Most people would agree that fame and fortune didn’t exactly walk down the red carpet with Robert Pattinson. The Twilight star endured a turbulent public phase that saw his personal life the subject of much speculation. But since breaking free from his Twilight obligations, Pattinson has carved out a new niche for himself that has allowed him to get back on track both personally and professionally.
Here, we’ll explore the real reason behind the renowned actor/director’s comeback and whether he will ever be able to shake off the tragedy that befell his family.
Success With Twilight
The early days of the Twilight franchise saw Robert Pattinson in the unique position of being both an established name in Hollywood and a relative unknown. His performance as the tragic but romantic vampire, Edward Cullen, won him an appreciative audience and propelled him to international fame. But while the popularity of Twilight undoubtedly helped to restore Pattinson’s flagging career, it did little to assuage the personal pain he was experiencing.
The film marked the end of an era for the actor. After spending a decade playing teenagers, he was suddenly thrust into the role of a much older man. In addition, Edward Cullen was such a beloved character that Pattinson was subsequently approached by fans asking for his autograph on a daily basis. The pressure was undoubtedly immense, and it took its toll on the young actor. Even when Twilight was at its height of popularity, the pressures of living up to the character’s enormous legacy proved too much for Pattinson. In 2013, he revealed that he had physically collapsed due to the immense amount of stress.
But while Twilight may have been the pinnacle of Pattinson’s career, it was by no means the only high-profile project he had in the can. In fact, the actor was secretly working on another film at the time of his breakdown. Pattinson had been developing a script for the BBC called The Good Doctor based on the life of famous British doctor, Patrick Manson. The show centers around a young doctor who has to deal with all manner of hospital emergencies, including treating patients who have been bitten by vampires.
The Good Doctor marks another high-profile part for Pattinson, but it’s a completely different matter entirely. The role sees him play a character who is almost 30 years his senior, and who is also a vampire. This is not your typical teen drama, and for that reason, it marks a turning point in the actor’s career. In the past, he had played largely supporting roles in films, with the occasional lead, but he had never before tackled a role of this magnitude.
Pattinson had to learn an entirely new set of skills for The Good Doctor, and he revealed in a 2016 interview that he spent about six months simply getting the pronunciation of ‘vampire’ right. The role also required him to uproot his life in London and move to Cardiff, where the show is filmed. When asked if the pressure was too much, he replied: “I don’t think so. I think what was great was that it was something I’d never done before, and it was something I’d been dreaming of doing for a long time. I got to dive in and learn so much, and I’m so glad I did it.”
The role has undoubtedly reinvigorated both Pattinson’s career and his passion for filmmaking. While he had previously only directed music videos, he quickly moved into the big leagues and began tackling more significant projects. He also began taking on more significant roles, instead of retreating into supporting or cameo appearances as he had done in the past. Perhaps most significantly, he established himself as a leader in the field, helping to set the benchmark for others within the industry.
New York City
For those who had hoped that Pattinson’s personal life would be repaired by the success of Twilight and The Good Doctor, they would soon be disappointed. The fame and fortune that came with those films could not mask the larger issues that continued to plague the actor. It was, however, the start of a new era for Pattinson and began a period of intense introspection and personal growth.
Pattinson was spotted in London last month and he sported a striking purple dye job, which he had worn at the 2018 Grammys to mark the tenth anniversary of his fashion label, Ravage. The dye job was a reference to the 2018 Golden Globe-winning miniseries, Game Change, in which Pattinson portrayed political strategist, Steve Schmidt. Schmidt’s aggressive and assertive personality is perhaps most memorable as he is constantly barking orders at staffer, Mark Burnett.
The Golden Globe win was by no means the only impressive moment for Pattinson that year. He also picked up a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in the film. In the past, Robert had been nominated for a BAFTA for his role in the TV series, Bosch, but he had never before won an award for his acting. It was, therefore, a significant moment for the Twilight star, and one that he undoubtedly enjoyed.
While the successes of Twilight and The Good Doctor undoubtedly filled the cupboards of Pattinson’s house, they could not extinguish the family feud that had simmered for years. Last year, his parents, Peggy and Peter, sued their son for defamation after he accused them of being ‘mentally abusive’ and having a ‘horrid’ relationship. At the time of the lawsuit, the elder Pattinson’s net worth was a whopping £260 million, largely thanks to his successful investments in real estate. In the lawsuit, Peggy and Peter accused their son of defaming them by suggesting that they had “ever been physically or verbally abusive to him or otherwise acted improperly toward him as his parents.”
The couple’s complaint came as a complete shock to the public, as well as to Robert’s legions of fans. To make matters worse, it was revealed in court filings that Peter had been arrested and charged with domestic assault against his wife in 2003. The charges were later dropped, but it was a dark chapter in the Pattinson family’s history. Many people, not just fans, had serious misgivings about whether or not to believe a word that Robert had to say about his parents.
But while the legal case had shock value, it was simply the latest in a long line of controversies to engulf the Twilight star. Many people, myself included, had begun doubting that he would ever be able to fully rebuild his reputation. But perhaps the greatest testament to Robert’s character and his ability to persevere is that he did just that. Just this past summer, he was named England’s national hero, a distinction that recognizes his outstanding contribution to film, to society, and to fans. While details of how he intends to celebrate this incredible honor are still to be revealed, it would appear that Robert has more than proven himself to be a man of his word.
More Than Meets The Eye
For someone who is generally perceived as being quite private, it is rather ironic that the greatest testament to Robert’s character and his ability to persevere is that he is now more than capable of being in the public eye. While he continues to stay relatively tight-lipped about nearly all aspects of his personal life, he has, on several occasions, opened up about some rather interesting facets of his character.
In a 2016 interview with ShortList, he remarked: “I have a certain bravado. I like to think that I’m a bit of a rebel. I like to think there’s a bit of a bad boy streak in me. There’s probably something mischievous. And I think people like that. When you’re playing a character, you get to embrace those characteristics. I think people connect with that.”
The actor has, at times, been rather candid about the way in which he sees himself. In a 2015 Guardian article, he said: “I really don’t like the word ‘icon’. It’s such a weak word, in my opinion. I feel like an activist is the correct word, as opposed to an icon. I feel much more comfortable being an activist. ”
While some of this bravado may well have been spurred on by the media circus that followed him since his teens, it is nevertheless interesting to think that, as an adult, he has seen the value in allowing others to get to know him. Despite all the speculation and tabloid headlines, he has never really had any interest in shying away from the public eye. He has always preferred to keep his private life private, but that is beginning to change. He has frequently cited the importance of coming out of his shell and, at least in public, acting like a “normal” human being.