There’s no question that Robert Pattinson is one of the most well-known faces in the world right now. The British actor came back from anonymity to become one of the most popular on-screen characters of all time with his portrayal of the besotted young poet/musician William Shakespeare in the smash hit film The House of Gucci. Since then, he’s starred in a string of big-budget Hollywood films like Cosmo and the CountrymanThe Lost City Dark, and Twilight.

While many may know him as an actor, it’s important to remember that Pattinson is a musician. He’s been writing and performing music since he was a teenager, and it was while touring with his band that he realized how much he enjoyed working as an actor. The musician decided to pursue a career in films, knowing that he’d have the freedom to explore both sides of himself as an artist. It’s been an incredible journey, and one that’s brought him to the top of the acting world. We’re no stranger to the actor’s work in the Twilight series, as he plays the central character of Edward Cullen three times over – most notably in the Breaking Dawn – Part 2 finale. We’ve covered Pattinson’s incredible journey over the years in considerable detail in our annual ranking of the Top 50 Music Career Duos, so let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most important events in the actor’s life.

Pattinson’s Music Career

It all began for Pattinson when he was 15 years old. He was a fan of the music of Led Zeppelin, and decided to write and record a song in homage to the legendary English rock band. He called the song “Over the Hills and Far Away,” and took it to Jimmy Page, a Led Zep expert and the guitarist for the Rolling Stones, who happened to be in Los Angeles at the time. After hearing Pattinson’s tune, Page loved it and decided to take a listen to The Beatles as well. He then proceeded to invite the young prodigy to come by his hotel room and play him some of the music he most loved. Pattinson accepted the offer and was soon playing guitar and singing for Page and his guests. This led to more meetings with the Stones frontman, who invited the struggling teen to open up for him on tour. It was then that Pattinson decided to become a professional musician.

Pattinson’s first band, The Dolphins, released a self-titled demo in 1991 and were signed to Columbia Records. The album didn’t make much of an impact at the time, but over the years it’s become something of a cult classic among fans. The demo featured two original tracks; “Pale Blue Dot” and “A Day in the Life.” The frontman has also performed with several other bands over the years, most notably Badly Drawn Boy (for whom he wrote the score for The House of Gucci). He even played guitar on David Bowie’s Low album, lending his talent to the Isolaris album, as well as appearing on several songs on the album.

Pattinson’s Film Career

It was in 2008 that Pattinson decided to switch gears and pursue a career in film. He started off in the UK with Revenge of the Rat, and then moved to Hollywood to star in The House of Gucci. Things went well for the actor, and he was soon picked up by Columbia Pictures. He then went back to the UK to star in the adaptation of the bestselling novel The Lost City Dark, which he also co-wrote. He was also chosen to play the male lead in the thriller Luminous, opposite Hollywood star Halle Berry. Both of these films were directed by Tom Tykwer, but it was The House of Gucci that really established him as a prominent international movie star. The film was a huge success and opened up a whole new audience for the young actor. That audience has continued to grow with each new project he’s starred in.

Breaking Dawn

The Twilight series is a big deal. It’s inspired a generation of fans who’ve grown up with the characters and want to know more about their story. It’s also revitalized the world of vampires, which had been on a bit of a downward spiral since the Twilight movies were first released in 2007. 

The world of Twilight is a bit more complicated than it seems, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that it’s a shared universe. This is made evident in Breaking Dawn – Part 1, when Edward Cullen and Bella Swan (Pattinson’s onscreen daughter/granddaughter) get married. The event is officiated by Jacob Black, the series’ main villain. Due to the shared universe, it’s difficult to determine who Edward’s true soul mate is, as there are Twilight vampires and Underworld vampires living in harmony under Carlisle‘s rule. However, it’s clear that Bella isn’t interested in any Twilight male, not even Edward. This is one of the major factors that led to Breaking Dawn – Part 2 – the Re-Vamped Tycoon Story:

When Edward and Bella get married, it’s like a breath of fresh air for the Underworld vampires, who’ve been dying for a chance at an Edward Cullen-type figurehead to lead them. They then proceed to wreak havoc on the Twilight civilization, leaving a trail of bloody corpses in their wake. The film’s climax finds the two vampire factions battling it out in the Hills, with Bella ultimately choosing the safety of her kinsfolk over Edward’s promise to protect her. It’s an incredible scene, and one that brought an end to the Underworld-Twilight war.

Twilight Saga

The Twilight Saga is the collective name for the three Twilight movies starring Pattinson as Edward Cullen. They are Twilight (2008), New Moon (2009), and Eclipse (2011). In total, the trilogy has made over $1 billion at the box office.

The movies are part of a larger story that continues to be told through comic books and novels. The story revolves around Edward Cullen, who, after many years of studying folklore and mythology, finally ventures into the world to find his own mate. The Twilight films tell the story of how he does just that, meeting Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart) at the Breaking Dawn premiere and falling in love with her at first sight. The couple then set off on a passionate journey that will change both their lives forever.