Actress Elizabeth Taylor once said that “we can never have too many beautiful photographs.” Indeed, this very notion would explain why there is a continuous stream of paparazzi photos to accompany news articles about the British actor and director Robert Pattinson. It seems that no matter where he goes, what he does, or who he talks to, he is never without an entourage of photographers, videographers, and journalists in tow.

In the latest installment of Pattinson’s ongoing PR campaign, the actor smiles for the camera in a series of intimate videos shot by director Luke McDonnell. The collection of videos—titled simply, The Truth—shows Pattinson at home, relaxing in his living room with his dogs and cat, as well as riding a tandem bike with his brother, Hamish. The footage was shot over the course of a week in September 2019.

The videos were initially released on Instagram, where they received over 2 million views. On YouTube, the first video has received over 20.5 million views as of October 2019.

Forbes recently ranked the top 50 celebrity YouTube channels with over 1 million subscribers. Among the channels, Robert Pattinson had the highest reach, attracting over 2.5 million subscribers.

In the videos, we see a completely relaxed and content Pattinson surrounded by animals, some of which he’s had since childhood.

Pattinson told Vanity Fair in 2015 that he has “always loved animals” and that they have been a part of his life since he was a teenager. He explained, “I’ve always had quite a few pets, mainly fish, budgies, and hamsters…It doesn’t really matter what kind of animal you are attracted to, as long as they’re not harmful. And I’ve never harmed an animal in my life.”

Pattinson has also spoken about his admiration for author J.K. Rowling and her Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which she founded in the Harry Potter books. In an interview with the New York Times, he said, “I have a lot of respect for J.K. Rowling. What she’s done is phenomenal. She’s created this incredible world of Harry Potter, and it’s wonderful that her work has endured for 20 years and keeps going! I have a lot of respect for what she’s done and the longevity of her work.”

The Making Of The Videos

Luke McDonnell, the director of the videos, spoke with Bustle about the making of the project.

“I saw him a couple of weeks ago at the MTV Movie Awards, and I just kind of went up to him and said, ‘Hey, I’m a big fan of yours. I shot a video with your sister a few years back, and I would love to talk to you about doing something together. It would be such a cool project to make something together, you know? And maybe even do a little Q&A with the fans?”

McDonnell explained that he and his team had set up a series of cameras—both traditional and electronic—and that they had begun to coordinate the day’s events with Pattinson, who was already familiar with the director’s work. Accordingly, they filmed him riding his bike, relaxing at home, and spending time with family and friends.

“He was really cool. He said, ‘Oh yeah, I love that outfit. Let’s do it.’ He was really into the look of it,” McDonnell said. “I think he had a little bit of an entourage with him, but for the most part, we were able to get the footage with just me and him.”

The director noted that shooting the video with a member of the royal family would have been difficult, due to the need for logistical support and safety precautions. However, he found that even without the assistance of a professional team, the process still required careful planning and preparation.

“We had to send people out a week in advance to set up tripods and lighting, and make sure that there were no bad surprises when we showed up to shoot. And we did a lot of those little things. I think that even without the logistics of a big film company, you still need to have all those little things in place before you can even think about going anywhere. It just takes a little bit more time.”

He also discussed the need for the videos to maintain a very intimate atmosphere, explaining that he did not want audiences to feel that they were watching a professional actor or a celebrity.

“It’s really important that the viewer feels like they are getting a different perspective on what is going on. Because we all know that celebrities are usually painted in a certain way—just to put a human face to something or to make it more relatable. So I really wanted to avoid any of that. So I tried to keep things as genuine as possible. And I think that that is how it came across, that it wasn’t done for the cameras.”

Forbes recently ranked the top 50 celebrity YouTube channels with over 1 million subscribers. Among the channels, Robert Pattinson had the highest reach, attracting over 2.5 million subscribers.

The Content Of The Videos

The videos themselves are an intimate glimpse into Pattinson’s home life. As noted, the collection of videos shows the actor relaxing at home, surrounded by animals. Additionally, he is seen sharing various one-on-one moments with family and friends. Some of the content is quite humorous, as when he plays chess with his mom, Vanessa, or when he shares an awkward father-son moment with his dad, Tom.

In one video, he plays chess with his mother, Vanessa. In another, he makes fun of his father, Tom, who is an amateur magician. And in yet another, he shows off his skills as an artist, decorating a piece of cardboard with various magical creatures, including a cat, a pig, and a bearded man.

Pattinson also takes the opportunity to show off his impressive physique in several of the videos. He lifts weights and does various bicep curls with his arms behind his head.

“I would say that he’s pretty fit, wouldn’t you?” said McDonnell in response to a question about the actor’s physical appearance. “He’s been working out a bit.”

Why Is Robert Pattinson Smiling In This Video?

It would appear that the answer to this question lies in the videos’ content and the intimate atmosphere that McDonnell and his team wanted to create. By showing off his fit physique and spending time with family and friends, Pattinson is able to disarm his audience and humanize himself. It is an interesting move, as it allows the viewer to see the actor as a normal person, rather than a celebrity.

Additionally, the intimate nature of the videos allows for a greater degree of honesty. We see Pattinson joking around and having fun with his family and friends, which gives the videos a more genuine feel. The same can be said for his interactions with the camera crew, which make up a good portion of the videos. It is evident that he is having a good time and is relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera.

The fact that these videos exist at all is an interesting development within the sphere of celebrity YouTube videos. While many of these videos are shot in front of a green screen with no actual people involved, the fact that they are not costume-related and that they feature actual humans makes them different. And while many of the videos show off an actor’s impressive physique, it seems that Pattinson is using his YouTube channel to show a different side of himself—a side that not even his most avid fans may know all that well.