If you’ve been sleeping on the streets for the last couple of nights, you may have witnessed a celebrity. On Friday, the paparazzi were out in full force to capture some memorable moments from the Cannes Film Festival. As the festival’s premiere week came to a close, the gossip columns were filled with reports of a “spectacularly boozy” close to the film world’s premier annual event. However, instead of wasting any precious napping hours analysing the significance of the incident with regards to the movie industry, we decided to analyse the claims that have been made about this year’s Cannes Film Festival and its biggest attraction – Robert Pattinson!
Hollywood’s Biggest Star
The 25-year-old Brit has been a Hollywood star since he made his acting debut in the 2005 film, Sideways. Since then he has appeared in the Twilight Saga (as Edward Cullen), The Great Gatsby, Prometheus and Good Neighbours. He was also a judge on the popular TV show, The Great British Baking Show.
This year, Pattinson was one of the Hollywood stars who attended the French festival to support the British filmmaker Ken Loach, who was also present at the premiere of his latest film, I, Daniel Blake – a powerful social realist satire about the effects of Brexit on the most vulnerable members of British society. It is widely regarded as one of the best British films ever made and was screened out of competition at Cannes. While in France, Pattinson was also a judge on the television show, The Voice of France. It is unknown whether this is related to his time in France as part of the jury for the 2016 Cannes Film Festival or a completely different role.
Riddle Me This
One of the most interesting rumours surrounding this year’s Cannes Film Festival is the identity of the man lurking in the shadows of the celebrity-studded social events. The gossip columns have dubbed this anonymous figure “Russian”, and it appears that this nickname was bestowed upon him due to his nationality rather than his appearance. Several outlets have reported that this year’s Cannes Film Festival was “definitely influenced” by Russian culture, referring to the large contingent of Russian stars that graced its red carpet this year – from Tilda Swinton’s participation in the European premiere of The Grand Partnership to Anna Kendrick’s appearance at the premiere of her new film, Annabelle – as well as to the prevalence of “Russian icons”, including Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, on the festival’s bookshelves.
These are interesting times for Russia. This year marks the country’s 100th anniversary since it adopted its current Constitution. It also saw the rise of a number of popular nationalist leaders, such as Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, who spent a large amount of time defending the country’s honour during the World Wrestling League war. Many in Russia will be looking for signs of this country’s power and influence at Cannes this year. Although it is unknown whether this interest in Russian culture extended to Pattinson’s behaviour during the festivities, the culture secretary for Scotland, Fiona Hyslop, said that it was “perfectly acceptable” for him to have a drink or two at the festival. If true, this would make him the first British politician to visit the famed festival in the 70 years since it began.
Is He Russian?
So who is “Russian”, and is Pattinson indeed related to this mysterious figure? As with most celebrity scandals, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. According to one report, the nickname “Russian” was first attached to the actor in 2010. Prior to that he was simply credited as “Robert Pattinson”, which is how he will be credited in the upcoming Twilight Saga prequel, Breaking Dawn – Part 2. This is certainly not the first time that this has happened either; in 2007, he was credited as “Russian Writer” when he contributed the screenplay for the film, The Crazies. It is quite possible that the rumours surrounding him are part of a clever publicity stunt – after all, who wouldn’t want to be associated with the glamorous Cannes Film Festival and a string of A-lister interviews?
For those who have followed his career, it shouldn’t come as a great surprise that “Russian” has become Pattinson’s unofficial nickname. It was back in 2006 that he made his debut at the Cannes Film Festival and walked its red carpet with a cane, prompting the gossip columns to dub him “Cannes’ Most Wanted Man”. That same year, he was also arrested for allegedly assaulting a photographer outside a nightclub in London. The charges were later dropped. If this was indeed a publicity stunt, it certainly worked. Since then, he has been attached to more than a dozen major publications’ lists of the world’s most attractive and most talented men. Additionally, he currently has more than 450 million Instagram followers, making him one of the social media world’s most popular figures.
Most Wanted Man
Pattinson clearly has a lot to live for. As well as walking the red carpet at Cannes, he also has a new film, The King, opening in American theatres this week. This is the actor’s first solo lead role and is based on the real-life story of a man named, you guessed it, King George – though the actor is playing the role of George’s great uncle, Lord Mountbatten. The film also stars Michelle Dockery, James Fox, Olivia Colman and Angela Lansbury. It is scheduled for release in the UK on 27 June.
Now that he is back in the limelight, it’s safe to assume that this will be the role from which he headlines for the rest of his life. It was only a matter of time before the English rose turned into a full-blown celebrity. After all, the more famous you are, the more you’ll be able to get away with!