Last year, the British actor Robert Pattinson was named the best actor of the year at the 2009 Golden Globes, which is quite an accomplishment considering that he had a relatively small role in the film. But maybe we should have seen it coming. Pattinson has been a Hollywood star for a while now, having made his movie debut in the 2004 flick, Good Morning Vietnam, and then went on to appear in the Harry Potter film series as the charming and smelly Robert Potter. Since then, he’s starred in several big-budget Hollywood productions, like the Twilight Saga and the much-maligned Cosmo Trilogy.
So it was only a matter of time before he ended up on the Oscar stage. And last month, the English actor was officially recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for his excellent achievement. Pattinson will walk the red carpet for the 84th annual Academy Awards on February 26, so let’s take a look back at his remarkable journey to acclaim.
A Star On The Rise
Pattinson’s breakout role was in the 2004 film, Good Morning Vietnam, where he played a young reporter who falls in love with a Vietnamese woman and has to make some quick decisions about his romantic future. The actor had previously appeared in a couple of British TV shows, but this was his first starring role in a Hollywood production, and it quickly became a cult classic amongst fans of the genre. The movie was praised for its subtle portrayal of the complexities of the Vietnamese culture, and it also helped bring Pattinson’s international fame to the fore. He followed up this success with a starring role in the 2007 romantic comedy, The Last Airbender, and then went on to play the tragic hero in 2009’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
Although the Twilight Saga was a critical and commercial failure, it did result in a surge of popularity for the actor, and he’s been a popular leading man ever since. Pattinson’s performance as Edward Cullen, the brooding and charming vampire, was hailed as one of the best acting debuts of the 21st century. The actor was also named the sexiest man of the 21st century in a FHM readers’ poll in 2017, and in 2019, he became the first man to appear on the magazine’s cover twice.
And this year, at the age of 28, he’ll be appearing in a whole host of new movies either in the starring role or in a lead supporting role. Notable upcoming projects include the romantic comedy, Good Luck Chuck, which will be released on December 11, and the biographical drama, The Souppes, which will be released on December 18. Most excitingly, Robert will star as the title character in the upcoming 2020 movie, The Lost Boy, based on the novels of William Golding. This will be a return to form for the actor, who hasn’t really starred in a lot of character roles since 2011’s The Tourist. But now that he’s at the top of his game, it’s clear that he’s going to be portraying some famous Englishmen in the near future.
Pattinson’s star rose quickly, and soon enough, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as a paraplegic tennis player in the 2008 movie, Wuthering Heights. The movie is based on the 1847 Emily Brontë novel of the same name, and tells the story of a love triangle that develops when the two principals are pitted against each other in a game of cat and mouse. But it wasn’t just Hollywood that noticed. In 2008, Pattinson was also named the second-most fashionable man of the year by British fashion magazine, GQ.
Pattinson played a gay jazz musician in the 2015 romantic comedy, Never Been Kissed, and reprised this role in the 2017 sequel, Kissing Fish. The film, which is now streaming on Netflix, is told from the point of view of a couple on their second date, who meet at the zoo and realize that they’re both pretending to be someone else. Pattinson’s performance as a closeted gay man who is trying to hide his sexuality was hailed as one of the best acting debuts of the 21st century.
Pattinson is now one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood, with five Oscar nominations under his belt, including Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a paraplegic in the 2008 feature, Wuthering Heights. And with the recognition that comes with this level of success, it was only a matter of time before he started picking up more awards. In 2019, at the age of 29, he won the prestigious Rising Star Award at the National Television Awards for his role as Prince Patrick in the BBC sitcom, The Royal. If that wasn’t enough, in 2020 he will star in the upcoming movie, Outlaw King, based on the memoirs of British activist and writer, Naomi Wolf, when she was still a teenager. Wolf describes the story of how she shot a man in self-defense when he tried to rape her, then went on to fight for women’s rights in 1960s America.
Pattinson’s performance as a paraplegic tennis player in the 2008 movie, Wuthering Heights, has serious Oscar potential. The film currently has 96% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, and although it’s a bit crude and very British at times, it’s an accessible and realistic portrayal of love, loss, and mental illness. Wuthering Heights was also cited as one of the best British films of all time by Empire, so it’s clear that the Academy is aware of how influential British films can be. And with that kind of critical and commercial success, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Pattinson ends up on the stage for the 84th annual Academy Awards.
Speaking of surprises, it was actually the supporting actress category that ended up being a total shocker. Not only did Naomi Watts win, but she also became only the second person ever to win in this category without being named in the lead role. Watts’ win was all the more surprising because she played a single mother who discovers her child has special abilities in the drama, Mother. But perhaps the most shocking part of this year’s Academy Awards was how little screen time Watts got compared to her co-star, Marc Marquez, who was named Best Actor for playing the role of a father coping with his son’s autism in the movie, Can You Feel Anything When I Touch You? The two were practically never on screen together, but Marquez’s charisma and charm were evident in every scene they were in together. Even those who haven’t seen the movie say that Marquez is simply incredible and it’s easy to understand why he racked up a whole host of nominations and wins last year.
The Future Of The English Actor
After a decade in the business, it’s clear that Robert Pattinson has achieved exactly what he set out to do. Not only did he make his mark in Hollywood, but he’s also managed to gain the respect of the Academy and the public alike. And now that he’s a multi-awarded movie star, what will he be doing to further his career in the near future? As a man of moderate wealth, Pattinson can afford the luxury of choosing his roles and the projects on which he works. And with five Oscars under his belt, it’s clear that he’s a man who values both his reputation and his bank account. So it would appear that Pattinson is well positioned to continue making an impact on screen. In the next few years, we can expect to see a lot more of Robert Pattinson. And given his international appeal and fan base, it’s clear that Englishmen and women alike will be seeing a whole lot more of him.