Believe it or not, the sparkliest of vampires turns 31 today. Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson was born May 13th, 1986. Since then he has graced the world with some truly wonderful performances–regardless of the project’s overall quality. Pattinson’s acting and musical talent are almost unanimously celebrated by critics and fans alike.
This pouty-faced Brit is one of the most interesting alums of the early 2000’s serial fantasy films. Robert Pattinson couldn’t get off the set of Harry Potter fast enough. He spent his twenties hating Twilight more than you ever could. He topped it all off with a classic Hollywood scandal, when his co-star and girlfriend Kristen Stewart admitted to cheating on him. However, he came out the other side of this all with his career intact. He’s found time to prioritize his musical talents once more. For a once international Super Star, Robert Pattinson entered his 30s in a surprisingly typical fashion. Let’s take a look back on how he got where he is today.
From “Fashion Icon” to Supporting Actor
Robert Pattinson started his career as a tween model, wearing odd ensembles such as the iconic “scarf and boxers” combo. He was scouted by an agent while acting in theatrical productions in his hometown of London. At this point, he had absolutely no idea what a zeitgeisty future lay ahead of him.
Just shy of his 19th birthday, Pattinson was cast as Hufflepuff Heartthrob Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. According to Pattinson he enjoyed filming but felt weird entering into the tight-knit cast when their relationships were already concrete. Considering his character only appears in one Harry Potter film, the role gave Pattinson flash-in-the-pan fame which died down soon after the film’s release.
A Vampire Bites Off More Than He Can Chew
The shy and quiet teenager was fine flying under the radar, but then a thing happened that changed not only his life but also the direction of teen drama for a long time. Three years after Potter, in 2008, Pattinson took the role of Edward Cullen in the film adaptation of the YA series Twilight. He was hesitant to take on the character, feeling perhaps he couldn’t live up to Edward’s “dazzling” reputation.
However, Pattinson took his role very seriously for a very short time. According to director Catherine Hardwicke and Twilight’s author Stephanie Meyer, Pattinson poured over the source material and even kept an Edward journal for a while.
Already a best-selling book series, the Twilight films exploded and the actors became overnight sensations. The media responded with books and documentaries, churned out with impressive speed. Magazines ran any bit of information they could find, and niche documentaries such as “Robsessed” followed along with Pattinson’s every move. Twilight merchandise entirely clogged the airwaves, and the Age of the Vampire began. The series has plenty of problems, but for now, we’ll gloss over all of them in favor of the birthday boy, who might be the singular biggest hater of the series alive today. No one was more upset about their success than Pattinson, who wanted to go back to a life of playing guitar at local bars and acting in smaller art films.
Gotta Keep Movin’ Along
You may be tempted to ask “what happened to that vampire kid?” considering Pattinson stepped out of the spotlight after Breaking Dawn: Part Two premiered in 2012. But in the last five years, he hasn’t slowed down his work, releasing two projects a year every year. He seems to have found a balance that appeals more to his consistently shy persona. Finally, he can work without a gaggle of Tiger Beat reporters digging through his trash. Twilight Moms no longer line up to watch him eat a salad. He can play his guitar without breaking fire codes.
Even while he was filming Twilight, Pattinson pumped out smaller projects such as the art film Little Ashes, where he plays surrealist painter Salvidor Dali, and Remember Me, a timely romance that ends in New York on 9/11. Pattinson also found outlets for his music when live acoustic sets were no longer an option for him. He is credited multiple times on the Twilight soundtrack and plays piano on screen several times.
He and long-time partner FKA Twigs have been engaged since 2015. The two appear together regularly on the red carpet and in their hometown of London. Most recently they were spotted taking their dogs for a hike in Malibu.
Happy Birthday, Robert Pattinson. You keep doin’ you, and we’ll keep watching. From a respectable distance.