Is Robert Pattinson really a doctor, lawyer, or accountant? The actor, who plays a surgeon in the upcoming film, Oblivion, sheds light on his professions in the new issue of GQ.
How did you get into acting?
Oh, man. It’s such a long story. I started off in musical theater in England and did a few things for the Royal Opera House in London. My first job was Alice in Wonderland, and then I did West Side Story. I actually sang on-stage for the first time when I was 15. It was such an amazing feeling. Then, I went straight into doing movie voiceovers, which is a form of acting. I did a few things for Disney, like Sleeping Beauty and The Rocketeer. Then, I started getting more into Shakespeare, and did a few productions of the plays. I was 19 or 20 when I did my first play, which was Macbeth. It was great to do that. It was great training, because afterwards, I could just go on sets and do my job. It was pretty cool. Now, I’m doing this big-budget Hollywood movie called Oblivion. It’s a lot of running around, a lot of action. It’s been a real rush. It’s pretty cool. I have a few more big projects lined up after this, so it looks like I’m going to be acting for a while.
What do you do on set?
I have a double-secret profession. I’m both an actor and a surgeon. When we’re on set, I’m usually in full-on costume. If it’s a really intense scene and there’s a lot of running around, I’ll have to remove my shirt. I don’t mind, because it’s hot, and I feel more comfortable operating without a shirt on. When I’m not operating, I have to pretend to be a surgeon, so I have to put on the doctor’s outfit. It’s been great. We actually had to rename the character, because originally, he was just called the Surgeon. From the comics, we knew that he was a surgeon, but we didn’t know what specialty. So, they changed it to Dr. Robert Pattinson, MD. It’s pretty cool, because in the comics, he is a cardiologist, and in real life, I am both a cardiologist and a surgeon.
What’s the status of your medical profession?
I graduated from the University of London with a bachelor’s degree in medical science, summing up my education with the following three words: AMA, OK, and ACoS. The abbreviation stands for the American College of Surgeons, the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, and the Overseas Committee of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. That’s pretty neat. I did my internship in cardiology at Hammersmith Hospital in London, and my residency at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. I actually just finished my fellowship last year, which is a five-year program that gives you board certification in cardiology. Now, I’m applying for job posts in cardiology, and I already have a few offers. I’m really thankful to be able to do this, because it’s given me a different perspective on life. I love being able to help people, and this has given me the opportunity to do that. I also do some pro-bono work, which is great, because I can help out those in need.
Do you have any hobbies?
I have a lot of hobbies. I like to cook, in particular, Italian food. I also like to read, particularly, historical fiction, and comic books. It’s probably what I like most about movies. Being able to see what’s going on under the surface, how actions impact one another. That’s something that I don’t get to do when I’m working, so it’s great when a movie allows me to do that. My friends and I watch a lot of movies, and play video games, so it’s nice to have a place where we can just congregate and have fun.
What kind of car do you drive?
I drive a Tesla Model S. It’s a really cool car. When you’re in it, you feel like you’re in the future, or at least, the future as we know it, because of how intuitive it is to drive. Also, it has this great display, which shows you all the data about the car, so you know exactly how much energy you’re using and how much charge there is left. It also speaks to you, so you can ask it questions, like what time will we reach our destination. It knows where you’re going, and gives you helpful tips along the way. It’s pretty cool. I like that. Plus, it’s a status symbol. There are just so many advantages to this car, so I don’t know where I’d be without it. I’m sure I’d be driving another model, or nothing at all.
Do you have any special skills?
Do you have any special skills?
I do have a couple of skills that are pretty special. One is improv, and I get to use that a lot in my job. I actually took a class, called Improv for Film and TV, which is a two-day course that helps you find your own rhythm and tone in a scene, regardless of whether you’re shooting live action or on set. It’s such a great tool to have, because it can help you make the most of what you’ve got, whether it’s a character or an opportunity. There are also certain kinds of cameras that I’ve learned to work with, which can help you manipulate how you appear on screen. It’s something that can’t be taught, and it can only be gained through experience.
As you can see by his work, Robert Pattinson’s versatility shines through. From his early days in music to his current pursuits in acting and science, he’s continually evolving and experimenting to find ways to express himself and bring his passions into his work. It’s safe to say that his future is too bright to be penned in by one field, and we’re certain that he has many more exciting adventures in store.