They may be Hollywood’s it-couple right now, but the on-screen chemistry between Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner goes back a long way. At the recent premiere of their new film, The Rover, in London, the English actor looked dashing in a stylish black t-shirt and torn jeans, and the American star stole the spotlight in a stunning dress.

It was the first time that the two had been public together since their romantic breakup in 2016, and they both looked remarkably well-adjusted. Since then, they’ve managed to remain friends while pursuing solo careers, and their friendship is arguably one of the central stories of the year so far.

The two actors first appeared together on the big screen in 2012’s Twilight, the blockbuster franchise that made them household names. Since then, they’ve starred in a number of films together, including the action thriller, Goodbye Christopher Robin, and most recently, The Rover. The latest film marks the English actor’s return to playing a character named Edward Cullen, as he did in the Twilight films. The role made him a global superstar, and he’s since gone on to appear in numerous blockbusters and award-winning films, often co-starring with Lautner.

The Twilight films made the young stars of today global celebrities, and their story has been documented in a number of books and documentaries. One of the most important being Twilight: The Ultimate Anthology, a collection of essays and stories from the fandom. Within its pages, we learn about Edward and Bella’s whirlwind romance, their quest for self-discovery, and the incredible impact that the blockbuster franchise had on popular culture.

The Twilight films took America and then the world by storm, and they helped to normalize same-sex relationships in film. While the films’ protagonists, Edward and Bella, are meant to be interpreted as homosexual, many fans saw them as a story about the triumph of love. The couple were even dubbed ‘The Romeo and Juliet of Hollywood.’ To this day, Twilight remains one of the most popular series in the world. Its audience, now in its fifth decade, is still going strong.

Lautner too has had an incredible career, appearing in some of the most iconic films of our time. He’s most recently been seen in the blockbuster titles The Mummy and Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle, as well as Disney’s live action remake of the animated classic, Mulan. He also performed the voice of Tiger Lily in the 2019 live-action adaptation of Peter Pan. He’ll next be seen in the upcoming live-action adaptation of the Rooster Cogburn, where he’ll play the titular character’s sidekick, Matt Hatter.

A Friendship That Started In Uniform

While Twilight was filming, Lautner and Pattinson met on the set during a break. At the time, Lautner was a rookie agent trying to break into Hollywood, and Pattinson was studying for an MFA at Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts. After graduation, the two decided to pursue a friendship that would eventually lead to a professional partnership. In 2014, they founded their own agency, United Agents, and began representing some of the biggest A-listers in the business, including Hugh Jackman, who they represented for a decade. One of their first big breaks came in 2015, when they landed Hugh Jackman a role in the film adaptation of La La Land. The film was a box office success, grossing over $400 million worldwide, and launched them into the public eye.

The British actor has since gone on to star in blockbusters such as The Mask, Independence Day: Resurgence, and most recently, The Meg. He was also the co-lead alongside Tom Hardy in the 2017 film, Venom, and will next be seen in the 2020 superhero film, Black Widow. For his part, Lautner has since gone on to star in blockbusters including Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye and the Divergent series, The Divergent and The Insurgent. He was also recently seen in the Disney film, The New Kid, and will appear in the upcoming action thriller, Death Race 2050.

Always Room For A Friend

The first Twilight film was a huge success globally when it was released in 2012, and it became the highest grossing independent film of all time. Its popularity led to the creation of international film festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival, which is named after the movie. When asked what he thought about the legacy that his former film has left behind, Pattinson said, “It’s pretty incredible. That was eight years ago, and it just keeps going. We’re still getting emails from people who saw the movie when it first came out… It’s one of the few movies that people actually want to see more than once. It really is incredible.”

Lautner too has been fortunate enough to see his film one- or-more times almost every year since its release. “I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing it,” he said at last year’s Comic-Con, which was his first time in attendance. “It’s just so much fun to see how much it means to people.” The film’s fan base has continued to grow, with numerous special screenings taking place around the world, including in China, where it is sometimes shown at midnight to avoid competition from the day’s biggest film. The English actor has also gone on to win an Emmy for his role as Edward Cullen, and was nominated for a Golden Globe as well.

The Ultimate Partnership

While the two have been friends for years, their partnership was officially announced in 2016, after several months of speculation. “I’ve known Taylor for a really long time, and we’ve always been really good friends, ” said Pattinson. “For the past year or so, we’ve been working really closely together, and it’s really paid off. We’ve got a lot of good ideas, and a lot of fun projects coming up.”

In 2017, their agency United Agents landed them their first major project together, The Weinstein Company’s period epic, The Greatest Showman. The film explores the incredible lives and stories of P.T. Barnum, alongside Hugh Jackman, and is the first major project for both men. On top of that, they also recently starred in the romantic comedy, Still Alice, alongside Elle Fanning and Julianne Moore. The film follows a young woman (Fanning) who suspects that she may be developing Alzheimer’s disease, and eventually, finds out that she is indeed suffering from the disease. She teams up with a medical student (Moore) to create a living will for her. They also have a part in the upcoming film, The Goldfinch, alongside Nicole Kidman and Robert De Niro. Their work together has been recognized with several awards, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

An Intimate And Private Affair

Despite the worldwide attention that their partnership has received, the two actors have kept their relationship private. “We’ve always tried to respect that, and not give interviews or do anything that would potentially overshadow what is a very intimate and private relationship, ” said Lautner. “We are very, very fortunate to have such a beautiful and private friendship.”

The two have been seen together on multiple occasions, including at this year’s Met Gala in New York City. And though they’ve never formally announced their engagement, Lautner did share on Twitter that they’d been discussing marriage for the longest time. “Thought long and hard about this, and decided that for the sake of our friendship we would wait, ” he wrote, along with a heart emoji.

Their desire to keep their personal life private is likely a product of the intense media scrutiny that comes with being an internationally renowned celebrity. Lautner has previously spoken out about the harmful effects that the spotlight can have on a person, even going so far as to call it ‘self-care at its worst.’ He’s also used his platform to champion social causes, including gender equality and LGBT rights. Though, he’s never publicly acknowledged his homosexuality, the two men are clearly very close, and their intimate relationship has been celebrated throughout Hollywood. In 2019 alone, they were among the 50 most followed individuals on TikTok, with over 17 million followers between them. Their popularity on TikTok is only part of the reason for their enduring appeal. The English actor has also been the subject of numerous fan-made documentaries, including the Disney-backed Made In Heaven and the Netflix-funded You Were Never Alone, which looks into the personal and professional lives of the superstar. They’ve even made cameo appearances in a number of TV shows and podcasts, including House of Gucci and We Can Be Heroes.