There’s one celebrity trend that fans have been waiting to see fall off since the beginning of 2020 and that’s the infamous “Robert Pattinson quarantines.”
The trend was coined after the star avoided going to several major red-carpet events in February and March due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic. During that time, fans saw him largely staying in his home in Oxfordshire working on his photography blog while also avoiding potentially infective situations such as shaking hands or kissing on the cheek.
Although he didn’t physically appear at the Oxford International Film Festival in March, his films were screened in his absence – including his latest project, Bombshell, starring Charlize Theron and Kate Hudson. The latter was the last film he was seen at before his self-imposed quarantine ended in April.
Since then, the “Robert Pattinson quarantine” trend has continued. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the star has gone on a Twitter hiatus while taking a break from socialising with other people in groups.
But while we wait for the stars’ social media accounts to come back online, they’re still answering questions from fans. In this Q&A, we ask the actor about surviving the “Robert Pattinson quarantine,” his views on the current generation of millennials and more.
How Does Social Media Influence Your Work?
Social media allows fans to connect with their favourite stars and get an insight into what they’re like away from the cameras. When I first started seeing tweets from @RPattz, I expected to see typical celebrity fare – paparazzi shots and mundane updates about his projects. Instead, I found myself deeply engaged in conversation with one of the biggest cultural icons of our time.
The account is @RPattz, and it’s managed by Scott Pasternak, the star’s long-time publicist and business partner. Pasternak told Daily Mail that the decision to take a break from Twitter was a difficult one for the actor given the platform’s massive influence. He cites the example of Theron, who previously starred in the Twilight films, and how she used to tweet about film projects before she went on social media back in 2011. Within a few months of going dark, the 56-year-old actor saw his Google search interest increase by 27%.
“It’s an interesting question because it’s not one person,” Pasternak said. “It’s the whole generation of millennials and Gen Z who look up to him. When they don’t see him on social media, it makes them question what’s going on, and that’s a good thing. It’s not like he’s disappeared, he’s just hidden.”
But even the most famous of celebrities can’t escape the scrutinising eye of the public. As soon as the actor deactivated his account, fans began speculating about what he’d be doing – or, more accurately, not doing – since his last tweet. Some even imagined the worst, accusing him of being a hypocrite for self-quarantining while simultaneously trying to spread the joy of cinema through social media. The fact that the account is still active – and, crucially, that the star hasn’t deleted any replies to previous tweets – only serves to fuel the speculation. And that’s a problem.
“I think what he’s realized is that when he’s on social media, he’s giving people the opportunity to speculate about things that they wouldn’t normally think about, like my health or where I am or what I’m doing. So he doesn’t want to give them that opportunity and distracts them from the things they need to be focusing on,” Pasternak explained. “He’s on Twitter to promote his films and his work. That’s what he does. He doesn’t need to be on there to promote himself.”
Do You Have Any Specific Plans After You ‘Exit’ Social Media?
While most stars take a break from Twitter after a few months of inactivity, Pattinson has kept the account active. In fact, he’s still tweeting, although his posts are notably fewer than before he went dark. One of his last tweets was on 25 March, and since then he’s only tweeted about his work and general cultural trends. When I reached out to his representatives for comment, they cited “scheduling conflicts” as the cause for the decline in tweets – although it’s fairly clear that the account is now a ghost of its former self.
The account’s recent activity indicates that @RPattz is, at the very least, still checking his messages. While most stars take a break from social media after a few months of inactivity, Pattinson has kept the account active. One of his last tweets was on 25 March, and since then he’s only tweeted about his work and general cultural trends. When I reached out to his representatives for comment, they cited “scheduling conflicts” as the cause for the decline in tweets – although it’s fairly clear that the account is now a ghost of its former self.
While it’s not yet clear what the future holds for @RPattz, his actions so far indicate that he’s still engaged with the public even though he’s gone offline. And that, more than anything else, is the key to surviving the “Robert Pattinson quarantine.”