Last week, it was announced that British actor Robert Pattinson will join the cast of the new Batman series, Gotham, as Bruce Wayne’s (played by Ben Affleck) eccentric cousin, Alfred Pennyworth. As a celebration, let’s take a look at the newly-minted couple’s shared history.
Born Into A Family Of Actors
Robert Pattinson was born January 26, 1986 in London, England. Like most of his famous relatives, his parents are actors. His mother, Sally, is best known for her role as Wendy Darling in the 1971 film The Kid from Brooklyn and his father, Keith, has appeared in several films and on TV. In 2011, he starred in the BBC mini-series, The Lost Prince, about Edward, the seventh and last of King Edward VII’s sons, who abdicated the throne in 1936. In 2015, he played the role of Harry Hope in the miniseries, The Fall of Man. He also has a sister, Vanessa, who is a fashion journalist and writer. As a result of his famous family, Pattinson grew up in an environment filled with entertainment.
Pattinson’s grandparents, Eileen and Edward Pennyworth, were both English theater actors. They appeared together in several productions, including The Winslow Boy in 1954 and The Man of the Moment in 1956. Their other children, Sally and Ben’s, great-grandparents, were also actors. Eileen’s sister, Agnes, was married to Max Von Sydow, who later became Pattinson’s godfather. Agnes acted with her husband in several films, including The Porter (1950) and The Lady with White Hair (1963), among others. On November 13, 2011, it was announced that Sydow died at the age of 103. It is said that Pattinson and Sydow shared the same acting coach in their early years, which may explain why the two were so good together on-screen.
Robert’s Film Career
Pattinson’s film career began when he was nine years old and he starred alongside his mother in the family film, Little Stranger, based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name. He had a bit part as one of the children in the 2004 film The Merchant of Venice, which starred Christian Bale and was directed by Michael Radford. The film was a critical and commercial success. In the 2008 Ben Affleck-directed film, The Taking of Deborah Logan, Pattinson played the role of Harry Doyle, a young man who befriends Deborah Logan (Rachel McAdams) and follows her to Boston to study. He also had a small role in the 2009 film, Moonrise, directed by Sam Mendes. Most recently, he appeared in the independent film, The King, playing the role of Alistair Cameron.
The Dark Knight Rises
The year 2012 was a big one for Pattinson. Not only did he star in the critically-acclaimed and box-office hit The Dark Knight Rises, but he also married his longtime love, Rosie. The couple began their marriage with a low-key wedding ceremony at St. Barnabas in London on July 26, 2012. The couple made their home in an 11th-century manor house just outside the city and their children, Louis and Ruby, were there to share the milestone with them. The couple has since filed for divorce.
While promoting The Dark Knight Rises in early 2012, Pattinson talked about how he and director Christopher Nolan bonded over their shared love of comic books. “We both grew up on a diet of comics. Obviously, we went in different directions after that, but it really opened up a special connection,” he said. “We had both been there almost ten years previously on [Nolan’s] first Batman movie, and it was lovely to feel that the relationship was still there and growing.”
Pattinson is a vocal member of the Comic Book Club, an initiative started by his company, Palace Pictures, in 2011. The club’s aim is to educate and entertain readers about comics. The initiative began when the actor was asked by a fan if he would like to read a comic book. He responded by asking if the fan would like to learn more about comics. Since then, the club has organized several in-house events at the Palace, including a day where fans could come and try their hand at drawing and a graphic novel-inspired cooking competition.
Gotham’s Place In The Universe
While on the subject of comic books, it’s worth noting that the Gotham series is set in an alternative history where the United Kingdom defeated Germany in the First World War. In this version of history, a strict English class system developed and the middle classes turned against the working classes. The drama centres around the conflict between the Caped Crusader and the urban gangsters and social misfits who would become known as the Joker’s Gang. It is unclear at this point if the setting of Gotham will mirror the darker, grittier side of London in the early 1900s or if the series will continue to focus more on the colourful world of 1930s London. In any case, Batman and his friends will continue to be pitted against each other in various ways in order to maintain order in Gotham City.
Pattinson will undoubtedly be missed by fans of the Dark Knight as he has signed on to appear in only two more films. The first of these is the upcoming King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which is currently in production. Set for release on April 12, 2018, the film will see the 42-year-old actor reprise the role of the dashing, cocky, and charming Prince Charming. Fans can also look forward to seeing him return as Edward in January 2021 in the final installment of the Twilight Saga, Twilight Breaking Dawn.
Whatever the future holds for Pattinson, we know he will continue to entertain us.