Rumors about Robert Pattinson have been circulating for years (even decades). He’s famous for his temper and his penchant for expressing his emotions. Now that he’s at a crossroads in his life, with an unfulfilled Hollywood dream and a wife who filed for divorce only a few months ago, he’s given us an opportunity to learn more about the star we’ve grown to love and respect. As it turns out, he’s a pretty softie, too (just like us!). Here’s a peek into the real Robert Pattinson, as revealed in the most recent issue of Vanity Fair (honestly, it’s well worth the read).

The Making Of A Movie Star

“I never thought about acting when I was younger,” he told the magazine. “I always assumed I would grow up and be a farmer or a vet. I never even dreamt of being in show business. Then I turned 30 and started thinking about my future. I didn’t know what would happen if I stayed in the public eye, and I didn’t want to be known as Bob or Rob anymore. I wanted to be the best man I could be and make a name for myself.”

So he decided to make a movie. It was a big step, considering he had no professional experience, but he threw himself into it, studying acting and taking classes. He also decided to get into shape for the role, putting on 20 pounds. And because he’s so recognizable, he had to take care of his image, too, following a strict diet and getting facials and hair transplants. In the end, he believes all of this effort was well worth it.

A Brooding Bob

The biggest change we noticed when we met Bob was the way he carried himself. He was very reserved at first, but we grew to respect his deep thoughts and the way he processed things. In our article, we’re told that he often broods about life, especially the loss of his mother when he was young. He also keeps a close eye on his father, who he says has had a rough patch in his life. Still, Bob seems to be a positive person, and we’re glad to see that he’s found a way to channel his emotions onscreen. In real life, he’s a bit of a mess, as we found out when we read his ex-wife’s blog posts – she claims their relationship was plagued by his temper and unpredictable mood swings. In one blog entry, she said she was “scared” of him. Now that he’s found his way as an actor, we’re sure she’ll be checking up on him from time to time. Maybe she’ll even try to have a little talk with him about controlling his temper. We’re not sure. In any case, at this point in his life, he’s definitely found the key to the universe, and maybe he’s even learned to control his emotions. It wouldn’t be the first time. If you look at his IMDB page, you’ll notice many of his movies are psychological thrillers, including Twilight and The Great Gatsby. (And no, we’re not just saying that because the article mentions those movies.)

Anyways, for those of you who are curious as to what happened behind the scenes of the photo shoot, here’s some information courtesy of Vanity Fair. The photos in the spread were shot by acclaimed British photographer Terry Richardson. To prepare for the shoot, Richardson met with Robert and asked him a series of questions, including how he saw himself and what he wanted out of the session. For the actual shoot, Richardson did several readings from the Playboy interview, asking Rob to act out different scenarios and behaviors. This is the same with any photo shoot, but with Richardson’s unique brand of genius, it turned into something special. Take a look at the photos below, and you’ll see what we mean.