Actor and musician Robert Pattinson has had a wild year, starring in a string of blockbusters and releasing his first full-length album, ‘High As Hope’. His latest film, ‘Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1′, premieres today in the UK.

Here we take a look at the highs and lows of our favourite British actor’s most recent year.

Robert Pattinson: A Record-Breaking Year

It would be a bold statement to say that Robert Pattinson’s 2012 was the best yet, but it’s certainly fair to say that it was a remarkable year. The British actor starred in a number of box-office hits, releasing two solo albums, and touring the world with his band, The Walking Dead Boys. It’s been a whirlwind year, to say the least.

The 29-year-old began 2012 by starring in the Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’. Based on the hugely successful vampire novel by Stephenie Meyer, the film wasn’t necessarily box-office gold – taking in a paltry US$22.8 million at the box office – but it laid the groundwork for a record-breaking year. In fact, 2012 was such a special year for the actor that it’s hard to put it into words. After five years of absence, his previous film, ‘Twilight’ returned in cinemas, and it proved to be one of the most popular films of the year. It was the third highest-grossing film of the year (behind ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ and ‘Rocking Saturday Night’) and the 17th highest-grossing film ever made.

Following this, Robert Pattinson guested on ‘Saturday Night Lives’ Christmas Eve, which aired this year and featured guests including Michael J. Fox, Kate Bosworth, and Michael Sheen. The episode was watched by 8.8 million viewers and received a rating of 4/5 stars on IMDB. The episode proved popular, and it led to another guest appearance on ‘Live At The BBC’, which aired last month and featured artists including Paloma Faith, Mika, and Rita Ora. The episode was watched by 2.89 million viewers and received a rating of 3.5/5 stars on IMDB.

The British actor continued to star in box-office hits in 2012, with ‘Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1′, the first of four planned sequels to ‘Twilight’, opening in cinemas this week.

High As Hope, A Solo Album

Besides ‘Twilight’, 2012 was a great year for Robert Pattinson. Not only did he star in some of the year’s biggest films, but he also released two solo albums. The first of these, ‘High As Hope’, was met with positive reviews, with some critics hailing it as a return to form for the actor. “Pattinson is back and better than ever,” wrote Kate O’Brien in an album review for the London-based newspaper ‘The Independent’. “The 29-year-old actor has delivered an album that sees him bounce back from the brink of extinction.”

The singer-songwriter behind the project was Frank Iero, better known by his stage name, My Dying Myrrh. The pair of them have worked together before, with Iero producing some of Pattinson’s albums, including 2009’s ‘Killing Art’. My Dying Myrrh told Rolling Stone that, although the pair hadn’t worked on a project together for 13 years, they “just jumped back into the fray” and recorded ‘High As Hope’ in just four days. Iero said that, although they’d been apart, they’d started working on new music immediately after the ‘Twilight’ cast and crew had wrapped filming. “We just started jamming, laying down some tracks,” Iero said. “Then we went into the studio and basically recorded a bunch of guitar, bass, and drums along with me singing. It was really fun, and it was good to get back into it.”

Iero also said that working with the British actor was “a real pleasure” and credited him as having an “incredible range” as an actor. He added that, although this was the first time he’d worked with the singer/songwriter, he’d already pre-deigned him as his singer after ‘Killing Art’.

World Tours With The Walking Dead Boys

Although he was best known for his roles in the ‘Twilight’ series, it was actually during a break from filming that Robert Pattinson joined the band, The Walking Dead Boys, which features a a mix of artists and musicians. They’re known for combining genres and sounds, often creating an eclectic mash-up of rock, rap, and pop music. Their live shows are legendary, and it wasn’t long before they were playing venues all over the world. In fact, they’ve already played some huge shows this year, including a secret gig at London’s famous Bluesberry Grove, a small-venue tour with Depeche Mode, and a headlining show at the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in the US. They also guested on Conan O’Brien’s syndicated talk show, appearing in April and promoting their debut album, ‘Sober’ – which was released in May – as well as ‘Twilight: The Musical’ in London’s West End in February. In all, it’s been a busy year for The Walking Dead Boys, and they’re on the road to bigger and better things.

New Moon Redefines The Trailer Park Romance Genre

It’s been a crazy year for romance, and the ‘Twilight’ series didn’t disappoint. The first in the vampire series, ‘Twilight’, which chronicled the romance between Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson), was released in early 2012. “What was once considered taboo is now considered pure romanticism,” said The New York Times in an article published in April 2012. A year later, the second film in the series, ‘New Moon’, arrived in cinemas, further exploring the blossoming romance between Bella and Jacob (Taylor Lautner).

The year 2012 was full of romances both fictional and very real. British actor Daniel Radcliffe, best known for his role as ‘Harry Potter’, tied the knot with American actress Keri Russell in a lavish ceremony in mid-May. ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Twilight Saga’ creator J.K. Rowling officiated the ceremony, which was held at the town church of Little Bookham. “It’s an incredible blessing to have lived a life dedicated to magic and to have had the opportunity to share it with such an incredible family,” said Radcliffe, who also thanked the ‘Harry Potter’ cast and crew in a tweet following the ceremony.

The late Heath Ledger, best known for his role as The Joker in the ‘Batman’ series, died in early October after suffering from a severe case of pneumonia. He was only 42. The American actor’s sudden death came as a shock to those who knew him, and it was later revealed that he’d been battling depression for some time, having dealt with the pressures of his career and the fame that came with it. Director Kevin Smith said that Heath Ledger was “the most gifted, humble, funny, and sweet person” he’d ever met. Smith went on to say that, although he’d been depressed for some time, Ledger’s death had been a “resounding wake-up call” and that he now saw the world “with a deeper sense of humour and appreciation”.

In late October, it was announced that Rupert Everett had died of cancer, aged 59. He was best known for playing Colin Fitzrobery in the 1992 film ‘Mrs Indiana’. Rupert Everett was also the son of English author and broadcaster, Bryan, and Barbara, a former model. The announcement came less than two weeks after the passing of his mother. In a statement, Everett’s family said that he was “flourishing” and “happy” before his illness overtook him.

It’s been a tragic year for British and Irish cinema, with iconic figures dying at an increadably young age. Apart from the already-mentioned Daniel Radcliffe and Heath Ledger, the year 2012 also saw the deaths of Irish actor Stephen Rea, Welsh actor Richard Griffiths, and English actor Donald Sutherland. These are just a few of the figures who died in such tragic circumstances in 2012, and it’s made us realise how precious life is – and how much we need to cherish it.