By: Elle MacLeman

Photographer Robert Pattinson is most famous for being the subject of intense media scrutiny due to his close ties with singer-songwriter Katy Perry. But, as it turns out, he has quite the story to tell as well. Since splitting from the American Idol winner in 2013, Pattinson has gone on to establish a reputation as one of the most well-spoken men in Hollywood. In the following excerpt from his forthcoming book, The Light House: A Romantic Novel, due to be released this month, Pattinson opens up about his romantic endeavors and why he thinks they’ve been so successful.

The Light House

The Light House is the story of a young Englishman named Robert Pattinson who moves to Los Angeles to pursue a career in films. Along with his friend and flatmate Harry Evans, he ends up living a glamorous lifestyle in the City of Angels. The story is told in the first person, and the present-tense narration frequently switches between the two characters, resulting in a sort of cross-fade between the two narratives. While there is no doubt that much of what happens in the book is fictional, Pattinson manages to perfectly capture the magic of Los Angeles, as well as the allure of acting. He also offers some pretty candid assessments of contemporary Hollywood, including some choice comments about his ex-wife, Katy Perry.

The Allure Of Los Angeles

There are many reasons why Los Angeles is such an attractive place to live. The climate is great, offering a fresh wind from the ocean that soothes your soul. The city is full of life, with parks, restaurants, and bars to help you make the most of it. And, last but not least, the people. The Hollywood sign is arguably the most recognizable landmark in the whole city, and it’s been the setting or the film star Tom Hanks in countless movies. Plus, there are always people around to help, whether you need somebody to walk your dog for you or you want to get a massage!

But, of course, being a celebrity town means that your life will always be followed and documented by the people who matter most: the paparazzi (or ‘photo-obsessed monsters,’ as Pattinson calls them). One of the funniest anecdotes in the book comes from the very first chapter, when Harry goes on a date with a girl he meets at a bar. Before they can even make it to the restaurant, he has to stop off at a photo shop to have some ‘likenesses taken’ in case he runs into trouble. Harry is a little annoyed that the photo shop runs out of film while they wait, forcing him to rush to Kodak to have his shots developed. At least the guy at the photo shop is happy to see Harry and offers to give him a ride in exchange for his autograph. ‘So we climbed into the back of his van,’ Harry remembers. ‘There was no other traffic, so I closed my eyes and sang “Take It Easy” by the Bee Gees as I drove. I had no idea where we were going, but when the photo shop guy dropped me off at the curb in front of my apartment building, I had a feeling it might not be the last ride I’d take before the night was over.’

From ‘Idol’ To ‘Dark Shadows’

To follow in Harry’s footsteps would be to become an actor in Hollywood. After meeting with an agent in New York City, Robert makes his way to LA, where he lands a role on a TV show. For someone who admires both Barbra Streisand and Julia Roberts, this must have been an attractive prospect. As it happens, Robert’s first major acting role is in a film version of Dark Shadows, a gothic soap opera that airs on Saturday nights. While Robert plays the part of Barnabas Collins with relish, the experience is not exactly what he had in mind. ‘They flew me out to a crappy Hollywood studio, shoved me in a cold recording studio, and barked at me to make my lines.’ He later jokes that it is ‘probably the worst, most unlistenable thing [he has] ever recorded.’

Although Robert enjoys his acting work and quickly moves from one project to the next, it is never going to be his principal occupation. ‘I’d much rather be sitting in a dark room, watching movies with a drink. At least when I’m acting, something good happens. When I watch films, it’s like being at the movies with your friends, but without any distraction of having to buy your snacks and drink.’

One of the things that sets Robert apart from many other Hollywood personalities is that he actually seems to enjoy his work. ‘I find the whole process very relaxing,’ he said in 2016. ‘The idea of having creative control over the story and the characters is very appealing. Sometimes I’ll come across a line in a script that just cracks me up. I’ll know the other actors will have the same reaction, so I’ll go home and have a laugh with my wife.’

Having already tried his hand at being a professional singer, it is perhaps only natural that Robert should move into composing and producing music. His experiences working with high-profile producers on films like Twilight and Snow White And The Huntsman have given him valuable skills that he puts to good use. Most notably, he produced the musical score for the film Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, which was nominated for an Academy Award. It is indeed fortunate that Robert has found a way to utilize his considerable skills in a creative, productive manner. And, as he proved with his work on the score for Miss Peregrine, he is clearly more than equipped to handle any task that comes his way.

However, even a creative outlet has its drawbacks. ‘When the script for Dark Shadows was finally finished,’ Robert remembers, ‘I found myself reading it over and over again, hoping that the characters would say something new and interesting. By the time the final draft was done, I’d forgotten how to act in the scenes that I’d written!’

Katy Perry

While Robert has enjoyed a relatively stable and long-term relationship with actress Emily Browning (they have been married since 2015), the personal life of the 50-year-old singer has been anything but tranquil. Since meeting the star of The Notebook in 2009, she has been dogged by rumors of her involvement in a Ponzi scheme and, more recently, the ongoing #metoo campaign inspired by her own allegations of abuse. There was also the whole debacle with her ex-husband Russell Brand, which was further complicated by the fact that he is the father of her children.

The couple split in the middle of 2017, with Russell admitting that the break-up was due to ‘irreconcilable differences.’ Since then, Katy has been linked to various high-profile men, including filmmaker James Foley and singer John Legend. And it seems that these days, everyone wants a piece of her.

In The Light House, Robert offers some fascinating insights into the mind of Katy Perry. When Harry first brings the topic of marriage and family up with her, she dismisses it as ‘a bourgeois concept,’ later admitting that she has ‘always been attracted to older men.’ But even in the midst of an abusive relationship, she is quick to justify her actions, using her fame to manipulate and control her partners. When she finds out that Harry is dating someone else, she is visibly upset and makes it clear that she wants him to commit to her. At one point, she even threatens to end their friendship if he doesn’t.

Why Acting?

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have already decided that acting is the career for you. It’s an interesting choice for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it allows you to live your dream of being an adventurous, free-spirited individual, exploring the world and meeting new people. And it might even give you a way to make a living wage!