It’s been seven years since Robert Pattinson made his debut as a leading man in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and the world has changed a lot since then.
In the interim, the actor has evolved from boyish hipster movie star to global pop culture icon. Over the course of this year’s award season, we’ll take a trip back through Pattinson’s extraordinary journey, chronicling the various stages of his life and career, from his humble beginnings in England to the global phenomenon that is Rob Pattinson.
From Boy Wonder To Pop Culture Icon
In the early years following his stint as a pirate aboard the Black Jack, the actor honed his craft in quirky indies like the gruesome comedy Bad Milo and the period drama Victoria & Albert, earning critical acclaim and multiple award nominations. His performance as Prince Albert in Victoria & Albert was particularly memorable, and it paved the way for future lead roles in cinematic and literary adaptations of some of the most influential works of William Makepeace Thackeray.
“He’s already a legend. They’re talking about Rob Pattinson now,” gushed Tackeray while presenting him with an award at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards in 2014. “And he’s only 22! He’ll go down in history.”
Those were dark days for England. Napoléon’s invasion three years earlier in 1815 left its mark, and the country had not yet found its footing. With the Prince Regent of England in exile and the Prince of Wales in self-imposed exile in Ireland, a young Victoria rose to the throne and set about remaking London as a grand metropolis.
Pattinson was there for the early years of the reign, hobnobbing with the high society set and enjoying the city’s glittering after-parties. It was at a party like this that he first met Kate Bosworth, his future wife and the mother of his five children. The couple married in 2011 and remain one of the few high-profile celebrity couples to have kept their “formal” wedding secret for almost a decade.
The actor then went on to star in the Twilight franchise, making him one of the most recognizable faces in contemporary culture, and certainly the most eligible bachelor in the century. His global following has since made him a coveted commodity, and he’s recently starred in three blockbusters in the last year alone.
From Hipster To Eligible Bachelor
While Rob Pattinson has largely remained silent on his wedding plans, he’s kept busy with his career, starring in big-budget franchise films and establishing himself as a leading man capable of spanning generations.
Before Twilight, it wasn’t clear that Pattinson had what it took to play the part of a romantic lead. His early films — notably the irreverent coming-of-age comedy Water For Chocolate and the erotic thriller Fading Gigolo — were critically panned and underperformed at the box office. But it was on television, where his comic timing and engaging personality came to the fore, that he established himself as a leading man, earning praise for his on-screen charisma and his ability to “keep the audience in stitches.”
The success of the Twilight series helped launch a thousand memes, making it one of the defining cultural phenomena of our time. Pattinson’s boyish charm and effortless good looks made him the perfect fit for the role of Edward Cullen, the bespectacled teenager who falls head over heels for Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). The popularity of the franchise made it the highest-grossing of all time, earning a whopping $12.7 billion worldwide.
The actor’s personal life has often been the subject of media scrutiny, making him one of the most recognizable faces in the world. In 2015, he was linked to a string of famous women, famously quipping that he “dated” Lady Gaga, Emma Stone, and even Uma Thurman. Some sources claimed that he’d even popped the question, earning him the title of “The Bachelor.”
The Making Of A Cultural Icon
Seven years after the success of Twilight, it’s clear that Rob Pattinson is determined to keep the good times rolling. He’s starred in critically acclaimed films like The Lost City, the action-adventure Perfect Sense, and the apocalyptic horror The Last Witch Hunter. Most notably, he’s continued to appear alongside his Twilight costars, earning him the nickname “Twilight Pattinson.”
The Lost City and The Last Witch Hunter are critical and commercial successes. The former is one of the highest-grossing independent films of all time, and the latter is one of the most anticipated horror films of the year, receiving widespread acclaim and winning multiple awards, including the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film.
Pattinson’s star has continued to rise, cementing him as one of the most influential and recognizable men in the world. It’s fair to say that he’s not just a pretty face. He’s proven himself to be a skilled actor and producer, having won an award for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Lost City, and is also responsible for the Twilight films’ intricate VFX work, earning a unique place in cinematography history.
From Hipster To Global Citizen
It would be an understatement to say that the last seven years have been an incredible rise for the young star. He’s gone from being a hipster with an apron to a fully-fledged global citizen, committing to charitable works and speaking out on political issues. He has no less than five children with his wife, and in 2015, he became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, joining the likes of J.K. Rowling and Katie Holmes in advocating for children’s rights around the world.
Pattinson has been vocal about his support for causes that he feels connected to. He’s been a guest speaker at the Oxford Union, arguing for gender parity in Hollywood and accepting his good luck charm, a gold chicken foot, from the mayor of Tokyo.
“We’re so glad that you’re joining us in advocating for gender equality in Hollywood,” the mayor of Tokyo said in a video message. “We have a lot of work to do in that regard. We hope that you’ll bring your beautiful wife, Kristen, with you on this journey.”
With an incredible track record of successful films and television shows, it’s clear that Rob Pattinson is uniquely positioned to make a difference in the world. This year, for the first time in his adult life, he’s faced with some well-deserved career uncertainty. Not only is he arguably at the peak of his powers as a leading man, but the Twilight franchise continues to draw interest, with a planned spinoff series, Saga, set to premiere in April.
A Historic Journey
While there is certainly no lack of suitors for the beautiful Kristen Stewart, it seems that the 42-year-old actor is dedicated to keeping his marriage to Kate Bosworth a secret. In August 2016, the couple made the shocking decision to keep their wedding a secret, and they’ve since remained relatively quiet, addressing the media only when it comes to matters regarding their family.
The secret wedding came as a bit of a surprise to many. The couple had previously spoken out against the “paparazzi” and the “invasion of privacy” they cause, and maintained a low-profile engagement, traveling the world and staying in character as “Bruce” and “Kaya.”
While Kate Bosworth is no stranger to the limelight, making her name as a photographer in the ‘90s, the couple’s decision to keep their wedding a secret comes as something of a relief to her. “I guess it is sort of wonderful that we’ve been able to keep our engagement and our marriage a secret for the last seven years,” she quipped in an interview with Elle UK last year. “I think it’s wonderful when people can be happy and can stay that way. It makes my job easier and it makes my life simpler.”
The secret ceremony was a relatively low-key affair, with friends and family members in attendance. After a fairly conservative ceremony, the newlyweds enjoyed a private reception, attended by just a few close friends and relatives.
Rob and Kate’s dedication to each other was on full display as they posed for pictures and signed autographs for adoring fans. “Thank you so much for being our witnesses,” Rob said, as he thanked the small group of people that they’d chosen to share this special moment with.