You might not know it but 2011 was a momentous year for “Dangerous” Robert Pattinson. The English actor completed a remarkable public and private transformation, turning from a boy-band pinup to a fully-fledged movie star in the process. After years of keeping his private life a secret, Pattinson ventured into the spotlight in 2011, unveiling his brand new, “grown-up” look in the process. Naturally, it wasn’t easy and there were several teething problems along the way—namely, the paparazzi—but the 25-year-old star rose to the challenge, proving to the entire world that he’s a strong, independent individual and not the delicate creature his movies would have you believe he is. In the years to come, we will look back on these early days as a golden age for Pattinson. Here’s an overview of his remarkable transformation and the amazing feats he accomplished in 2011.

Scheduling Is Challenging

For years, fans have been pleading for Pattinson to commit to a set schedule, hinting that his perpetual flightiness made it hard for them to follow his schedule. Luckily, the famous fickleness the actor is known for was behind him in 2011, as he set himself a strict working schedule, turning up to set every day and often working through to the early hours of the morning. The schedules of high-profile celebrities can be complex affairs, consisting of a dizzying array of meetings, events and interviews, and it’s not easy for the average fan to keep up. For instance, it’s not unusual for an actor’s schedule to consist of 12 to 14 hours of meetings and interviews per day, along with a heavy load of red-carpet events, which are frequently announced some time in advance.

The Growing Beard

Another thing that helped Pattinson’s transition to “grown-up” status in 2011 was his full, thick beard. The bearded genius made a fashion statement in the process, donning full-body shirts and lumberjack shirts in regal, rustic fashion. His beard became a symbol of his changing persona, a symbol of his manhood and independence. Although his fans have been pleading for years for him to grow a full beard, Pattinson has been keeping his facial hair at bay, primarily due to its association with his old, boyish ways. This is perhaps one of the reasons why he hasn’t felt comfortable enough to sport a full facial hair for the past few years. However, after finally listening to his fans, he decided to embrace his inner caveman and grow a thick, bushy beard.

The Dark Hair And Mature Attitude

Another thing that helped Pattinson’s transition to “grown-up” status in 2011 was his choice of hair color. Instead of the traditional blonde, the star opted for a dark hairstyle, marring his otherwise clean-shaven face. This choice was not only a fashion statement but also a message to the world that he had “matured” as an actor. Naturally, the decision to go dark was not an easy one and he went through various hair dye treatments to fully commit to the new look. The change helped Pattinson project an image of strength and maturity, as well as a hint of menace. While we might not yet see the full results of his hair transformation, it’s clear that the starlet is putting in the work and is determined to make the most of this new look.

The Makeover

Last but not least, we have the makeover, one of the most prominent and recognizable transformations in Hollywood history. After years of keeping his private life a secret, Pattinson unveiled a spectacular transformation, undergoing a dazzling makeover to help him project an image of strength and independence. While it’s easy to point to specific products or treatments that he used to complete the transformation (mostly Botox and fillers, of course), the truth is that he evolved as a person before our very eyes, changing almost everything about himself, from the inside out. The English actor had been preparing for his public debut for years and had ditched the “nice guy” image he was typecast as in favor of a more aggressive, dangerous persona. Naturally, the makeover was partially staged, with a team of photographers guiding him through each step of the way, as he put his best face forward for the camera.

Although the transformation was a total makeover, with hair, makeup and wardrobe, it wasn’t exactly a novel experience for Pattinson. Back in 2007, he’d famously undergone a similar transformation for Elle magazine’s “Women in Hollywood” issue. As part of that shoot, he dressed in a beautiful, black-tie suit and posed among a tableau featuring beautiful women in glamorous, vintage dresses. Looking back on those days, Pattinson admits that the entire experience was a little scary but also a lot of fun. “It helped me grow up a bit,” he said at the time. “I’m not really a ‘suit’ kind of guy normally but I got a thrill out of it. It was a bit like being a kid again—not that I’ve ever been a kid!—in a way.” Of course, now that he’s a grown-up, sophisticated adult, the transformation might not be such a thrill for the actor but it’s certainly a statement.

Regardless, it’s clear that the makeover was a labor of love for Pattinson. As he put it in a 2011 interview, “I’m really proud of the fact that I didn’t just change the clothes and do the hair and make up. I started from the inside out and worked on getting rid of the things I didn’t need in my life. There are a lot of things the media doesn’t tell you about growing up in the public eye. It can be really hard to navigate your way through life.” It’s heartwarming to see that this famous face-melter actually feels comfortable enough to be entirely open about his feelings and what he needs. Of course, being open about your needs doesn’t mean that you’ll get everything you want, but it’s the first step toward change. This kind of honesty is exactly what we need in popular culture today, regardless of whether you agree with his decisions or not.

The Whole World Is Watching

If you thought that 2010 was a momentous year for Robert Pattinson, then you’re in for a real treat in 2011. The English actor is set to become a bonafide hot commodity, with not only his movies drawing in large audiences but also his public appearances and interviews garnering massive followings on social media. While it’s easy to get lost in the hype surrounding the starlet, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s more than one facet to his story and he’s been putting in the work for years, proving that he’s a serious, committed actor who is finally ready to break through. His 2011 schedule is packed, featuring a laundry list of red-carpet events, premiere appearances and interviews with some of the biggest names in the industry. It’s an exciting time for Pattinson fans, who have been patiently waiting for this day to come for years and finally have someone to shout “bravo” to. Needless to say, it’s going to be one hell of a ride and we’re all excited to see what Pattinson has in store for us in the coming months and years.