Most celebrities have their private and professional lives intertwined. They might share the same Hollywood bubble, but in private they are likely to be very different.
This is especially true for those who have climbed the Hollywood ladder quickly, like actor Robert Pattinson, whose life was recently turned upside down. He was previously one of the most eligible bachelors in Hollywood, but now he rarely ventures out alone and is mostly to be found reading (or sleeping).
Since breaking up with his band-mate and best friend Channing Tatum in December 2016, Pattinson has been largely focused on his mental and physical health. The breakup came after Tatum proposed to the movie star in Paris. Just a few weeks later, Tatum married Olivia Munn.
While most stars seem to thrive in the spotlight, for others it’s a different story. In December 2017, just two months after the end of the engagement, Pattinson checked into a wellness retreat in Tulum, Mexico, where he spent the last few weeks of the year resting and recharging. While he was there he documented his experience in a lengthy Instagram post where he talked about his plans for the future and his surprise at how much he enjoyed the therapy programme.
The retreat came after months of speculation about his personal life. Many were surprised to see the 27-year-old actor speak so openly about his struggles with addiction and depression. He recently told Glamour that he is happy to discuss his mental health issues because he wants to help other people who are struggling too. “We need to be able to talk about these things, so that people know they’re not alone,” he said. “I don’t want people to feel like, ‘Oh, I’m weak, I’ll never be able to recover,’ when in fact they might.”
Pattinson spent 2017 reinventing himself as a wellness-focused person. While at first glance this might seem like a contradiction, it’s actually very in line with his previous work. Back in 2014, he set up a Kickstarter for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s best-selling novel, The Shining, which he wrote and directed. The novel is about a struggling rock band called the Promised Land whose members are slowly going insane and killing each other while staying at the famous Overlook Hotel. It was a huge hit, raising over $500,000 on Kickstarter and becoming one of the most backed films on the platform. It launched in select cinemas in the US on 26 January and is now available to watch on Netflix.
Pattinson’s previous mental health issues were hinted at in promotional material for the film. In one scene, Jack Torrance (Pattinson) is sitting in a rocking chair, visibly ill and rocking back and forth while holding a gun. In another, a doctor diagnoses Jack with schizophrenia.
After The Shining, Pattinson established the Shining foundation, which works with young people to teach them about mental health issues. The Hollywood star is also very close with the co-founder of Vitality, a wellness company which aims to ‘elevate individuals’ health and wellbeing through science-backed, holistic approaches.’ His manager Christian Wade and Vitality CEO Richard Jackson are both on the board of trustees for the Shining foundation. Most recently, he collaborated with Vitality on a guide to healthy living, which features a section on sustainable beauty. He also does regular workouts with Wade and Jackson at their Los Angeles home. He’s clearly taking his health seriously.
A Return To ‘Normal’ Is The Goal
In light of his work with mental health charities and his desire to be an outspoken voice on the importance of mental health, it’s not surprising that Pattinson would want to downplay his previous drug and alcohol addictions. This is something he has spoken about often in interviews in the past, saying that he doesn’t want to be defined by his mistakes. Most recently, he has talked about his drug use in interviews with Rolling Stone and Hello! Magazine, explaining that he felt like he had to compensate for his mental health problems by taking drugs. This is something he is actively trying to avoid. He wants to move back to what he calls ‘normal’.
“I don’t want to be defined by my past,” he told Rolling Stone. “I’d like to return to what I consider normalcy. I don’t feel that there’s any need to constantly be throwing up excuses for why I’m not acting or why I’m not speaking,” he said. “I want to be treated like anyone else and be judged on my merits as an actor.”
In a separate interview with Hello! Magazine, Pattinson stated, “I want to be able to have fun and be silly, but also be able to focus on my work. I think it’s really important for me to have a good mental health day to day.” He continued, “I think that it’s important to have healthy habits and be consistent with them, so that you can create better results. This is why I do my breathing exercises before I start working out. They help me to relax and focus, and thus find the energy to work out and improve my health as much as possible.”
This desire to just be ‘normal’ might explain some of his recent public appearances. Since returning from Mexico in late December, Pattinson has largely avoided the spotlight. He has only granted a few interviews and has remained mostly out of sight. However, in late February he made a brief appearance at the 22nd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Award Dinner in London, where he received an award for his work with the foundation. The following day he tweeted a picture of himself holding the award, saying, “Just got this. Thank you so much for supporting @ejaf. #grateful.”
This year has seen a change in Pattinson, who recently told Rolling Stone that he has finally started to feel “normal” and able to live his life as he wants. He added, “This year I want to focus on the things I love most: my family, my dogs, my friends, my career, my health, and my art.”
So far, so good. It seems that Robert Pattinson is finally feeling comfortable in his own skin and is ready to emerge from the shadows.
What is your take on Robert Pattinson’s work with mental health charities and his desire to speak out on the issues? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And for more about celebrity, lifestyle, and health, check out our books about wellness and healthism and our psychology books. And don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and updates.