If you’re a fan of ‘The Twilight Saga’, then it’s no secret that the handsome actor known for his role as Edward Cullen has been busy lately. Besides filming the last two instalments of the series, he has also been doing press for the upcoming release of ‘The Farewell’, in which he plays an elderly man trying to live a good life before he dies. While many might consider Edward’s recent work to be a step down from his famous and critically acclaimed portrayals of J. Loafers and Scotty McCool, those that know him best wouldn’t agree. In fact, in many ways, Robert has been upgrading his game since first joining the ranks of cinema’s elite. Here’s a closer look at the versatile 47-year-old’s impressive filmography and the many ways he has expanded his skill set since leaving ‘The Twilight Saga’ behind.
Focus On Craft
From his very first acting role in the 1996 Wes Craven psychological horror movie ‘Curse Of The First Nations’, Robert has proven to be a skilled craftsman. His knack for getting into character and striking scene-stealing poses has won him many fans, but it also put his talents to the test. As he tells Total Film in his upcoming biography, Robert Pattinson: The Making of a Movie Magician, “I didn’t have much time for acting when I was 20. There was a lot of pressure because I was filming ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ in New Zealand at the time. I was spending 12 to 14 hours a day on set, so there was no time for anything else.” Even though he was only starring in a made-for-TV movie at the time, it undoubtedly helped push his acting career forward. It also helped that the movie was a critical and box-office success, making Craven one of the most in-demand and recognisable directors in Hollywood. A self-described “craftsman” and “artist”, the English-born actor is very particular about the details of his characters’ wardrobes and the props and sets they use. In an interview with HitFix, he shares that he loves to get involved in the minutiae of a production, particularly when it comes to creating the right mood and atmosphere for a film: “I like to get involved in the smallest details, like the wardrobe, the lighting, and the sound design. It’s important that the audience feels like they’re inside the movie and believing what’s going on, rather than just observing it.” It’s definitely an approach that has served him well over the years, and one that has helped make a lot of films a critical and commercial success. Despite being one of Hollywood’s most bankable and recognisable actors, it’s still not easy to get a project off the ground, especially in today’s Hollywood, where a lot of the top roles go to established stars. So, for the uninitiated, here’s a closer look at how to make a movie magic.
Behind The Scenes
Although he has mostly worked in straight-to-video sequels and made-for-TV movies, it’s important to remember that when ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ cast and crew first arrived in New Zealand, they had no idea what kind of movie they were making. They had simply been hired for their acting chops and were expected to show up, read the script and deliver their lines. It was only later that the crew discovered that they were actually making a Peter Jackson-directed adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic poem. What’s more, Jackson had decided to scrap the “formulaic” and “cookie-cutter” approach the studio had been using and instead wanted to give the film a “personal touch”. The director had also decided to forgo using visual effects and instead wanted to rely on “old-school” special effects. Even the script had changed, with Jackson changing the original English dialogue to suit his native Kiwi accent. Needless to say, there were plenty of challenges ahead for the crew, not least of which was trying to figure out how to make the most of Wellington’s limited number of street lights and the harsh African climate. With a big-name cast and the backing of a major Hollywood studio behind him, it’s no wonder that ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ is considered one of Jackson’s greatest films.
A Change Of Pace
After ‘The Lord Of The Rings’, Robert went on to star in some critically acclaimed films, not to mention the megaplex blockbusters that have made him one of Hollywood’s most bankable and recognisable leading men. He has worked with some of cinema’s greatest names, including Sam Waterston, Sigourney Weaver, Marjorie Merriweather and Glenn Close. In each of these cases, he has proven to be a true craftsman, delivering top-notch performances that have challenged and stimulated his critics and audiences. Most recently, he appeared in the critically-acclaimed ‘The King’s Speech’, in which he played King George VI, whose debilitating hypothyroidism prevented him from speaking. He received widespread acclaim for his nuanced portrayal, and in many ways, the film marked a turning point in Robert’s ever-evolving career. Going into detail about the making of the film in his new book, “The Making Of ‘The King’s Speech’”, he says, “I didn’t realise just how much the character would change my life. When you read the play, he’s not a particularly likeable character. But then you watch the movie, and you begin to understand the real-life pressures that the character was under. It’s a very human story, and I think that’s what makes it so powerful. The audience can identify with the character, because we’ve all been there.” Playing a variety of different characters and sticking to his strengths, whether it’s been playing a gangster or a paedophile, Robert has managed to stay in the public eye and continue to evolve as an actor. While some might consider his choice of film roles to be somewhat limited at this stage of his career, those that know him best would disagree.