If you’re not living under a rock, you might know that on September 11, 2001, two plane tickets to New York City changed the life of a young man named Robert Pattinson. The now 27-year-old English Actor was on a break from filming High Life in Canada when 9/11 happened. Luckily, he was in an airport when the first plane hit – it was later revealed that he had been on an episode of that TV show called ‘The Stranger’. Fortunately, he was soon diverted to Seattle and then to Tokyo, where he finished the final season of his TV series. A few days later, he boarded a plane back to the United States, and on September 17, 2001, he was in New York City – where he would remain for the next 18 years.

After spending a year in Manhattan, Pattinson decided to move to the suburbs outside of Manhattan, where he purchased a large house in the hills. The actor and singer has never fully recovered from his brush with death on 9/11, and has even said, “I’ll never be able to work in New York City again.”

In 2019, almost two decades after 9/11, Pattinson finally returned to the Big Apple. While his reason for coming back was not the attack on Pearl Harbor, it certainly has something to do with it. Pattinson has been playing a character named Robert Finley in the TV show Nightingale, based on the novel of the same name by Kristin Hannah. The show is set in New York City, but it was filmed in and around Toronto, Canada, so it allows the actor to visit some of the places he missed while filming TV shows in Tokyo and other locations in Canada. A premiere date for Nightingale has not yet been announced.

The ‘Twilight’ Phenomenon

Before we continue, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. On August 21, 2008, Robert Pattinson published his autobiography, titled Life on the Road. In it, he discussed the sudden explosion in popularity that his quirky yet romantic rock star persona had created for him. In the book’s opening pages, he mentioned how he had become the subject of a Twilight fan club, complete with its own Twitter account. Here’s what he had to say about it all:

“I had always been a bit of a nerd and a bit of a loner,” he wrote. “But suddenly I had girlfriends coming from England, Sweden, and Denmark to meet me, and I was going on trips to Amsterdam and Paris with the press. It was a bit of a shock.”

Pattinson had initially turned down the movie version of Twilight because he wasn’t sure how to act. However, after reading the script, which he hadn’t seen before, he decided it was “the best piece of writing I had ever read” and agreed to play the part. While he was initially hesitant about doing a teen drama, he admits that he eventually grew to enjoy portraying Edward Cullen. The part of Jasper, however, was a complete departure from his personality, and he didn’t like how the character turned out. Nevertheless, it was a learning experience and helped him grow as an actor.

“I’ve never been a part of any kind of fad or trend, but I guess I was a little bit part of the ‘Twilight’ phenomenon,” he said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would become an international icon overnight. Never in a million years.”

The Making of ‘High Life’

If you’ve never heard of High Life, you probably live under a rock, as it was only released in theaters in Canada on September 12, 2019, and in the UK on September 18, 2019. Directed by Michael Brandt, the film is an adaptation of the stage play of the same name by Neil Bartlett. The film takes place in Toronto in the 1970s, and follows the story of a group of friends as they navigate the city’s complicated and often hypocritical social circles. The film’s tagline is “Love Conquers All”, and it certainly does. High Life stars an ensemble cast including Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Garrett, and John Savage. The film’s soundtrack was curated by the Weeknd, with songs by The Clash, The Ramones, and others.

The film also marks the acting debut of Kristen Stewart, who plays the part of Pattinson’s love interest – a part she was apparently born to play. The former Twilight star grew up admiring the work of James Dean, and it definitely shows in her acting. The film also marks the last performance of John Savage, who at the time of filming was 29 years old. He announced his retirement from acting at the end of 2019, and will pursue a career in painting.

Pattinson On 9/11 And Its Aftermath

In late 2019, Pattinson returned to New York City for the premiere of Nightingale. The show’s premiere was followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew, which Pattinson attended. One of the first questions was about how he felt about 9/11, and he didn’t mince words. When asked if he could say anything about how he felt, and what he remembered about that day, he replied:

“No. I mean, I don’t want to disrespect the terrible tragedy that was. But we’ve all been through a lot since then, and I don’t think it’s fair to keep bringing it up, especially not now, when we’re all just trying to get on with our lives. It’s been almost two decades, and it’s time to let it go.”

Those words couldn’t be more poignant. While he would never wish to slight the events of 9/11 by saying anything negative about them, it’s only fair to say that over the past two decades, they have changed the trajectory of his life. On September 11, 2001, Robert Pattinson was just another face in the crowds. He had been in Canada when the first plane hit, and then he had been diverted to Seattle. It was only later that he discovered that he had been on an episode of The Stranger, which was filmed in Toronto – but he still didn’t know where he was or what was going on. He had no control over what happened and he wasn’t prepared for the immediate response, which was, essentially, to lead the charge of vengeance against Afghanistan and Iraq.

While there are certainly valid grievances against the countries that helped the terrorists who attacked us on September 11th, we cannot allow ourselves to be guided by hatred. As John Lennon so beautifully put it: “War is not the answer.”

The Future For Robert Pattinson

While he would never want to disrespect the events of 9/11 by saying anything negative about them, it’s only fair to say that over the past two decades, they have changed the trajectory of his life. On September 11, 2001, Robert Pattinson was just another face in the crowds. He had been in Canada when the first plane hit, and then he had been diverted to Seattle. It was only later that he discovered that he had been on an episode of The Stranger, which was filmed in Toronto – but he still didn’t know where he was or what was going on. He had no control over what happened and he wasn’t prepared for the immediate response, which was, essentially, to lead the charge of vengeance against Afghanistan and Iraq.

While there are certainly valid grievances against the countries that helped the terrorists who attacked us on September 11th, we cannot allow ourselves to be guided by hatred. As John Lennon so beautifully put it: “War is not the answer.” Now that he’s returned to New York City and is faced with the opportunity to showcase his talent in a bigger arena, is he going to take it? Well, that remains to be seen. What we do know is that he will be playing a character named Robert Finley in the upcoming Nightingale. While he would never want to disrespect the tragedy of 9/11, it’s only fair to say that over the past two decades, he has certainly become a part of that tragedy, and it’s about time that he started letting it go.