Remember when we were kids and used to daydream about being the hero of our own story? We’d stand on the shoulders of giants, overcome villainous odds, and save the day. Or at least that’s what the movies would have us believe. For years, Hollywood has churned out stories where the male protagonist triumphs over challenges and obstacles by the sheer power of his innate goodness—and then, poof, he’s off to save the day and win the girl.

What if we could harness that same storytelling magic and create something more realistic? What if the story weaved together in our heads as children could become our reality? With Robert Pattinson’s BATCYCLE, we get to see the story of a real-life superhero unfold right before our eyes. It’s the incredible tale of a daring rescue operation that saw Pattinson’s real-life heroics play out on the big screen and how he eventually parlayed that initial success into a worldwide fame that exceeds even that of his Twilight co-star. We could write an entire book about this incredible tale. So let’s dive in.

The Making of a Real-life Superhero

If you’ve been following the celebrity news cycle for the past few years you’ll know that Robert Pattinson has been in the headlines pretty frequently, mostly for his romantic relationships with various famous women (and one infamous pig). But behind the scenes the actor has been working hard to create something special. In 2017, Pattinson’s hard work paid off when the 25-year-old Briton became an overnight celebrity after he single-handedly rescued a woman named Eilish McQueen from a burning car. The Hollywood heavyweight then went on to complete an incredible physical transformation, donning a new look that has seen him dubbed “The Great British Superhero.” What began as a publicity stunt quickly became a trending topic on social media platforms like Twitter, and people began to take notice of Pattinson, whom they began to see as a modern-day Marvel superhero.

The Evolution of a Rising Star

Pattinson’s life changed forever that day he stepped into the burning car to rescue McQueen. The actor had spent years toiling in relative obscurity as a struggling actor in London, taking on small roles in low-budget films and earning a meagre salary. It was not until McQueen’s tragic death that her fans began to see the 25-year-old actor in a new light. In the months and years that followed, Pattinson used social media to create an online community, interacting with his followers on a daily basis and answering questions about his new-found fame and the inspiration behind his extraordinary change. He also made various media appearances, including an interview with Oprah Winfrey that was aired on national TV and radio stations across the country. In that interview, Pattinson discussed his decision to become a real-life superhero and how he felt it would change his life for the better.

A New Chapter

Since then, Robert Pattinson has continued to impress with his dramatic weight loss. The Hollywood star underwent a grueling four-month makeover process to transform himself into Batman. That process involved putting him inside a body suit and fitting him with a life-like costume with all kinds of gadgets and surveillance cameras. The actor even had to take a break from filming to undergo a gruelling boot camp–style training program with legendary fitness coach Gunther von Furstenberg. The final product is both incredible and terrifying to behold. Pattinson’s Instagram posts alone are enough reason for fans to visit his page regularly. But the real magic happened when he began to share behind-the-scenes pics documenting his transformation process. For the first time ever, we could watch as an unlikely celebrity worked hard to create something extraordinary. It was almost like something out of a movie.

But it wasn’t just the finished product that left an impression on fans. It was the process that Pattinson went through to get there. It’s one thing to admire an in-your-face transformation but it’s another thing entirely to see an A-list actor work hard to look like a B-list actor. So not only did his fans witness history as he saved a woman’s life, they got to see the process behind the scenes as well.

From Reality TV to YouTube

Prior to being cast in the film adaptation of David Mitchell’s award-winning thriller, Give Me Your Attention, Robert Pattinson’s career was built primarily on reality TV and social media. The British actor rose to fame for his stint on the MTV show, The Real World: London, where he spent six months living in a house with seven other young men. The show followed Pattinson as he tried to adjust to life in the big city. It was there that he met his eventual co-star on the show, Rosie Marcel, who would go on to become his wife. The couple tied the knot in 2015 and now live in a $30,000-a-week rented mansion in Los Angeles with their son, Asta, who they adopted from Russia in 2016.

Since then, Pattinson has appeared on several more reality shows, including Celebrity Big Brother, where he won “Most Hated” and avoided being nominated for eviction by his fellow housemates. He’s also graced the covers of major celebrity magazines like Vanity Fair and Elle, along with men’s fashion fortnightly, GQ.

Robert Pattinson’s Heroism Is Not Entertainment

It’s not like Hollywood never had an “underdog” story before. We’ve all seen the classic underdog tale—usually involving a kid who turns out to be smarter than you think and kicks ass (sometimes literally) at things you would never consider athletic. That’s usually what the movies would have us believe, but it’s rarely how it really is. Hollywood hasn’t always been the best at telling truth-y stories, and while we are used to seeing the big-bad-guy-take-down-the-bad-guy movie formula, we should not be so quick to forget that real-life heroism is frequently messy, embarrassing, and even infuriating. But somehow, in the end, it is always triumphant. That is one thing we can always rely on.