Robert Pattinson is not your typical leading man. Most people know him for his work in the Batman films. As one of the most popular on-screen romantic interests of late 20th century cinema, fans will always have hope that he’ll make an appearance in a film or two. However, since he made the decision to step away from acting, his life has taken a very different tack. While the role of the rich playboy might not be an inaccurate portrayal of his life on the surface, his professional and personal self-image is something else altogether.

The 35-year-old star has always been a private person. However, in recent years he has opened up about his feelings and thoughts more than ever before. In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Pattinson revealed that he isn’t just playing a character in the Batman films. He also discussed his body positivity struggles and how he’s used a combination of diet and exercise to change his life for the better.

The Transformation Begins

The shooting of the first Batman film, released in 1989, was the starting point of something big. Since then, Pattinson has gone on to transform his body multiple times for the camera. While he has lost and gained a significant amount of weight throughout his life, he has always seemed to be drawn to chiseling and redefining his body for a much more sculptural appearance.

Pattinson’s love affair with sculpting began as a teenager. It was then that he developed his interest in drawing and painting, which he still adheres to today. He has even gone so far as to create his own style of sculpture, called ‘Pattinson-style’. This involves using his hands to create clay portraits that he then fleshes out with wax and paint as a final step. When asked about his artistic influences, he has named Keith Haring, James Dean, and Vincent van Gogh as some of his biggest inspirations. As for the title character of the Batman films, he has cited Michael Keaton as the inspiration behind his unique take on the Caped Crusader.

The Inspiration For The Penguin

When designing his latest body transformation, Pattinson used his own experiences from the past as a starting point for his look. One of the most apparent physical changes in Pattinson is his nose. He has always had a prominent nose that he has described as “Roman”. The aesthetician that designed his new look stated that the inspiration behind the Penguin came from a mix of Michael Keaton’s work in The Batman and the Marvel series Black Panther. Specifically, she noted his unique blend of masculinity and softness that permeates each facial feature. Furthermore, she named the slightly bent nose as one of the defining characteristics of the character.

The Inspiration For The Riddler

The Riddler is one of the most recognizable characters from the Batman franchise. In addition to being the lead villain in every film, the mad genius has also appeared in multiple stage plays, radio dramas, and video games. If you’re unfamiliar, the Riddler’s modus operandi is to hide clues around a town until he has found the correct answer to a puzzling riddle. To that end, fans of the Batman films will recognize the quirky grin, white teeth, and distinctive speech inflection that characterized the character actor Frank Churchill. For Pattinson, the inspiration behind the Riddler came from a mix of Ian Fleming’s original novel and the character’s comic book appearances. As he has done with other characters, Pattinson altered his appearance to reflect the character’s unique charisma. He has stated that he hopes to embody all that is idiosyncratic and brilliant about the Riddler. Additionally, he has cited the character’s white teeth as an aesthetic influence.

The Inspiration For The Catwoman

For the next transformation, Pattinson turned to French painter and sculptor Louis-Michelé Pollock. As with the others before it, the motivation behind the Catwoman transformation stemmed from a desire to reflect one of the most prominent symbols of a bygone era: the cat burglar. The sculpting required for the role was extensive and, according to Pollock, took Pattinson four months to complete. The final product was a near-perfect representation of the feline femme fatale. One key difference between this iteration of the character and earlier versions is that this appearance was designed with a mostly realistic feel. This was a conscious decision on the part of Pattinson, who wanted to evoke a sense of gritty reality that is often lacking in films and television shows.

The Inspiration Behind The Dark Knight

Finally, we arrive at the most recent transformation for Pattinson. Inspired by Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, Pattinson took a page out of the villain’s playbook and used the opportunity provided by Ledger’s death to reinvent himself yet again. For the role of the Dark Knight, he drew from a combination of classic comic book designs and the influences of the late actor. However, even more significant was the change in perspective that Pattinson brought to the character. While previous incarnations of Batman focused on fighting crime and displaying a gritty determination, this latest version looks to transcend its source material. Additionally, the director of the film, Christopher Nolan, has spoken highly of the transformation, saying that it was “one of the biggest challenges” of the project.

Even more impressively, Pattinson has managed to maintain his impeccable eye for style. Whether through a love of painting or sculpting, the actor has proved time and time again that he is a truly unique talent. With each of his transformations, he has offered his fans a look at a new side of himself that they might not have seen before. No matter which version of Robert Pattinson you’ve seen so far, you can be sure that he will continue to offer up something new and exciting as he evolves as an artist.