When it comes to his acting career, Robert Pattinson has had quite the ride. The 27-year-old actor is best known for his leading role as Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” series. Since the first film adaptation of “Harry Potter” was released in 2015, Pattinson has mostly starred in blockbuster films. While his recent projects have been received well by critics and audiences, it seems that Pattinson’s early career wasn’t as smooth as one might think. In fact, he almost got fired from the first “Twilight” film because of poor reviews from critics. This is why it’s important to look back at how Robert Pattinson almost got fired from ‘Twilight’ and why he decided to return for the sequel. Here is a bit of history behind the scenes of one of Hollywood’s most beloved romances.
The Trouble With The First ‘Twilight’
Robert Pattinson began acting at a young age. At the age of 12, he landed a supporting role in the 2004 film adaptation of “The Great British Bake Off,” and a year later, he was featured in the comedy series “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Unfortunately, though, things didn’t work out for him in his early years. He reportedly got very insecure and scared, which led him to shut down emotionally during acting sessions. He also struggled with alcoholism and addiction, which may have also been a result of his mental health issues. In 2010, while shooting the third installment of “The Twilight Saga,” Pattinson allegedly fell off a cliff and broke his ankle. He spent three months in a boot, which forced him to take a year off from filming. When he returned to work, it appears that something had changed; he was more stable and reliable, and he displayed a deeper willingness to learn and grow as an actor.
Why Did Robert Pattinson Almost Get Fired From ‘Twilight’?
Pattinson’s early acting experience must have been incredibly difficult. Not only was he struggling to find his place in the industry while also trying to battle his personal issues, but he was still required to work extremely long hours for little to no compensation. This is why it’s no surprise that he almost got fired from the first film adaptation of “Twilight” — it was a risky move, and the studio wasn’t sure that they could rely on him to deliver the goods. According to screenwriter Katie Cotton, the studio in question was 20th Century Fox, which produced the first “Twilight” film. When the script was presented to him, he reportedly said that the role would be “more complex than [he was] comfortable with.” At the time, he was trying to find his footing in Hollywood, and he wasn’t sure that he would be able to handle the added responsibility of being a leading man. Fortunately, he was able to convince the producers that he was worth the risk, and the rest is history.
Return Of The King
While working on the first “Twilight” film, Robert Pattinson fell in love with the story behind the character of Edward Cullen. As he delved deeper into the role, he began to appreciate its complexity and realized that it wasn’t a simple character study. In an interview with Variety in 2015, he said:
- “There are lots of layers to him. When I read the script, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. This is complicated. This is interesting. And I get to explore more of him as an actor.”
- “To be able to play a character like this, you either have to have a very good understanding of who he is and what he wants, or you have to play a lot.”
- “It requires a certain amount of research. You have to really read everything about him and study him. You can’t just show up and be like, ‘Okay, I’ll be Edward Cullen.’ You have to go through an entire character study process before you even start shooting.”
A Character Study Process
The role of Edward Cullen is one of the most important roles in the “Twilight” universe. In the books, Edward is described as a dark-haired, good-looking man who is often seen wearing a dark green suit. Based on this, Pattinson had to develop a rigorous character study process before shooting even began. To get into character, he had to develop a full persona, and he did this by reading lots of biographies and autobiographies about real-life public figures. According to the actor, this was the best way to prepare for his role as Edward Cullen:
- “It gives you a better foundation to work from. When I did the research, I learned a lot about Winston Churchill. I also did a lot of reading about Thomas Edison. There are so many historical characters that can inspire a story, and that can help you find the kind of person inside you that can be the hero of the story.”
An Inspired Performance
When shooting finally began, Robert Pattinson was determined to give a grounded and realistic performance despite the fantastical nature of the story. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2015, he said:
- “I never want to do anything that’s not real, that doesn’t feel right. So it was important for me to do my research and not try to overact it. Even though this is a fantasy film, I wanted it to feel real and as honest as possible.”
- “Sometimes, when you put yourself in a role, you can start imagining things. You think that you’re supposed to be doing this or that, or you think that you’re supposed to look like this person. So, I tried to stay as far away from that as possible, and just play the role that I know I’m supposed to play.”
- “There’s a certain amount of research that goes into anything that I do. For instance, with the alcoholic character that I play in [the 2016 film] ‘Legend,’ I had to learn how to drink again. I had to go through an entire process of learning about alcohol and what it does to the body, as well as how to drink in a way that doesn’t damage you.”
With the exception of a few supporting roles, mostly in British films, Robert Pattinson has largely been portrayed as a leading man. He has rarely been seen playing a character that is not in the center of the spotlight, and this is likely because audiences worldwide have responded well to his performances as these characters. While he can play a comedic role, he mostly shines when he is allowed to showcase his acting skills, as he did in the 2015 film “Downton Abbey.” In this film, he plays the role of Lord John Russell, a politician from the early 20th century who becomes Prime Minister of England. In the final scene of the film, when John is about to enter a voting booth, his leg is trapped in the machine, and the film cuts to black before we see him successfully cast his ballot. As the camera begins to reveal the details of the voting booth, we hear the sound of typewriters as the letters “RDLA” appear onscreen. One of the main reasons why this scene was included was to demonstrate that even though John’s life has been saved, the work to restore Britain’s democratic process is far from over.
Worth The Risk
Pattinson is one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood, and this is largely due to his ability to play complex and nuanced characters. Despite this, he still finds time to give back to the community through various philanthropic efforts. In 2011, he created the Rob Pattinson Foundation, which is dedicated to raising money for mental health research and support. In 2015, he was named as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and he continues to be listed as one of the most influential people in Hollywood. The accolades keep coming, and in 2020, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the movie “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” which is currently in theaters.
While Robert Pattinson has had an incredible career, it’s important to remember that he is a work in progress, and he still has a lot to learn. Despite this, he has made tremendous strides, and it’s clear that he will continue to be one of the industry’s most sought-after and beloved leading men.