R-Patz, as his legion of fans call him, made his British TV debut in 2007. The 26-year-old Brit played Cedric Diggory in the mega-hit Harry Potter film series. Since then, he’s gone on to star in the indie-hit film Wuthering Heights and the fantasy Knight Rider. He also graced the big screen with a cameo role in the 2008 Batman movie, The Dark Knight. If that wasn’t enough, he also lent his vocals to the Gorillaz’ 2008 track “Clint Eastwood.”

During a break from filming on the set of the upcoming vampire movie, Twilight, we sat down with R-Patz to talk about his early days in front of the camera, the appeal of the Twilight series, and his plans for the future.

Early Days

When we first met R-Patz, he was just wrapping up his stint as one of the contestants on The X Factor. Despite being a relative unknown in the States, he’d amassed a cult-like following in the UK. From day one, he was adamant about pursuing a career in the UK – his grandfather was English and his grandmother was Danish. He eventually settled in London, where he’s now based.

In 2007, R-Patz made his big-screen debut as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Although he’d auditioned for the role years earlier, it wasn’t until this film that the world really started to take note of this British-born actor. He reportedly made £850,000 for his part in the movie. Since then, he’s been inundated with meetings and movie offers. It seems movie-makers have recognized his talents and are keen to work with him. He’s starred in supporting roles in the upcoming Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse movies.

The Twilight Saga

The Twilight saga follows the adventures of Bella, a teenage girl, who falls in love with vampire Edward Cullen (who she nicknames ‘Eddie’). Despite being undead, Cullen still has to follow the rules set down by his maker, Voltaire – and there’s a lot that goes against the ‘ordinary’ life of a vampire. The saga is a worldwide phenomenon. It was released as a four-part miniseries in the UK in December 2007 and was an instant hit. The following December, it was released as a feature-length movie and went on to break box-office records.

The film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s New Moon debuted at number one on the UK box office, earning £16.2 million in its opening weekend and eventually going on to earn £49.4 million globally – not bad for a film that cost around £3 million to make. New Moon is due to be released in America on July 2nd and in Australia on July 9th. The third instalment of the series, Eclipse, was released in 2011. It’s the final part of the Twilight saga and sees Bella struggling to accept that her life won’t go back to the way it was before she met Edward Cullen. Eclipse did relatively well at the box office, earning £13.7 million during its first four days and eventually going on to earn £37.3 million globally – not bad for a film that cost around £2.5 million to make.

What Is It About?

From the outset, the Twilight series shares a similar setting with Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. It follows a group of teenage girls as they navigate their way through life in the town of Forks, Washington. The series is renowned for being both laugh-out-loud funny and incredibly poignant. It’s been compared to Game of Thrones and the Harry Potter series – two of Hollywood’s biggest franchises – because it explores the complex topic of young love in a way that’s rarely seen on screen.

The films feature cameos from a host of Hollywood A-listers, including Charlize Theron, Anna Kendrick, and Jessica Chastain. Theron plays Rosalie, the leader of the ‘cool’ vampire clan in the town. Kendrick plays Abigail, a classmate of Bella’s who has her eye on the new girl in town. Chastain plays Victoria, the Queen of the vampires, who’s tired of waiting for her human love, Jacob (Chris Brunt), to realize his dream of seeing his children marry and have children of their own. Rosalie and Abigail are both vying for Edward’s attention, but which one will he choose?

Why Is It Popular?

R-Patz’s appeal transcends generations. The young, the old, and even the fashionable have been seen queuing to get their hands on a copy of the Twilight saga. It’s the rare show that can boast a 100 million YouTube views, and it’s not even that old. The series has been a massive hit in the UK since its release in 2007, and it continues to pull in audiences. According to ICM, a leading talent agency that represents celebrities and brands in the UK, the Twilight series is currently one of the most popular non-fiction TV shows in the country. The latest instalment, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, is currently trending on Twitter in the UK.

The Future

R-Patz is open about the fact that he wouldn’t necessarily like to continue in the vampire-related film industry. He’s already signed on to star in the upcoming comedy, On the Road. Set in the 1950s, it’s an adaptation of the Jack Kerouac novel of the same name. He’s also set to star in the comedy, Self-Reliance, which will be released in 2013. He’s trying to keep his presence as low-profile as possible while he takes a step back from his hectic film schedule. In an interview with Wonderland magazine, he said: “I’d rather not do interviews or have my photo taken, because that’s what got me into this situation in the first place. Since then, I’ve discovered how much I enjoy acting, but I don’t want to do it all the time.”

While he waits for the next project to come along, he’s focused on taking care of himself and developing his craft. In an interview with The Guardian, he said: “I’ve been working really hard to develop my skills and be the best actor I can be… I want to take the next step in my career and develop my craft, try new techniques, and eventually move away from playing characters based on books I’ve read. There are so many wonderful scripts out there that I’d love to work on, but I just have to wait my turn.”

R-Patz is clearly a gifted young actor, and it seems his time is now. The question is: will the Hollywood powers-that-be cast him in the leading role in a major motion picture? Time will tell.