Happy birthday, Robert Pattinson: How has the actor transformed since ‘Twilight’?
English actor Robert Pattinson is celebrating his 35th birthday today, and while we can say that the actor has certainly come a long way since his days smoldering into the camera, we would be remiss if we didn’t bring up a very specific series that got him his start him in Hollywood in the first place. That’s right, folks, we’re of course talking about the Twilight saga, based on the series of popular books by Stephenie Meyer.
Well one could argue that his role as Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter franchise was his big break out, it is no question that the Twilight series launched Robert Pattinson into a completely new stratosphere when it came to top Hollywood young talent, and even though the Twilight saga wasn’t well-received with many audiences, it did give casting directors a glimpse into the potential talent Pattinson had to offer future roles.
Playing a one-note vampire with limited emotion certainly didn’t help Pattinson stretch out any acting muscles during his time on Twilight, but it did possibly shine a light on the expectations wanted by him for big franchises, which is perhaps why Pattinson ultimately decided to take a step back and rethink his career. Specifically, we’re talking about his work on indie films, and how they shaped him into the actor he is today.
Water for Elephants
2011’s Water for Elephants perhaps gave Pattinson the perfect tease on what he could do outside of the character of Edward Cullen. The film, which was based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Sara Gruen, reunited Robert Pattinson with Vanity Fair co-star Reese Witherspoon, ironically the same film where he made his feature film debut back in 2004.
Water for Elephants also co-starred Christoph Waltz, fresh off his Academy Award win for his role in Inglourious Basterds. Who’s to say that Robert Pattinson didn’t take any notes while working alongside these two Academy Award-winning actors, possibly learning about variance of roles and how it’s always important to try new things.
While there were still two more Twilight films to be released during the time of Water for Elephants debut, we’re almost certain that the film gave Pattinson the opportunity outside of the vampire box he so desperately needed that inspired him to take on so many of the future roles we now know him for.
2014’s The Rover was truly the first time we saw Pattinson step outside of his comfort zone and take on a character we had always assumed we’d never see him play. Robert Pattinson proved his intensity as well as his screen presence, giving the audience deep & defined layers within his acting that proved just how truly talented this English actor was when he was given the freedom to create.
While this small Australian western-dystopian film slid a bit under the radar for both critics & audiences alike, it was a welcome playground for the young Robert Pattinson, who needed a series of these types of movies to truly work out his acting style and the characters within him that had been locked up for so long thanks to big-budget Hollywood franchises.
Most will point to 2017’s Good Time as Robert Pattinson’s “coming out party” in terms of breaking through into Hollywood’s elite threshold of acting. The film, which tells the story of a young bank robber who maneuvers his way through the dark underworld of New York City in order to free his imprisoned brother, was a wacky premise in and of itself that needed an equally eccentric actor in order to make the film work.
While Robert Pattinson would go on to star in other impressive films such as the Lost City of Z, The Lighthouse, and The King, It is clear that Good Time was the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of Pattinson bursting through the realm of Hollywood leading men. He had taken the adequate time to create a variety of characters that weren’t so one-dimensional to stand out on the casting sheets, and we’re so glad he did.