Often touted as one of the most beautiful men in the world, actor/director/writer/musician Robert Pattinson has graced the silver screen in a variety of films, most notably the 2012 blockbuster The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 as well as David Cronenberg’s ambitious remake of The Fly.
Apart from his film career, Rob has also established himself as a music and fashion icon, thanks to his unique looks as well as his unconventional choices on and off set. We take a look at his filmography, from his humble beginnings to his most recent projects:
The Edwardian Era (2013–present)
After a six-year hiatus, Rob returned to the big screen in 2017 in the psychological horror film The Nightingale, which premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Based on the 2012 psychological horror novel of the same name by Christa Williams, producers describe the film as being very similar to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds with a modern-day mythology twist. Starring alongside Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, the film follows the story of a socialite (Winslet) and her family who become the targets of a murderous avian epidemic after returning from an expedition in the Scottish highlands.
In 2018, the British actor reunited with Kate Winslet for the comedy-drama The Flight of the Conchords, based on the animated TV series of the same name. Adapted from the 2007 novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis, the film follows the adventures of the title characters, New York City hipsters who travel to France to learn how to play guitar and speak French. Starring alongside Winslet and Jeff Goldblum, the film was universally panned by critics, who called it “confusing, bizarre, and just plain wrong”.
An Education (2011)
Shot in black and white, black comedy An Education stars Pattinson as the eponymous college student, who is more interested in drink and drugs than he is in his studies. The film’s screenplay was written by Richard Laxton, who also collaborated with the Scottish actor on his directorial debut, the dark comedy Shame. A remake of the French film School of Life, which in turn was loosely based on Edward Albee’s 1966 play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The critically acclaimed coming-of-age film won the Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival as well as numerous other awards, including the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Pattinson), Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography at the 2011 BAFTAs. It also earned Michael Fassbender a Best Actor nomination at the 86th Academy Awards.
One of the most acclaimed films of 2010, Shame premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival before making its way to theaters in various countries. It was the first feature film by London-based director Greg McLean and is, in part, a remake of Rob’s directorial debut, An Education. The story follows the trials and tribulations of Ned, a 20-something struggling artist (Pattinson) in England who comes into money after his sister’s death. Inexplicably drawn to the lower classes, Ned befriends a group of homeless people who encourage him to embrace his new found wealth. In an effort to find his place in the world, the artist befriends a young girl, Sadie, who helps him see the beauty in simplicity and kindness.
Not only did the film win numerous awards at the 2010 British Independent Film Awards, including Best Actress for Firth, but it was also named Best Film at the 22nd Young Cinema Awards. Notable awards include Best Film, Best Actor (Pattinson), and Best Supporting Actress (Firth) at the 2011 Empire Awards as well as Best Actor at the 18th European Film Awards. It was also named Best Film at the 2010 European Film Awards and the 2011 Sitges Film Festival. In addition, the film was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Rover (2009)
One of the first films to be released following the financial crisis of 2007–08, the dark crime thriller The Rover stars Pattinson as a sociopathic ex-convict called Richard who is hired to transport a kidnapped young girl (Rose Leslie) across country. Along the way, Richard befriends a troubled boy (Alex Maclaurin) who has a crush on Leslie. When Richard learns the girl is pregnant, an emotional bond is formed between the two men.
Written and directed by Maclean, the film was released in February 2009 to generally positive reviews, with many critics hailing it as a return to form for the director. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called it “a real comeback for McLean and a real triumph,” and Variety’s Scott Foundry wrote that it is “a sleekly plotted thriller that ratchets up the suspense and keeps you guessing till the last minute.” Furthermore, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and a BAFTA for Best Film Not In English. In addition, the ensemble cast was nominated for the European Film Awards for their performances.
The Debt (2008)
In February 2008, news broke that Rob had joined forces with acclaimed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs, The Social Network) to pen the screenplay for The Debt, Sorkin’s directorial debut. The film follows the story of a middle-class family in England whose world is turned upside down after the father (Pattinson) is arrested for debt fraud. The arrest leads to the family being thrust into poverty, and eventually, their flight to Canada in order to save the father’s life.
Though Sorkin described it as “kind of a Dickensian story,” the filmmaker denied that The Debt was based on a true story, saying that he had imagined the scenario after being inspired by the 2007 documentary Murder on the Dance Floor. While the film was being shot, Sorkin explained, “there was a lot of press around the idea that rich people were avoiding paying their taxes, and I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if it was a character like Dad who was in trouble for not paying his taxes? That was the genesis of the entire thing.”
The Beach (2007)
A film adaptation of Brian Keatley’s best-selling novel of the same name, The Beach centers around four outsiders who come together in the most expensive place on Earth: the British Virgin Islands. Starring alongside Rachel Weisz, John Goodman, and Barbara Hershey, the film was described by Variety as “an amiable piece of light entertainment,” but also “an earnest attempt to capture the spirit of sun and sand combined with lots of fun in the most unlikely of places.”
The Beach was one of the first Hollywood blockbusters to be made entirely using IMAX cameras, and it was released in theaters across the country on July 4, 2007. Despite the positive reviews, the film opened to poor box office numbers and was considered a flop at the time of its release. However, it fared much better in subsequent decades, accumulating a 75% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of 2019.
Four Lions (2003)
A comedy adventure starring Rob as well as Robert Deniro, Reese Witherspoon, and Ben Kingsley, Four Lions was written and directed by Gerald McRicky and Gavin Hood. Starring in the role of the mute cook who befriends a circus animal, Lions helped launch the internationally acclaimed Scottish director’s career, earning him both critical and popular acclaim. It was the first film for McRicky, who went on to write, direct, and produce several other notable films, including the Oscar-nominated Brave and Black Swan. The film also earned Rob a nomination for Best Actor at the 2004 Golden Globes. In addition, Hood and McRicky both earned BAFTA nominations for their work on this film. In 2019, the two directors reunited for the miniseries Trust, U.S. broadcast on the National Geographic Channel.
The Quiet Storm (2002)
One of the most celebrated films of 2002, The Quiet Storm is the emotional story of Lee, a Korean War veteran (Lee) who longs to connect with his daughter (Parker), an aspiring ballerina who has abandoned her family for school. When his employer offers him a new position in New York City, Lee decides to seize the opportunity and leave his home, not knowing how his life will change forever.