It’s fair to say that, since hitting the big-screen in 2012 with the Twilight film series, Robert Pattinson’s been having something of a renaissance. Between the numerous filmic and TV appearances since then and the steady stream of music-related live performances, the actor has found himself with more opportunities than ever before to put his unique spin on various projects. As a result, he’s found himself in high demand, with bookers keen to keep him in their employment pools. If you’re looking for a versatile performer who can step into many different roles, then look no further than Britain’s most eligible bachelor.
A Multi-Talented Performer
Pattinson gained widespread acclaim for his portrayal of the ill-fated, angst-ridden poet Arthur Byron in the 2014 film adaptation of D.W. Griffith’s 1912 classic, Intolerance. If you haven’t seen it, then it’s well worth seeking out – especially as part of a double-bill with Cecil DeMille’s 1926 version, The Wild West. The former is an excellent example of Britain’s early 20th-century cinema, while the latter is an exceptional piece of American filmmaking. Both offer some wonderful depictions of the West during the early days of the cowboy craze.
This is arguably Pattinson’s best role to date. The actor inhabits the part of the titular hero with consummate skill. He conveys every ounce of the Byronic hero’s despair, while never losing sight of his nobility. If you think that Arthur Byron represents the ultimate Romantic hero, then you’ll probably agree that Pattinson delivered a truly great performance.
Pattinson also showed off his acting chops in 2017, playing the dual role of twin brothers, Charlie and Darren, in the critically acclaimed miniseries The Crown. Airing on Netflix, the political drama charts the end of Queen Victoria’s (played by Helena Bonham Carter) long reign and her ascension to the throne. The series focuses on the machinations of Alfred (played by Hugh Laurie), a former Prime Minister who feels cheated by the young woman he’s serving as her advisor. His enmity toward the Queen is balanced only by his desire to remain in power and serve his country as long as possible.
Crown is an interesting study in contrasts. With its emphasis on the British Empire, many scenes feature the characters sitting at a table or at right angles to one another, conveying an air of solemnity. Yet, the series is also remarkably humorous. With a running time of 10 episodes, there’s plenty of opportunity for chuckles. These come largely from the bickering between the twin brothers, who serve as rivals for the attention of the Queen. While playing the straight man to Hugh Laurie’s comedic antics, Pattinson injects some much-needed levity into the proceedings.
The versatile actor has continued to appear in high-profile films, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for the 2018 film, Black. Set in the 1950s, the drama focuses on the early days of organised rock ‘n’ roll and the birth of American culture. Once again, Pattinson proves himself to be an outstanding actor, perfectly embodied in the part of legendary music producer, Ralph J. Gleason. The role also earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
Pattinson has stated that he sees his work as an actor as a form of worship. It’s a sentiment that one can certainly relate to. The role of Henry James Winchester in Twilight series may not have constituted a major part in the franchise’s success, but it’s hard to argue that the part didn’t contribute to its enduring popularity. Fans of the franchise still pine for Pattinson’s depiction of the gruff-but-loveable American businessman years later.
A Role Model For Men
It’s well-established that men can be quite protective of women they deem to be their “sister,” promoting their own notions of chivalry and romance. That’s why it comes as no great surprise that so many men have rallied around Pattinson. It’s also important to point out that he isn’t just a role model for men – he’s also a prominent supporter of the LGBT community.
The actor has been actively involved in various philanthropic projects since 2016. Among them is the design of a shirt worn by the singer Rihanna as an advertisement for the anti-bullying charity, Stonewall. In September last year, it was reported that the singer had donated half a million pounds to a creative writing course for marginalised youth.
Pattinson is also committed to supporting young actors. In January 2021, he launched a new playwriting competition, in conjunction with the UK’s national theatre, the Royal Court Theatre.
The theatre company is inviting budding playwrights to submit original material for consideration. The winner will be chosen based on their creativity, originality, and the strength of their written comedy or drama. To quote the competition’s details directly:
“Actors are always in demand, but rarely do we see them challenge the perception of what an actor should be. We want to inspire the next generation of actors with our writing course and provide them with the toolset to change the way we see performers on our screens and stage.”
It would appear that the influential actor is keen to put his own spin on what a successful, professional actor looks like. The success of Twilight proved that he was more than capable of carrying an award-winning franchise. The question is: will he choose to continue acting, or will he step back behind the camera to direct? Many believe that the latter will be the case. It would be a shame to see such an acclaimed actor leave the field, but it’s an exciting prospect nonetheless.