Is it just us, or does Robert Pattinson seem to walk down the stairs perfectly? We mean, can he pull off the perfect walk every time no matter the step or flight? We think so.
The actor is currently on the cover of GQ magazine, wearing a suit by Gucci and chatting with the publication’s editor in chief David Granger about his new film, Uptown.
The actor opened up about his latest role, revealing that he had never previously acted outside of his native England. He also discussed the evolution of his persona over the years, sharing that he has been playing with the concept of masculinity throughout his career. He attributed this to his performance in the role of the Devil in the 2006 film adaptation of the eponymous graphic novel by Will Eisner.
The Evolution Of Robert Pattinson’s Persona
From the very beginning, Robert Pattinson has been linked to the concept of masculinity. If you’ll remember, when the actor first came to prominence in the early 2000s, he was often photographed with his arm around a woman’s waist. In fact, his first notable role came nearly a decade before when he was featured in the British romantic comedy film Stardust, as a young man who forms a band with his best friend (James McAvoy) and begins a passionate romance with a woman (Rebecca De Mornay). As you’d probably guess, the film isn’t exactly historically accurate – the character of Robert Pattinson is actually named Michael. This was done, the director Phil Alden Robinson explained at the time, to avoid any legal issues connected to his real name.
The publicity surrounding this film caused Robinson to be dubbed “Britain’s Leonardo DiCaprio,” a reference to Warren Buffett’s famous comparison of the conglomerate building game to the romantic comedy actor’s early career. In Stardust, Pattinson plays a young man who is, shall we say, less than mature.
Less than a year after this film was released, Pattinson was nominated for a BAFTA for his role as a struggling novelist in the drama film Just Go With It. In this acclaimed film, he portrays a young man named Jimmy who is, as the title suggests, going with it. In the film, he shares a kiss with the actress Anna Friel, who plays his girlfriend.
It wasn’t long before the romantic comedy genre started asking the questions: Is Jimmy really going with it, or is he just going through the motions? The ambiguity of Jimmy’s romantic intentions created an opening for critics and audiences alike to question whether or not the protagonist was a bit of a milquetoast.
The Perfection Of Robert Pattinson’s Downhill Walk
Pattinson continued to star in romantic comedies and musicals that followed. While these were critically acclaimed and often earned the actor praise for his dramatic portrayal of character, it wasn’t until 2015’s Twilight that he really broke out as an actor. The film, based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer, is widely considered to be one of the most influential and iconic films of the last decade.
Twilight is a cinematic love story between a young woman named Bella (Kristen Stewart) and a young man named Edward (Pattinson). As the cinematic adaptation opens, we see that Bella is playing chess with a friend while wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the silhouette of a wolf. It is the summer of 1922, and throughout the course of the film, we learn that vampires and werewolves are a terrifying reality in which Bella and her loved ones must battle to survive. While the adaptation largely stays true to the original novel, cinematically speaking, it is a complete reinvention whose overarching narrative centers on the conflict between humanity and the supernatural.
One of the things that makes Twilight so special is that it is, at heart, a romance between two people who fall deeply in love despite their differences. This is something that Robinson, the film’s director, emphasized when he discussed the theme of identity and conflict that underlies the story. Specifically, he pointed to the character of Bella as an example of someone who is constantly changing and growing throughout the film.
The way that Bella evolves, he told GQ, was a deliberate effort on the part of the filmmakers. They wanted to see how she would react when things changed for her, and how she would deal with the challenges that her life presents. What makes this evolution especially fascinating is that it is presented almost entirely from Bella’s perspective. While the cinematography and sound design are excellent, it is paramount, noted the director, that the viewer feel as if they are watching the story as Bella experiences it.
Why Do You Wear What You Wear?
One thing we learned from our exploration of Pattinson’s career is that he isn’t particularly fond of playing villains. This is, perhaps, best demonstrated in his dramatic turn as John Watson in the 2004 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. In this performance, he plays the role with such intensity and commitment that he practically steals the film from Udo Kier, who plays Holmes’ archenemy, Colonel Sebastian Moran. Moriarty is one of Sherlock Holmes’ most notorious adversaries, and it was only after the film’s premiere that we found out that Watson’s portrayal was, in fact, inspired by Kier’s character.
These days, the actor mostly plays the roles of the complex and, at times, the flawed characters that the literary character Sherlock Holmes himself would be proud to call friend.
While much of Robert Pattinson’s recent work has been in supporting roles, he has continued to find time to star in large-scale productions. A prominent example of this is Uptown, which was directed by John Crowley and also stars Al Pacino, Jessica Chastain, and Bill Murray. The film is set in New York City during the 1940s, and follows a magician (Pacino) who comes to the aid of a young couple in need of his help to escape an unhappy marriage.
For his part, Pacino plays a magician who is also a World War II veteran and one of the last individuals to perform feats of conjuring and illusion in Broadway theaters. He is forced to retire after an accident disables him. After a near-fatal encounter with a teenage street gang leaves him with amnesia, he is contacted by a police detective (Chastain) who offers him a helping hand in bringing the perpetrators of this random act of violence to justice. He takes the job reluctantly, but soon finds himself in the middle of a love story that was seemingly impossible to escape.
Uptown is, at first, a fairly standard story about a retirement magician who gets roped into helping the police solve a crime. However, the casting of Al Pacino, coupled with the fact that the film is set in the 1940s, makes this production completely unique. It is, essentially, a period piece set in New York City during an era of unprecedented prosperity and optimism that was immediately following World War II. When we think of the films that deal with this particular era and locale, the list is almost certainly endless: vintage Warner Bros. cartoons about the early days of television, Casablanca, and the films of Howard Hawks. Uptown is the culmination of all these influences, and it shows – from the costumes to the sets to the casting (Hawks himself plays the role of the mayor of New York City) – it is very much an old Hollywood production.
Making A Statement
Even now, nearly a decade after its premiere, Uptown still feels like a statement to make. It was, arguably, a watershed moment both for the actor and the film industry as a whole; this was the first time that a major motion picture was centered on the experiences of a homosexual character. Pacino plays an aging gay man named Joe, and it would be unfair to call him a victim in this situation. He is, rather, a man who has found happiness and peace in the city that he calls home. The character of Joe is, in a word, proud.
As much as we love seeing the character of Joe, who has inspired many to speak out in support of LGBT rights, it is important to remember that the story is, at its heart, a love story. The character of Joe is, in fact, inspired by Walsh, the actor’s longtime companion. Moreover, it is not just about celebrating gay identity and rights. Uptown is, at heart, a love story about two men who find comfort and solace in each other’s company. While this may be difficult for some to accept in this day and age, we have to give it its due: this is a loving and nuanced portrayal that should be celebrated, not vilified. It is an excellent piece of cinema, and it serves as a reminder that even the most iconic figures in popular culture have human flaws and make mistakes, just like the rest of us.