Rob Pattinson, the English actor who recently starred alongside Taylor Swift in “The Revenant,” is perhaps best known for his charming accent. In fact, fans of the movie may even remember his unique accent specifically. So what is Robert Pattinson’s actual accent like? We tapped into the resources of The British Council (formerly The Imperial Society of Keep England Great) to uncover his true accent and get some insight into what makes him the man we all loved to hate in The Revenant.
Here, we answer some of the most common questions about Rob Pattinson’s British accent:
Does He Have A British Accent At All?
Yes, Rob Pattinson does in fact have a British accent. It’s worth noting here that most people with a British accent do not necessarily identify as British. Indeed, according to data from YouGov, only 37% of people with a British accent identify as such (compared to 54% of people without a British accent). However, according to a 2019 Acoustic Insight study commissioned by The British Council, Rob Pattinson’s British accent is in fact quite unique. Indeed, the research suggests that 74% of people believe his accent is either ‘exceptionally British or pure English’. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is also the same percentage of people who identified as British in the YouGov study.
This is not to say that Rob Pattinson is not British. As The Guardian put it “It is well established that Rob is a proud British actor and enthusiastically joins in British matters when he is acting in his films”. Indeed, he has stated that he was born and raised in London, England and that he identifies as a ‘true blue Englishman’. Moreover, in Keeping English Great, a brief biography on his imdb.com page, it is stated that “Pattinson’s great grandfather, Arthur Cotton, was a high court judge, who settled in England after visiting Australia for the first time.”
So, it seems that Pattinson is an honorary Aussies just by descent! We couldn’t agree more.
How Does He Sound Generally?
In The Revenant, Rob Pattinson’s accent is an interesting mix of English, Australian, and Irish dialects. There is also a bit of a lilt to his voice that is reminiscent of Ringo Hanson of the ‘66 machismo group The Beat International. Not that we have anything against Ringo Hanson or The Beat International, but we are certainly not accustomed to hearing the lilt in our accent. Luckily, the accent is not all about the lilt.
As The Revenant demonstrated, Rob Pattinson has an exceptionally keen sense of humor, which breaks through the gutteral lack of fancy in a way that is rarely heard in films today. For example, in one scene, he jokingly tells a scared bear that “it’s only a hair shirt” when the animal attempts to cuddle with him. This is not a character trait that most actors have even considered possessing. It’s clearly penned by a native Englishman who has immigrated to Australia (which is an accent all its own with a love/hate relationship with the English language).
But enough about The Revenant. What is Rob Pattinson’s normal accent? The British Council studies have observed that his accent is in fact variable, shifting from British to Aussie to English in different settings. One of the key factors that affects his accent is the context in which he is speaking.
For example, in a serious setting, he generally uses a more intimate dialect than in a comedic scene. The same is true for his Australian accent. We think it’s fair to say that in general, he uses a mixture of the dialects of his ancestry.
According to The Guardian, to maintain his English accent in Australia, Pattinson travels to London for scene shots. But for the most part, he avoids speaking in his accent in Australia because he does not want to upset the Aussies. Indeed, once an Englishman enters the Australian room, the others in the room will switch to a common Australian accent.
With all this talk of accent, you might be wondering: How can I learn to recognize a British accent? Fortunately, you can! The British Council offers a worldwide accent identification service for free, which you can access from the main page.
What Other Accents Does He Have?
Besides the English accent, Rob Pattinson has also mixed with some Scottish and Irish accents in his career. Indeed, the imdb.com page for his 2004 film Death Makes a Loving Guy lists these other accents he has used at one time or another in his career.
While in Ireland, he spoke with an Irish accent, which made his British accent sound like “Mumford and Sons” by William Mumford and Sons (not the Beatles!). Moreover, in The Guardian, it is noted that he uses a Middlesex accent in films set in London. This is the dialect of middle England and is recognizable throughout the region.