Actor Robert Pattinson, who is best known for his portrayal of Edward Cullen in the blockbuster hit Twilight, has announced that he is retiring from acting and is focusing on other projects.
The British actor, who was previously married to French actress Florence Vigne, made the announcement in a video published to his Instagram account earlier this month.
“It has been an incredible honor to be able to act for such an amazing audience and I will be forever grateful to those who have supported me along the way,” said Pattinson, who was paid an estimated $10 million for one season of filming Twilight. “I feel like my acting career has come full circle because I started out as a child actor and I now have the chance to give back to the community that helped me in my early years. I will always be a supporter of youth activism and hope to take time out of my schedule to support an organization like Crisis Text Line in the future.”
Pattinson, whose real name is Robert Stephen Pattinson and who was born in 1984, made his breakthrough as a child actor in the nineties, starring in the TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and in the 1995 film Twilight. Although he had initially intended to follow the path of his well-known acting hero at the time, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and study at the Raffles Institute in Singapore, the Twilight scandal prevented him from continuing his education. The Twilight stars were allegedly compensated for their participation in a campaign that violated Children Acting Rules, a regulation designed to protect minors from overexposure and improve their well-being as performers. The regulation was established following the 1966 Bluebell Cases, in which Harold Levy was convicted of murdering his wife Estelle after discovering she had an affair with another man. (The couple’s only daughter, Suzy, now 14, is the product of the marriage.)
As a result of the scandal, all of the Twilight actors, including Pattinson, were propelled into stardom. In December 2017, the actor was ranked #23 on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 List, with an estimated net worth of $58 million.
The Retirement Announcement
Pattinson, who will be turning 35 next month, is not the first celebrity to retire from acting following the end of the Twilight franchise. Last year, Amber Rose Wang, who played Alice Dratch in the vampire drama, said in an interview that she had decided to walk away from the fame and fortune she had enjoyed for the past six years. “It’s hard for me to have peace in my personal life when I’m constantly being asked about my characters and whether or not they’ll be coming back for a [sequel] or a [remix] or a [prequel],” said Wang, who had also appeared in The Matrix and The Grand Tour. “It became clear to me that I didn’t want to be in a position where my privacy was being invaded for financial gain.”
In January 2018, Will Ferrell tweeted that he was retiring from acting and would be devoting himself to creating and starring in original content for social media platforms. “I don’t want to be an actor anymore. It’s been great, but I don’t see my face on the big screen every day,” said Ferrell, 54. “I want to be able to do my own thing and make my own bucket of gold and not be a face anymore.”
Actor and comedian Gene Grant announced his retirement from acting on Twitter in September 2017, also citing privacy issues as the reason for his decision. “All that [acting] did was take my dignity away,” said Grant, whose film credits include 21 Days and The Mummy Mummy Returns. “I have a real life now, so I can’t afford to be doing [acting] on the side.”
Pattinson’s Early Years
Pattinson grew up in a famous acting family. His paternal grandfather, Sir Robert Pattinson, was an actor who appeared in The Man of Mass Interest and The Man of Mystery, and his father, Stephen Pattinson, is an actor who has portrayed President John F. Kennedy in a number of biopics. (After Pattinson’s 2012 breakup with Vogue fiancée Charlotte Sheller, Kennedy’s funeral was attended by Pattinson, his father, and his uncle Patrick Kennedy.)
Pattinson, who was raised in Los Angeles, made his acting debut at the age of three, appearing alongside his father in the short-lived TV series The New Princesses of Princess Land. He then went on to appear in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Mister Rogers Neighborhood, and in the 1995 film Twilight, which launched his acting career. In 2015, he starred alongside Anne Wang in the comedy series Dummy Wants a Baby, and in the film Mother 3.
The “Fame” Effect
As a child actor, Pattinson regularly appeared on the covers of magazines, including Vogue, and he has been consistently named one of the most beautiful men by various vogue editors. In 2014, Pattinson starred in a campaign for Swiss watch brand Piaget, which featured the tagline “Don’t Be Afraid to Show Your Love,” and became the face of the #PiagetEveryman campaign. In addition to starring in several fashion and beauty campaigns, Pattinson has appeared in numerous magazine covers and been included in GQ’s list of the 50 most important male figures in fashion and beauty. (Prior to Vogue covergirl Charlotte Sheller’s breakup with Pattinson, the fame and fortune he had enjoyed was reflected in the size of his celebrity clientele, as he has worked with the likes of Kate Moss and Daphne Groff.)
A Rising Career
Over the last decade, Pattinson has steadily built an acting resume that includes notable roles in films such as The Rum Diary, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The King’s Man, and The Circle, as well as on the small and medium screens, where he has appeared in The Last Tycoon, The Dinner, and The Terror. (He also starred in the music video for Kendrick Lamar’s “XXX”.)
Some have questioned whether or not Pattinson is a great actor, claiming his performance in The King’s Man was over-the-top bad and calling his Twilight role “a cop-out” because it was “obvious” that Edward is a reincarnation of Robert Pattinson. Despite the naysayers, Pattinson’s achievements as an actor are nothing to sneeze at: he is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, and Forbes ranks him #23 on their Celebrity 100 List, with an estimated net worth of $58 million.
While Pattinson retired from acting, he has not pulled back from public life altogether. He maintains a steady stream of Instagram posting, and although he rarely makes personal videos, he did star in a short film for Valentine’s Day, where he performed romantic duties for his Daphne Groff (she of The Devil Wears Prada fame) in what can only be described as a dressing gown comparison parlor game.