It’s no secret that Robert Pattinson is one of fashion’s most in-demand men. The 27-year-old British actor currently gracing the big screen with Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises has fronted campaigns for Gucci and Ettinger, and appeared in Louis Vuitton’s latest fashion film. Never one to shy away from a fashion challenge, this past summer Pattinson hit the red carpet multiple times—whether through campaigns or individual fashion shows—for Paris Fashion Week.

While he may not always make for the most photogenic of subjects, the one area of Pattinson’s life where you’d never guess he’s been completely candid is his relationship with the press. The actor has always been a recluse, shunning the spotlight and refusing to be interviewed about his private life. But with Paris fashion week around the corner, the time had come for Pattinson to break his silence.

“I’ve never been interested in talking about my personal life,” Pattinson told British Vogue during a recent interview. “I guess in the past, I may have talked about my private life a bit too much with the press. I’m not sure if it was just to get some attention or if I actually meant it as a public confession. But maybe in the future, I’ll be a bit more private.”

Does Pattinson, the son of an artist and a photographer, harbor any fear of exposing too much of himself? More importantly, has he ever really been completely open about his personal life? Ahead, we’ll examine the never-before-seen (or at least, never-before-disclosed) details of Robert Pattinson’s fascinating life—from his humble beginnings to his sudden fame.

Early Life

Robert Pattinson was born on December 30, 1986 in London, England, to Elizabeth Taylor and film producer Andrew Gomes. He has an elder sister, Alexandria, and a younger brother, Jordan. After years in the public eye, it’s fair to say that Pattinson’s celebrity transcends the typical bounds of a celebrity-wannabe.

As a child, Pattinson attended Heathmont Park School in London and St Edward’s School in Southwark, where he began acting lessons after finishing his A-levels. His formal education also included a year at Eton College, where he specialized in film and video. In 2007, Pattinson graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in economics and international relations. While at Eton, he also attended various performing arts courses, including trumpet, piano, and guitar. During his final year at Eton, Pattinson had to vacate his dorm room to make way for William and Kate’s daughter, Princess Charlotte. The former Kate Middleton rented out a separate guest house for the duration of her pregnancy.

Career

After graduating from Eton, Pattinson made his acting debut in the 2009 short film Humble Pie, followed by a supporting role in the 2011 romantic comedy film Love Plus One. The following year, he starred in the musical film Burlesque, which was a critical and commercial success. Based on the play by William Gibson, the film also starred Joan Collins and Christina Aguilera. Though he has since largely avoided musicals, Pattinson’s fame has continued to grow, fueled not just by his on-screen work but by a social media following of over 2.4 million.

In 2014, Pattinson was cast in the lead role of Hal in the upcoming British comedy-drama series Good Omens. The Amazon Prime streaming series is based on the bestselling fantasy novel by the same name, and follows the supernatural quartet—from angel Castiel (played by Daniel Radcliffe) and demon Crowley (Pattinson)—as they set up shop in the English countryside. The series is said to be the funniest thing Radcliffe has ever done and was named one of the best shows of the year by The New York Times. Season one of Good Omens is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Relationship & Matrimony

After spending two years playing supporting roles, Pattinson finally got to tackle the lead role of Harry Osborne in the romantic comedy film Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. A spin-off of the incredibly popular Harry Potter series, the film is set 70 years after the series finale, when Harry (Potter) and his family are forced to flee from the wizardry world to England, resulting in the deaths of some family members. Though the character of Harry is still portrayed as a loner, it’s fair to say that Pattinson’s charm and affability has made him a bit more hands-on in his personal life. He’s famously good-natured, and is known to crack jokes even in the most dire of situations. The Harry Potter franchise is the greatest-selling fiction series of all time, with over 450 million books sold worldwide. Its companion novel, Quidditch World Cup, was also made into a movie in 2018.

Pattinson has also been linked to fellow Englishman Jude Law, with whom he has been romantically linked since 2014. The couple’s friends and family have referred to them as a “modern day Romeo and Juliet.” In 2018, the pair were photographed enjoying a romantic dinner in Venice, with Law’s ex-girlfriend, actress Emily Brown, by photographer Tyler Shields. The two have also been seen vacationing in Croatia together. Though they’ve always been private about their shared interest in each other, they haven’t exactly been discreet about their affection either—with Law tweeting in 2015 that he had “agreed to marry [his] best friend.”

Sober Living

Pattinson has always been a bit of a reclusive individual. He often stays at home alone in his mansion in London’s upscale Fitzrovia district, and rarely leaves the UK. Despite his relatively low profile, it seems that Pattinson’s private life is as interesting as his public one. He reportedly owns a collection of antique typewriters which he prizes and keeps in pristine condition.

Pattinson has also become something of a style icon. A regular on the city’s red carpets and fashion runways, his unique blend of vintage and contemporary influences has made him an in demand style icon for designers. The actor has fronted campaigns for Gucci, Ettinger, and Louis Vuitton, and modeled for designers including Dior, Jovani, and Yves Saint Laurent. In May 2018, it was announced that Pattinson would become the new face of Lancôme, the French cosmetic company. He is the first Englishman to represent the brand, and joins a number of A-list celebrities in endorsing its products, including Gigi Hadid and Naomi Campbell. On the subject of style, Pattinson is famously private about his own fashion choices, but has a distinctive sense of humor when it comes to critiquing the styles of others. He is not afraid to tell you what he thinks of your look, and is known to share his fashion insight in hilarious Instagram videos.

Rising Stardom

Though he’s always been a highly-regarded actor, the past couple of years have seen Pattinson’s stock rise even higher. He’s appeared in films including The Wolf of Wall Street, which he joined after being spotted by DiCaprio’s team while filming Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; The Dark Knight Rises; and The Theory of Everything, the film based on the life of physicist Stephen Hawking. In 2017, Pattinson had a supporting role in the action comedy Game Night, and in 2018, hit the big screen for the first time in five years in the dark comedy Beautiful Soul. The next year, he’ll appear in the drama The King, based on the life of the father of modern democracy, King George IV.

Pattinson is also responsible for some of the most high-profile red-carpet moments of the past year. While he was in Venice for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, he made headlines for walking the city’s red-carpet in a gold-studded yellow dress. The same dress was also worn by Brown at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion show.

Pattinson’s unique smile and good-natured disposition have made him an unlikely celebrity, and his ascent to fame was decidedly low-key. The actor has been photographed multiple times on the red carpet, but rarely does he attend international awards ceremonies or take part in promoting films abroad. It is no secret that he is protective of his privacy, but his publicist did tell British Vogue that the 27-year-old “is open to new challenges and opportunities and takes on board advice and opinions, good and bad.”