It’s no secret that actor Robert Pattinson has had quite the year. On the heels of starring in two critically-acclaimed indie films, Mister Lonely and Twilight, the 28-year-old British star found himself at the center of one of the biggest Hollywood stories of 2017. After being photographed kissing and then subsequently hitting on actress Emma Watson during an after-party for the movie David Leisure: The Art of Conversations, the actor was accused of sexual assault by British author and journalist Emily Sunbury. The Sunbury story, however, was not the only controversy Pattinson found himself embroiled in last year. He was also criticized for reportedly groping a French journalist and for being photographed while shirtless.
While some of these incidents might make you question whether or not Pattinson is still the same magnetic presence that won over fans with his role as Edward Cullen in Stephenie Meyer’s iconic vampire romance series, it seems as though the actor is committed to changing his image and finally finding romance. He recently split from his long-term partner, the photographer Annie Leibovitz. The two have a daughter, Sailor Moon, together. They dated for almost a decade before splitting up in 2015. To prove that he’s maturing as an actor and a person, we’ve rounded up some of the most outrageous things said or done by the English actor throughout his career. Here’s a look back at some of the most interesting things Robert Pattinson said or did:
Pattinson’s First On-Screen Kiss
Pattinson made his Hollywood debut in 2007 with a small role in the romantic comedy The Beach. In 2018, he told The Sun that he was “absolutely petrified” when he filmed his first on-screen kiss with co-star Rachel Weisz.
“It wasn’t easy just sticking my tongue out there,” Pattinson said. “You’re acting and you’re supposed to be having a pleasant conversation, but you’re actually engaging in oral sex with the person you’re working with. It was terrifying.”
He added: “I kept going back [to take more scenes with Weisz], because I found her very attractive, and I was just trying to fit in with her and be like her. But eventually I had to just shut off and be myself, because the director was like, ‘We’ve gotta keep the film pace up, we’ve gotta keep shooting’.”
One of the most recognizable faces of the 21st century, Pattinson continues to star in critically-acclaimed indie films, ranging from romantic comedies to dark dramas. His performance in the former 2009 romance Happy Christmas, for example, earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination. In his next film, 2014’s Central Station, he plays a supporting role alongside Kristen Stewart and Shailene Woodley. He then went on to make The Rover with Idris Elba and directed by John Hillcoat in 2015. He next played the role of Bruce Wayne in the 2016 film adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel The Batman.
Pattinson Rejects ‘Twilight’ Pressure
At the end of 2015, it was officially announced that Twilight director and co-star Taylor Lautner was set to play the lead in The Dark Tower, alongside Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston and more. It was also revealed that the film would serve as a prequel to Twilight and that Lautner was in discussions with Stephenie Meyer to make an appearance in the project. For his part, Lautner was reportedly “devastated” that he wasn’t able to play the iconic lead role in The Twilight Saga.
“I was under the impression that I was going to be doing a movie that was very similar to Twilight, but it turned out that it was a very different movie,” Lautner told MTV in 2017. “I was very upset. I loved doing Twilight. I thought it was an amazing opportunity, and then to have it taken away from me, I was very upset.”
He went on to explain that he was initially “somewhat” pressured into playing the role, but that he ultimately decided it wasn’t right for him.
Taylor Lautner as Buffy (Credit: Michael Buckner/Variety/Shutterstock)
Pattinson’s Political Views
During the 2016 US presidential election, Pattinson supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. In fact, he described himself as “obsessed” with the former Secretary of State and First Lady. The British star visited the candidate at her headquarters in New York City and later helped raise money for her campaign.
“It’s funny, I’ve always been interested in politics,” Pattinson said in 2017. “I remember when I was growing up, there would always be discussions at school about what was going on in the world, and I think that’s probably when I started becoming interested in it. I liked that she was so down-to-earth. I liked that she was so approachable. I liked that she spoke to us normal people, the little people, the ones that didn’t have much power, in a way that we understood.”
While he liked what he saw in Hillary Clinton, Pattinson wasn’t a fan of Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, who he described as “aloof” and “unapproachable.” The actor reportedly refused to be interviewed by Time for its Person of the Year 2016 cover story on Hillary Clinton and instead granted an interview to the far-right publication Breitbart.
Pattinson went on to say in that interview that he doesn’t believe that Clinton is a suitable candidate for president because she’s a woman.
Hillary Clinton on the occasion of her New York Times book launch (Credit: Mel Evans/AP Photo)
Pattinson’s Mature Look
The 28-year-old English actor has long been known for his off-screen romances with high-profile women. After dating Kristen Stewart for nearly a decade, the two were married in October 2014. The ceremony was filmed and later aired on the red-carpet circuit. They have a daughter, Sailor Moon (b. 2007).
In January 2017, it was announced that Stewart had filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was final in June 2018.
While Stewart made headlines for her failed marriage and alleged affairs, Pattinson has been committed to remaining a family man. In October 2017, he became a dad for the first time when his partner of three years, the photographer and filmmaker Annie Leibovitz, gave birth to a daughter. The couple’s first child together is expected in January 2019.
As for the rumormongers who criticized him for his seemingly unchecked libido, Pattinson had this to say in 2017: “I suppose it’s a double-edged sword. You’re in the public eye, but at the same time, your private life is no longer your own. I think it’s a difficult position to be in, and something that I’m not going to focus on too much.”
But even then, the actor couldn’t resist playing the field. While he was dating the director Rupert Sanders in 2015, he was photographed kissing another woman in Sanders’ bed. The romantic comedy co-stars Rachel Weisz and Elba in the role of Sanders’ assistant. Sanders later confirmed the rumors and admitted that he’s been dating Weisz for the past year.
Pattinson’s Body-Shaming Episodes
In one of the most widely shared stories of 2017, British tabloid The Sun published a series of articles criticizing Robert Pattinson for his “disgusting” and “disgraceful” behavior. The reports accused the English actor of sexual harassment and accused him of grabbing a French journalist’s breasts and kissing another woman without her consent. In an interview with The Sun published on Tuesday, October 24, Watson dismissed the allegations as “tabloid fodder” and denied that the pair had even kissed. Nonetheless, the story took on a life of its own and went viral. Within 24 hours of the story’s publication, more than 2.5 million people had seen it on social media platforms like Twitter.
Pattinson, who had previously been in a long-term relationship with model and actress Lily Collins, quickly faced backlash from fans and the media. Collins, for her part, stood by her man and tweeted, “I love you Robert and totally support you.”