Fashion icon and actor Robert Pattinson is no stranger to strutting his stuff in front of the camera. The Welsh-born star made his name playing the tragic heartthrob Cedric in the Twilight films, establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelors. Since then, the 32-year-old has starred in movies such as Gangster Squad, Snow White and the Huntsman, and now acts in the Broadway play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

The one-time film heartthrob has also been busy setting the fashion world alight through his eclectic style and famous campaigns. He is arguably best known for his collaborations with luxury brand Balenciaga, where he sported quirky outfits such as a Spiderman T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, and was the face of their fragrance campaign.

Pattinson doesn’t just rely on high-end fashion to make headlines; the Hollywood bad boy has also been known to turn up at events in a Huggies jumbaduffin outfit or a leather jacket with floral prints.

The star’s busy schedule likely explains why he hasn’t devoted much time to his wardrobe and has relied on his famous friends to lend him fashion outfits for key events. His latest modelling assignment is an underwear series for Balenciaga, where he models contemporary takes on classic British manhood. Let’s take a look at some of the key moments in his career.

2006: From Twilight to Paris

Pattinson made his acting debut in an episode of the British sitcom Jam & Vodka. The following year, he landed a role in Ridley Scott’s thriller Blackhawk Down. Set in the Bosnian War in the mid-1990s, the film follows a team of American soldiers as they attempt to capture a Serbian general. In the end, only two of the group’s members survive. Although it was based on a true story, Blackhawk Down was a stylistic departure from Scott’s typically sleek movies. The director opted for a more grainy, documentary feel.

2007: From Balenciaga to Abercombie & Fashion Icon

The Twilight series established the bespectacled actor as an international celebrity; the first film in the series was named after the city where it was shot, and its eponymous protagonist was immediately recognizable to anyone in the world. The franchise’s popularity prompted the makers to release a sequel even before the first film’s completion, spawning a series that continues to this day, with the latest entry arriving in November 2020.

Pattinson’s other high profile movie from 2007 was the superhero comedy Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, his acting debut as Ben Aaron, alongside Angelina Jolie and Jon Favreau. Based on a true story, the movie recounts the struggles of a young football player (Favreau) who learns to become a better parent when he gets a second chance at fatherhood. Despite its comedy elements, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 was a stylistic departure from Favreau’s other movies, favoring a darker tone and less colorful attire. The director has previously described his approach to filmmaking as being akin to that of a documentary filmmaker. While on the topic of documentaries, it’s important to note that Pattinson revealed that he had always considered himself to be a documentary filmmaker, inspired by his late father, who was a film producer. This is further indication that we might see more of the actor in this realm in future.

In an effort to expand his horizons beyond the big-budget movies that had made him famous, in 2007 Pattinson headed to Paris, the city of his dreams, to take a position as a visiting professor at the French Academy of Cinema. The move came as a surprise to many, as Paris was known to be the place that young people headed to in order to disappear for a few years. With his Hollywood star power and good looks, the French capital was not exactly overrun with offers for Pattinson to appear in commercials or voice-overs.

2008: From Gangster Squad to Snow White & The Huntsman

The actor continued to dip his toe into the world of documentaries with the release of the crime thriller Gangster Squad, which he also produced. The movie was a stylistic departure from previous movies as well, favoring a graphic novel-like approach to storytelling. It told the story of an unlikely crime squad that uncovers a decades-old New York City plot to assassinate three high-profile female victims. Gangster Squad was a commercial and critical success, grossing more than $113 million worldwide and winning Best Motion Picture – Drama at the 81st Academy Awards. The film also marked a dramatic shift in Pattinson’s public image; he had previously been known for his comedic acting skills, but Gangster Squad marked a serious turning point in his career. He solidified his position as a leading man with his portrayal of an everyman, Sergeant John Francis Irons, a Brooklyn-born cop who leaves his family behind and heads to fight crime in Manhattan. The film’s climax sees the character overcome his fear of heights to save a wounded police officer.

Pattinson returned to the small screen in early 2008, reprising his role as Cedric for the made-for-television movie Legend. It was a bittersweet return for the actor, who had enjoyed an extended break from the limelight following the phenomenal success of the Twilight films, only to find that his former fans had not aged gracefully and continued to embrace his brand of quirkiness. The following month, he starred alongside Emily Watson in the biopic Breaking Down, about the life of British social reformer Florence Nightingale. The film was based on the autobiography of the same name, in which Nightingale discusses her experiences during the Crimean War, where she worked tirelessly to provide food and shelter for the soldiers. The movie was released in theaters across the country in September 2008, and was subsequently picked up for distribution in other countries, including the U.S. In November that year, he released a statement confirming that he was gay, and he went on to discuss his sexuality in interviews. In the same month, he released a statement expressing his delight at being named the most influential gay man in the world by gay magazine Out, although this accolade caused some controversy due to his previous comments on gay rights.

2009: From Harry Potter to Balenciaga Again

In September 2009, Balenciaga again teamed up with the actor, this time for an advertisement campaign shot by celebrated photographer Steven Klein. The resulting images were a striking departure from the whimsical, colorful look that is the brand’s signature; instead, they were grim and brooding, inspired by the works of French photographer Guy Bourdin, who pioneered the look. The mood-setting images were used to promote the Dior and Givenchy fragrances, and despite their dark theme, were a commercial success, appearing on the covers of Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines.

The following month, Pattinson starred opposite his Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart in the comedy-drama The Runaways, based on the Marvel Comics character. The movie marked a return to form for the actor, who had previously portrayed some of Marvel’s most iconic characters. In the film, he plays a Brooklyn-based photographer who befriends a disparate group of female high school students, recruiting them for a senior portrait project. After the girls discover that he is not who he seems to be, they begin to question the ethics of their association with a man they believe to be a predator. The film was released in June 2010 and received mixed reviews, with critics noting that Stewart and Pattinson give a “commanding performance,” as the New York Times put it. In October 2010, it was announced that Pattinson would star as the Wicked Westley in the remake of the classic film Titanic, which will be shot in 3D and released in April 2012.

2010: From Paris to Broadway

In January 2010, it was announced that Pattinson would star in an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, which will mark his return to theaters after a three-year absence. He will play the title role, alongside Sir Richard Burton, who will portray Mark Antony. Burton had a long history with Shakespeare, having starred in the play’s initial London production more than 30 years earlier, and he had always wanted to return to the role of Caesar. The role will mark a significant comeback for Burton, who had retired from acting before being persuaded to take on the part. The play will run at the Bridge Theatre in London’s West End from 22nd June to 23rd August 2010, and the director of the production is said to be “delighted” that Burton accepted the offer. This will be the third time that the two men have worked together after their prior collaborations in Doctor in Distress and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.