Robert Pattinson is no stranger to movie cameras. The actor made his name in 2010 with the critically acclaimed Water for Elephants and went on to appear in a string of box-office hits, earning him the respect of fellow stars and critics alike.

But it was in the indie film Goodbye Christopher Robin that he truly shined. Directed by Kent Harris and produced by Jennifer Hudson, the film revolves around a grown-up Peter Pan (Pattinson) who relocates with his family to a quaint town in England while struggling to come to terms with his past.

The actor’s breakthrough performance saw him earn a Golden Globe nomination for best actor and rave reviews for his portrayal of a man grappling with his grown-up responsibilities and living with an intense yearning for childhood adventure.

Since then, he’s starred in a number of major films, including The Lost World: Jurassic Park, The BFG, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and been courted by the Hollywood studios, with many rumors suggesting he’ll be wearing the green hat soon.

But while Hollywood may be tantalizing, for the time being, it’s back to the small screen for Pattinson. Notable roles in 2017 include The Lighthouse with Tom Hanks, Widows with Angela Lansbury, and The Mountain Between Us with Kate Winslet and Joel Edgerton. Most recently, he voiced the lead character in Ricky Barnes: Rise of the Roadrunner, a Netflix original animated series based on the comic books of the same name.

So, while he may have been on a bit of a hiatus from starring in big-budgeted films, it seems that his career hasn’t gone dormant. In fact, it’s only gotten busier, with appearances in major films such as Taylor Swift’s music video for “Welcome to My Life” and Kenneth Lonergan’s You Were Never Really Alone, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Perhaps most notably, he’ll be playing one of the lead characters in George Clooney’s upcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

Why Make An Independent Film?

While he may be best known for his movie roles, it was in fact his turn as a producer that helped launch his acting career. After producing and appearing in the 2009 movie Vampires Suck, he went on to co-found the production company Water Tower Productions with Lizzy Williams, with the aim of producing independent films that spoke to them both as individuals and as a couple. The company also produces film and television content for other brands. Most notably, they’re behind the upcoming Joe Perrone film The House That Jack Built, starring Woody Harrelson and directed by George Clooney.

So, why make an independent film? Well, for one thing, the financials are generally better. A decent sized distribution company will usually take a film that costs $2 million to make and turn it into a profit. An independent film, however, may only need to recoup a few hundred thousand dollars to have a successful theatrical run. If the film is any good, it may find an audience via DVD and VOD platforms, which can result in even more income. Plus, by not relying on large studios for distribution, you’re limiting the risk of losing momentum due to changes in management or shift in strategy. Most importantly, independent films allow for a certain amount of artistic freedom, which can be both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. You may end up with a masterpiece, or at the very least, an interesting experiment.

An Actor’s Life Is Grown-Up Responsibility

Now, as a popular and well-respected actor, it’s time for Pattinson to grow up. Or, more accurately, it’s time for him to step up and assume more responsibility. This is something that he’s clearly been thinking about, and in recent years, he’s taken on more adult roles, both on screen and off. Even before his career in film began to take off, he made a name for himself in the theater, and since then, he’s only continued to develop as an actor. In 2016, he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and he received acclaim for his role in Kenneth Lonergan’s You Were Never Really Alone. Most notably, his performance in Goodbye Christopher Robin landed him a Golden Globe nomination for best actor – a role that also earned him a BAFTA nomination.

While it’s true that most actors live a life of luxury and anonymity, for the most part, their onscreen characters also exist in a vacuum. The roles come with a lot of creative freedom, and while they may not always pose for the camera, they do as much as any actor could ever want. But with that freedom comes a responsibility to the characters. In many ways, these characters become your children, demanding your attention, engagement, and, at times, criticism. And just like any other parent, you have to put your feet down and be firm, but fair.

The Next Step In Your Career

So, what is the next step in your career? For Robert Pattinson, it’s a new challenge: becoming a father. Being a parent is, in many ways, the ultimate role an actor could play (not to mention that it’s one he’s been thinking about for years), and it comes with its own set of responsibilities and demands. The fact that he’s well-equipped to tackle this new stage of his life is, in part, thanks to all the experience he’s gained over the years. Even before his acting career took off, he was involved in theatre, as well as music and television, where he performed and recorded tracks with famous musicians, including Adele, James Taylor, and Sting. Most notably, he played Robert Plant in the 2015 BBC mini-series The Night Manager.

As a producer, he’s also been responsible for films such as Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit series and Joe Perrone’s upcoming film The House That Jack Built, and as an actor, his roles have ranged from supporting to lead, and he’s proved himself to be highly versatile and willing to tackle any role. So, while it’s true that the movie industry can be a bit stifling at times, it’s also a place where you can really grow as an artist and as a person.