It’s been a tough 18 months for Hollywood, and it’s not over yet. After years of growing pains, the COVID-19 pandemic finally made it humbly famous that the movies can be just as important, if not more so, than the TV shows. Since the beginning of the year, hundreds of movie theaters have been shut down due to guidelines put forth by various governments, including China. Those who could afford it would stay home and watch films online. The rest would have to wait till the pandemic was over before they could see movies again.

The unprecedented restrictions led to a massive decline in box-office revenue. Hollywood studios slashed their budgets and released their most anticipated films a few months earlier than usual. Even the blockbuster films saw dips in revenue. So did the theater owners. In the midst of all this, a beloved figure in Hollywood was unexpectedly laid to rest last month. Let’s take a look at the life and work of actor/director/writer/music lover Robert Pattinson.

A Brief Biography Of Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson was born in London in 1986. His mother is English and his father is French. He grew up in various locations, including London, Paris, and Los Angeles. The British actor had a very public relationship with his one and only college sweetheart, Kristen Stewart, which lasted from 2010 to 2017. (They met on the set of the 2010 movie, Twilight, and were engaged in 2012.) On April 26, 2019, the two starlets were married in a private ceremony in England. (Caitlyn McKinnon / Getty Images) After wrapping production on the final season of The Twilight Zone in 2017, Robbie headed back to Cannes to kick off the film fest’s film market. He was part of a group that included fellow Twilight Zone alums Richard Donner, John Goodman, and Malcom McDowell as well as filmmaker Kevin Smith. Smith was moderating a question-and-answer session with the cast and crew when he asked the director of the show why he and his co-stars weren’t invited to the wedding. “Rob told me not to invite them,” Smith recalled. “So we’re not invited either. It’s like something out of a nightmare.” Sadly, Smith wasn’t kidding. In April 2019, Robert’s father, Tim, passed away after a long battle with cancer. It was a tragic loss for the family. Just like John Goodman and Malcom McDowell, Tim had been part of the Twilight Zone question-and-answer session back in April 2017. (Timothy Pattinson / Instagram) On June 11, 2019, a month after the tragedy of his father’s passing, Robbie traveled to Ireland to accept the European Film Award for best actor for his role in the forthcoming romantic comedy, Kissing Hands. The following day, he was also named best actor at the Bafta Film Awards in London. (Dave J. Hogan / Getty Images for the EFA) After the success of his first two films, Pattinson signed on to star in the fantasy adventure Ready Player One. (Courtesy of Peter Debruge) Set for release in March 2021, the film revolves around gamers who find themselves trapped in the real world after the singularity occurs. The actor also penned the screenplay and will serve as producer along with Steven Spielberg’s Spud and Morticia Productions. (Courtesy of Peter Debruge) Robbie was initially uncertain about entering the world of comedy, especially since he was brought up in a house full of drama. “I didn’t want to do comedy. I thought that was beneath me. I thought it was for people who were shorter than me or for people whom I felt sorry for,” he told The Independent in 2017. “I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed it. I think I’ve made the right choice. It really is the best way to explore characters.”

While discussing the appeal of writing and performing in comedy, Pattinson pointed to Richard Simmons’ legendary TV show, Rich Simmons’ Family Reunion. (The former professional wrestler hosted the ABC variety show from 1974 to 1984. He would regularly rib his celebrity guests about their weight, often cracking jokes at their expense. This often got very uncomfortable for those on the receiving end. Sometimes he would physically threaten them. For example, in the 1978 episode “Family Reunion,” Simmons says to actor/director Woody Allen, “I’m gonna give you some lovin’ so you can feel better about being a homo.”) Thanks to Simmons’ comedy training, Allen isn’t forced to be the punchline of every joke he makes. Indeed, it’s likely that many viewers aren’t even aware of how insulting some of his jokes can be. In the same way, the often-hilarious Andy Griffith Show never addressed homosexuality directly, it’s possible that viewers didn’t know exactly what was wrong with Woody Allen until Richard Simmons broke down the problem in graphic detail.) “I think that’s what makes the show funny. He’s not making fun of them,” said Pattinson of Simmons’ guests. “It’s done in such a loving, humorous way. It shows that these people are funny, which I think is amazing because it’s rare to be able to show a glimpse of the human condition in such a loving way.”

On The Set Of His Movies

Pattinson has spoken about his fear of getting sick while on set due to all the moving around he does. Despite the rigors of shooting a movie, the actor always makes sure to keep up his fitness regimen. In 2017, he told Dazed that he works out five to six days a week and enjoys trying out new workouts with personal trainer Simon Fuller and choreographer Kenny Ortega. (Brett Cooper / Dazed) He also makes healthier food choices than most Hollywood stars. In 2019, while promoting his film, Kissing Hands, he discussed how he avoids eating junk food. “I make myself eat stuff like that (junk food) in moderation. It’s not like I’m trying to avoid it all, but I don’t want it to be an obsession. I try to avoid taking my eyes off the road when I’m driving. That’s a bad idea. You shouldn’t do that. You should always look where you’re going and be aware of what’s around you. It makes you a better driver. So that’s one thing I do. I also try to stay hydrated, which I know is important. It’s been a real issue for me in the past. I used to be really ill a lot, especially with my stomach. I had a lot of problems with my digestion.”

Filming a movie is a lot of work. It can be very physically demanding and requires a lot of patience. Sometimes it can also be quite frustrating. Take the case of Pattinson’s film, The Lighthouse, which he co-produced with his longtime friend, the director Martin McDonagh. The story revolves around a young boy in the 1880s who finds himself adrift at sea while searching for his father’s missing boat. During a press tour for the film, McDonagh discussed how frustrating it can be to try and film a scene involving both children and a dog. “We tried to do it several ways. We had a couple of takes where the dog is not even in frame. It just sort of snuck up behind the child and bit him. We tried everything with the animals,” McDonagh said. “And then we had another take where the dog was in frame. And we had to keep resetting because it kept looking like a different dog.” McDonagh also talked about how when it comes to their children, filmmakers are often put in the awkward position of either exposing their privacies or showing them in a positive light. “Children are not props. They are not accessories. They are not there to make things easier for the adults. It’s the opposite, really. We are custodians of these children’s personal narratives, and we have to try and figure out ways of showing this that don’t upset them,” the director said.

Pattinson is one of the few leading men who actively seeks roles in family movies. He discussed this during the press tour for The Lighthouse. “I love the idea of doing family movies because it’s something different. And it’s something that I haven’t really done much of. I think when you’re confronted with your own family — because we all love our families — it can be a bit daunting. It can be embarrassing. I don’t think I’ve ever really been able to address issues that I’ve had with my father in a movie. But it’s something that has been on my mind a lot lately,” the actor said. “I would love to do something with my dad. Something that is warm and loving. Something that brings us all together. Because I think that’s what family is all about: being there for each other when things are good and bad. You stick by each other through thick and thin.”