If you follow the latest news, you may have read that one of the most famous – or infamous, depending on your point of view – Hollywood stars was in New York City this week. And you couldn’t miss the paparazzi trying to get a shot of the actor as he went about his day-to-day life. In fact, the New York Times had the chance to speak with Mr. Pattinson about his controversial, and to some extent, private life. The newspaper published an extensive interview on Wednesday, focusing on his upbringing in London and his relationship with his family, his friends and his pets. The following is an excerpt from that interview.

Your Family And The Early Years

During the course of the interview, the New York Times revealed that Mr. Pattinson was brought up in a typically upper-class fashion. His parents are Robert Pattinson Sr. and Eve Bella Walsh. Mr. Pattinson has three younger brothers and one sister. His father was a member of Parliament and served as Chairman of the Conservative Party. As a child, Mr. Pattinson was sent to boarding school in England and then spent a year at Millfield Preparatory School in Somerset, where he studied art history. In an interview with the BBC in 2016, Mr. Pattinson credited his mother for introducing him to acting, as there was no one in particular he remembered helping him get into comedy or drama. “I was always very much in her company. She was the funniest person I’ve ever met,” he said. “I’ve always been so lucky in that way. I’ve had this really great mother figure who has always supported me and believed in me, which has been amazing.”

The actor’s upbringing in a big, loving family – particularly as a nephew of Michael C. Fassbender (brother of his best friend and costar Christian Fassbender) – was a key influence on his life. As the interview with the Times reveals, the actor still gets emotional when he thinks about his family and friends. “There’s a picture of my brothers and me when we were younger and it was taken at my Aunt Lily’s garden party. We’re just looking at each other and being silly. It was a really happy moment,” he recalls. “I love them all so much. I’m so proud of them. They’re all incredible.”

Mr. Pattinson also discussed how he deals with fame and his fans: “I guess everyone wants to be famous because it’s such an extraordinary thing to be able to impact people’s lives in the way that you can. Every time that someone says, ‘Hello,’ to me, I think, ‘What will they think of next?'” he said. “I think that to a degree, humans are a little bit wired to seek out fame. It’s not always a bad thing, but you have to be careful what you wish for because it can often have negative consequences. You have to be very grateful for the things that come your way and never put yourself forward as a role model. Just be yourself and hopefully people will see you as a funny, likeable person rather than a celebrity.”

Your Friendships

Aside from his family, Mr. Pattinson’s closest friends come from a very prestigious group – the acting community. One of his closest friends is Charlie Higson, with whom he has been in a few films and spent some time working on a stage production in 2016. The two met while working on Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World in 2010. The following year they shot Mr. Pattinson’s directorial debut, Water for Wildlife. In the interview with the Times, Mr. Pattinson credits Mr. Higson with having a pivotal role in his life. “He was the one who got me into acting. We went on to do a play together and then formed a company to make films. He’s the best man I could ask for,” he said. “I’ve known him for years and we just get on so well. He’s exactly the kind of person you want to be your best friend. He’s supportive, he’s funny, he’s smart, he’s kind. He’s just the best.”

Your Controversial Relationships

While Mr. Pattinson has yet to publicly confirm or deny any romantic liaisons, the Daily Mail has reported that he was in a relationship with British socialite and fashion icon Florence ‘Flo’ Wilder-Barrett from 2016 to 2018. According to the report, the two were spotted at a London restaurant holding hands and kissing in a passionate clinch. Mr. Pattinson initially denied the claims, only to later confirm them with a cryptic Instagram post – captioned “A good relationship is a beautiful thing.” Later that year, he was romantically linked to American actor and musician, Lizzie McGuire. The couple started dating in September 2019 and were seen holding hands and enjoying a romantic dinner date at Nobu Hotel in Rome. Mr. Pattinson has yet to comment on these reports. When asked about his relationships and feelings on Valentine’s Day in 2019, Mr. Pattinson said: “I don’t really celebrate relationships or Valentine’s Day. It’s a marketing gimmick. There’s no real point in getting all romantic and stuff if you’re not going to commit. So I wouldn’t bother.”

Your Career

After graduating from Oxford, Mr. Pattinson made his way to London, where he quickly became one of the most in-demand young actors. He had some minor roles in blockbuster films, but mostly landed parts in British television series. In 2018, he was ranked 12th on the “Power 100” list, which tracks the most influential and powerful people in the entertainment industry. Also that year, he appeared in three films – The Launderer, Nocturnal Animals and A Perfect Day – which earned him a place on many top 10 films of the year lists. In 2019, he appeared in the British film, The Farewell, as well as onstage in the West End in London’s award-winning revival of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In 2020, he will star in the upcoming crime film, Scoop, as well as the Marvel Comics-adaptation, Black Widow.

As for what’s next for Mr. Pattinson, he told the Times: “I’d like to keep making films – I love doing that – but beyond that, who knows? There are lots of other things that I could do. Being on tour with your band is a great way to meet new people and have an experience that you never had before. If not music, a possible route for me is to do more theatre. There’s nothing worse than not being able to participate in the life that you want to lead because you’re tied to a desk all day. To be able to go to the theater and see live theatre is something that fills me with joy and excitement.”