Is Robert Pattinson really an “immature” actor? It’s an intriguing question considering the English actor’s prolific filmography – from the Twilight franchise to Mad Max: Fury Road – and seemingly disparate acting roles. While most would peg Pattinson as a fairly traditional Hollywood leading man, the actor’s career has had more twists and turns than most Hollywood heroes’ have had hot dinners, with Hollywood insiders taking note of the interesting dichotomy between his on-screen and off-screen personas. So, who is this intriguing actor with an inconsistent acting CV? Here, we’ll explore the nuances of the English actor’s career, from his humble origins to his portrayal of controversial literary figures.

Early Life Of The Actor King

Pattinson was born and raised in London, England. He was born to actress Kelly (née Gleeson) and writer/director/producer Chris Pattinson. His maternal grandfather, the late Sydney Gleeson, was also an actor who appeared in several films, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers On A Train. Pattinson is the second of four children and has an older sister and two younger brothers.

Pattinson’s father is a self-taught filmmaker who directed the 2006 drama Water For Elephants and co-wrote the script for the upcoming dark fantasy film The Lost City Of Z. In 2014, he directed the drama The Duelling McBears, in which he also starred, and scripted the upcoming thriller, The Death Of Stalin. He is also set to direct and produce the psychological thriller, The Hunter, based on the novel of the same name by Tom Piccirilli. The film is scheduled to premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. In November 2019, it was announced that he would be directing and producing an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1924 novel The Man in the Brown Suit, starring Lupita Nyong’o and released in theaters in May 2021.

Pattinson’s Beginnings

While his acting career has spanned several decades, many of Pattinson’s earliest roles were small parts in TV series, such as London’s Most Wanted and Peak Practice. He also acted in several stage productions, including a 2009 production of The Crucible at the Young Vic, which was directed by Michael Cuesta and featured several notable acting debuts, including Anne-Louise Laney, Joe Cole and Dominic Cooper. The Young Vic theatre company also produced a play directed by Cuesta in 2018, titled The Lost Boy, which Pattinson starred in. The play is based on the real-life story of Harry Odell, an orphan who was secretly inbred and eventually became the founder of the Odell family. The production was a sell-out run and was praised for its emotional potency. While still a student at Oxford University, where he was a member of the Oxford acting group, the Oxford Stage Company, Pattinson received a starred review from Variety critic Dave McNary for his performance in the 2011 play The Storm by Harold Pinter. The review stated: “Pattinson is at his best when he allows his acting instincts to take over and simply inhabits the part, his raw, naturalistic talent making him a perfect match for the demanding scriptwriter.”

Career Highlight: Breaking Bad

Perhaps realizing his talent, Pattinson’s early agent booked him for a series of television commercials, which he accepted only to discover that they were for the legal drug Viagra. Undeterred, he began researching and studying the psychology of advertising and branding. With this new-found appreciation for advertising, he starred in the 2012 documentary, The Man In the Brown Suit, which examines the advertising industry from a brand perspective. The film features interviews with industry luminaries, including Sir John Hegarty, the British advertising guru and former Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy & Mather, and David Ogilvy, the founder of the agency, who states: “It’s time for a real change. It’s time for an ethical change.” The film also examines the psychology of product placement in films, which was first introduced to American audiences in the 1950s with the practice of having packaged food products appear in films. This trend has continued into the 21st century, with films such as The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones and Its 2017 sequel, The Mortal Instruments: City Of Souls, starring Clary Fray, featuring large packs of Doritos and Walkers Mini-Meat. In 2019, it was reported that Pattinson would co-star with Amy Adams in the upcoming thriller, Nocturnal.

Off-screen Life

While most actors’ off-screen lives are kept private, the British star has spoken candidly about his off-screen life. A few years back, he opened up about his life as a house husband, writing on his website: “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t really feel like an actor. I feel like an ‘immaturity’, which is probably a good word for it. I don’t feel like I’ve quite found my place in the world yet. I feel like I’m still searching for something – which, for the record, can also be said about a lot of my friends who are also in their early 30s.

The truth is that I’ve been doing this for a really long time and, for the most part, I don’t really feel like it. Sure, at the beginning, when I first got my break, it felt fantastic. But now, when I think about acting, the words that come to my mind are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but ‘boring’ and’repetitive’ – and I almost feel relieved that it’s over. I feel like it’s time for a new adventure. The trick, as they say, is not to look for the adventure, but to create the adventure – which, in my case, has largely been made possible by the fact that I’ve met and married Emily Forrest, the love of my life.

The English actor continued: “There’s never a dull moment in our relationship. She’s constantly bringing her positivity and spunk to every aspect of my life. Even when I was depressed after Mad Max, she stayed positive. It was like she saw the funny side of things and helped me to realize that life could still have joy in it. Since then, she’s been my rock, and I couldn’t imagine life without her.”

A Career Full Of Dichotomies

Pattinson’s career has been marked by a number of contradictions. For example, he starred opposite Keira Knightley in the 2007 film A Dangerous Method, based on the eponymous play by Alfred Uhry. Knightley played the role of music composer, Dr. Evelyn Nesbit, while Pattinson played Nesbit’s patient, Joe, a failed novelist who attempts to write a symphony as a homage to his lover. Dr. Nesbit is a strong, independent woman and Joe is, by comparison, weak, subservient and controlled. It’s a curious contrast that perfectly encapsulates the actor’s versatility.

It’s also interesting to note that while most film celebrities’ careers are marked by several iconic and memorable films, Pattinson’s are marked by several nuanced and detailed, albeit slightly contradictory, portrayals. Take 2014’s The Lost City Of Z as an example. The drama is an adaptation of the 2008 book of the same name by Daniella Zalcman. In the film, Pattinson plays Raymond Randolph, an American architect who, as a boy, watched his family perish in the Lusitanian Plague during the pandemic of the 14th century. As an adult, Randolph returns to Portugal, where he reunites with his childhood sweetheart and fellow architect, Dr. Elena Brener (Jennifer Lopez), and their young son, Jamie (Dakota Fanning). While traveling through time, Randolph befriends King João (Riccardo Romo), the ruler of the city, and his daughter, Isabel (Ana Castelo), who seeks revenge on Jamie for murdering her father. The Lost City Of Z was praised for its historical authenticity and its beautiful cinematography, yet it also received criticism for its unbelievable plot twists.