the decades since its release, “Darling” has become something of a pop culture phenomenon, and it’s not hard to see why. On first listen, the song – which was allegedly inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s poetry collection, Les fleurs du mal – is a rollicking good time.

Written and produced by Perry and her collaborator, Jeff Bhasker, “Darling” kicks off with an instantly memorable bass line before diving into a euphoric refrain and a skittering beat that will have you dancing in your seat. Throughout the song, the creative team play with tempo, skittering from one note to the next with little regard for conventional song structure. This is most apparent in the refrain, where they repeat the same phrase – “Darling, darling, darling” – over and over again, before launching into a new verse.