Bright Side

How Soppy Edward From “Twilight” Became the Actor Who May Soon Push Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt Backstage

The year 2008 presented us with Twilight — a low-budget movie that suddenly paid off more than 10 times over and introduced a true heartthrob to millions of teenage fans. However, it became a somewhat tricky test for actor Robert Pattinson, the man behind the role of Edward Cullen. He had to work hard to get rid of his romantic image and break the skeptical opinions that he was just a vampire glowing in the sun.

We at Bright Side decided to dive into the actor’s filmography that mass-audiences have seemed to forget about over the last decade. We found a lot of curious things in it, which makes us want to exclaim, “Robert, you’re actually really cool!”

2004: the start of his acting career with minor roles in fantasy movies

It was at the age of 18 when Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson appeared on-screen for the first time. He landed a minor role in a television fantasy movie featuring treasure and dragons. At that moment, he was deeply into music and didn’t even think about fame on a large scale. All the pubs in London knew Pattinson as a guitarist who would perform his own songs and was either playing solo under the Bobby Dupea stage name or with the Bad Girls band.

However, despite his frequent appearances in public, Pattinson was actually quite shy. In order to help his son loosen up, Pattinson’s father suggested he attend a local amateur theater class. This decision turned out to change Pattinson’s fate forever.

“I record stuff a lot, but there’s something about doing movies. I can handle the criticism (from movies) because you can always blame it on someone else. But with music, as soon as you put something out there, people judge (you), and I don’t necessarily want people to judge me.”

Soon after in 2005, producers noticed Pattinson and he appeared on the big screen with dragons once again. However, this time, it was as the role of Cedric Diggory in the fourth installment of the cult Harry Potter films. After his first official appearance in a franchise, positive reviews from critics, the title of “British Star of Tomorrow” given to Pattinson by The Times, and comparisons to a young Jude Law all followed.

2008: the role of a glamorous vampire and world fame

After 2 years of acting in British low-budget films, Pattinson was cast in the role of a shining (in every sense) vampire from a teenage novel. However, almost no one, including the actor himself, believed in the success of the book’s film adaptation. After all, Pattinson agreed to a role in the movie about the difficulties of growing up from an independent director (in the atmosphere of a fantasy love story) but got something different instead. It’s worth noting that in the movie, Pattinson plays the piano himself, and in one of the film’s soundtracks, we can hear a song that the actor wrote, sang, and also played himself.

After the first film’s release, Twilight instantly earned millions of fans (and just as many haters), turning Pattinson into a real superstar. He finally started to get offers to play roles in movies, however, they were only for romantic and sensual characters, while the actor himself didn’t want to be forever linked to these images.

“Edward’s been stuck in adolescence. He’s been living that for a hundred years. So, I was trying to push for that angle of change.”

Of course, this huge onset of new fans put Pattinson in many interesting situations. Once, the actor encountered a fan who had been following him everywhere for several weeks. She kept waiting for the actor outside of his apartment, literally all day long, for 3 weeks. Pattinson shared, “There was one day when I was just so chronically bored I said to her, ’Do you want to just go to dinner or something?? No one else wants to hang out with me.’ Her parents had a restaurant, she took me there. I complained about everything in my life for about 2 hours, then she gave me the bill to pay and was never back outside my apartment ever again.”

2012-2019: the attempt to break out of the sweet boy role and take on other projects

His first attempt to break this image was in the leading role of the on-screen version of Guy de Maupassant’s novel, Bel Ami, where Pattinson still played a handsome guy but was far from being seen in a positive light. Also, the year 2012 introduced viewers to the movie, Cosmopolis, where the actor expertly played the role of a young millionaire mired in his absurd rationality.

However, after having played a series of pampered and physically attractive characters on-screen, the actor confessed that he was tired of cliché cinematic archetypes. Now it was more important for Pattinson to be an interesting and charismatic character without becoming attached to his handsome appearance. This can be seen in The Lost City of Z, where he grows a beard and paves a dangerous path through the wild jungle; in The Rover, where he tries to survive in the middle of the desert, desperately and aggressively; and in The Childhood of a Leader, where he played 2 roles: a dictator with a shaven head and a reporter who turns out to be the character’s father.

Thanks to his efforts, Pattinson has earned the reputation of a fantastic actor in adult auteur cinema. His characters started to get darker and more dramatic. Like in his impressive role as a lighthouse watcher who was drowning in his madness in The Lighthouse, it’s hard to see the melancholic teenage idol from Twilight in him. Additionally, in his small role as the French prince in The King, Pattinson literally bewitched everyone with his perfectly-portrayed inner breakdown.

“Robert may have topped himself in The Lighthouse. There are moments where Pattinson is so transformative it’s jarring. You simply never thought he had it in him.”

However, after having acted in numerous independent movies, the actor still remains a young man in the eyes of mass audiences, whose talent is regarded with a big pinch of irony.

2020: returning to the big screen and becoming the topic of gossip

In 2020, audiences saw the premiere of the movie, Tenet, that instantly excited the public and became the subject of heated discussion on the Internet. The flick got so much attention, not only because of the twisted plot and viewers’ attempts to figure out what’s happening on-screen but also because of Pattinson’s acting which was beyond perfect — he even managed to outshine the main characters! Moreover, the recently released psychological thriller, The Devil All the Time, finally convinced even the toughest critics that Pattinson’s acting talent is far from trivial.

Also, in this same year, the actor was named the most handsome man in the world and he also started to work on one of the most sought-after roles in Hollywood: Batman. Though fans of the character are not quite pleased with this choice, Pattinson himself took on this reaction with a sense of humor.

“To be honest, it was less vitriolic than I was expecting. It’s much more fun when you’re an underdog. There’s no expectation of you.”

After the release of the first trailer of the franchise’s new film, it’s become clear that Pattinson is going to get an even bigger army of fans soon. And hopefully, he won’t be treated with the same level of skepticism as he was 10 years ago.

Our editorial team is eagerly waiting for the premiere that is planned to take place in March 2022.

What do you think about Robert Pattinson’s acting talent? Do you think he managed to finally say goodbye to the glamorous vampire image?