Innately courageous and intensely private, Robert Pattinson is one of the most fascinating figures in contemporary entertainment. No stranger to critical acclaim, raves, and box-office smashes, the British actor embodies a certain type of masculinity that is both timeless and highly attractive.
One of the most beloved and acclaimed figures in Hollywood today, Pattinson rose to popularity with his portrayal of Edward Cullen in the vampire-themed films Twilight (2008) and New Moon (2009). Since then, the actor has appeared in numerous projects that have cemented his status as a major sex symbol and household name.
In addition to acting, Pattinson is a keen musician and entrepreneur. In 2015, he established the luxury lifestyle brand Pattinson, named after himself. The brand’s wares include jewelry, watches, fragrance, and more.
Pattinson was born to be a pop culture king and queen. He was raised in a military family in Scotland and relocated to Hertfordshire to study English literature at the University of Hertfordshire. His early life was one of privilege and luxury, which he has since embraced as an adult. Today, Pattinson lives in London with his wife Léa Seydoux and their son Arthur. He enjoys spending his free time performing music, watching movies, and exploring the wilderness.
The Inner ‘Badass’
“Badass” is not a commonly used word in modern American culture. However, for decades, the slang has been used in reference to masculine actors, directors, and adventurers. Today, “badass” is widely recognized as an acronym for ‘Bold And Determined Slogan’, coined by the marketing team at MMI Agency in Los Angeles in the 1960s.
According to legend, MMI coined the term to describe the then-brand new Roger Moore, who was cast in the role of James Bond. Moore immediately embraced the moniker and used it as a mantra, eventually even challenging fellow actors to a duel before shooting a promotional poster for his upcoming film, The Saint. Moore won the battle, but lost his life in the process. The marketing team at MMI later apologized for causing such a stir with their new catchphrase.
Despite the controversy, Moore’s Bond legacy lived on. Today, Moore’s mantra is emblazoned on T-shirts, coffee mugs, and more, and has been associated with a number of prominent men. Moore’s grandson Freddie is named after the character, and now coaches young actors at his private school in London. According to several accounts, Freddie Moore often tells his students that acting is about embracing your inner badass.
The Evolution Of A Pop Culture Icon
As his grandfather had before him, Robert Pattinson grew up surrounded by luxury. His maternal grandmother was an heiress to the Wallachian Coffee empire, while his mother grew up in Marbella, Spain, during her late teens. From an early age, Pattinson showed his artistic talent and entrepreneurial spirit, selling sketches and paintings for money to buy groceries.
Around this time, he also began using his middle name Paul, which is the English equivalent of his paternal grandfather’s name, Peter. When he was 14, his family moved from Spain to London, where Pattinson began his formal education. At age 16, he began studying at the London School of Economics, where he was introduced to the world of business and trade. He eventually dropped out of school, but his studies left an indelible mark. He later attended the prestigious New York Film Academy, where he studied acting and graduated in 2010.
Pattinson’s meteoric rise to fame was swift. He first gained recognition for his performance in the film Candy (2010), a dark comedy about a group of wealthy friends who have a falling out. The film was produced by Barbara Schneeweiss and based on her bestselling novel of the same name. It premiered in the United States a year later and was a box-office success earning $15 million in North America. That same year, he made his Broadway debut in the revival of Terrence McNally’s play ‘‘Summer of ‘89”, where he played the dual roles of Andy and Brian.
Pattinson’s other notable films include the 2012 remake of Red Dawn, opposite Chris Hemsworth and Ashton Kutcher, and the 2013 comedy Good Old Flintstones, where he played the role of Fred Flinstone, the husband of actress Jessica Alba. Also that year, he completed production on The Batman, which is due to be released in 2021.
Pattinson initially got his big break thanks to his stunning looks. The actor was spotted by a talent agent while working as a waiter at a restaurant in London. He was subsequently signed to an acting agency, where he now represents himself. Most notably working with the agency, Pattinson has starred in several commercials, including a memorable spot for Johnnie Walker Blue Label whiskey.
The Actor’s Mask Is Gone
One of the most interesting aspects of Pattinson is how he has embraced his public persona. Few celebrities are as private as he is, yet he has never hidden himself away. Over the years, he has become the consummate Hollywood romantic lead, regularly appearing in commercials, on-screen characters, and music videos, often without wearing a mask. He even appeared in a documentary about the making of The Batman, revealing details of his personal life.
This is in stark contrast to many of his peers. The actor has previously spoken about the pressure he feels to remain stoic on-camera and not show any emotion, which he feels prevents him from connecting with audiences. In an interview with Marie Claire, Pattinson said, “I’m not into being a romantic lead for the rest of my life. I want to play other parts. And I want to show people my vulnerable side. I don’t know how or when, but some day, I’ll be able to do that.”
Why Edward Cullen?
Edward Cullen is the lead character in the Twilight saga, the bestselling vampire romance series by American author Stephenie Meyer. First published in 2005, the original Twilight novel was an immediate success. In 2008, a film adaptation was released, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Nicholas Hoult, Rob Pattinson, and Kristin Stewart. Later that year, a second film adaptation, New Moon, was released. The two sequels, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011) were also made into films, though not officially part of the ‘Twilight’ series. They are nonetheless often referred to as such because they are the first three films in the franchise.
Unlike many actors, who seek out challenging roles, Pattinson has largely avoided stepping into the shoes of ‘bad’ boys and instead embraced more ‘traditional’ and ‘girly’ roles. His first notable project after Twilight was the romantic comedy Poppy Champagne (2008). The film, which also starred Elle MacLeman and Peter Mullan, was a box-office bomb, but it earned a cult following, largely due to the performance of MacLeman, who plays an aspiring writer who is determined to impress her romantic rival, played by Mullan. The role earned MacLeman a Golden Globe nomination. In 2012, Pattinson starred in the romantic comedy What’s Your Niche?, alongside Lily Collins, and in 2014, he played a love interest in the superhero movie X-Men: Days of Future Past. This year, he will star in the romantic comedy The Revenant, directed by Michael Winterbottom. Critics have compared the film to Poppy Champagne in regards to its light tone and romantic story. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pattinson said, “People who love romantic comedies will probably like it more than people who like action films. It’s a bit like Poppy Champagne. It’s a lighter, more romantic story.”