When he was cast in [movie id="369195"]"Twilight,"[/movie] few people outside of [article id="1590892"]die-hard "Harry Potter" fans[/article] had heard of him. As of last week, media outlets like this one, this one and a half-dozen others were still misspelling his name. But after [article id="1599996"]a $70.55 million opening weekend[/article], the stars of "Twilight" are the new kings of Hollywood.
And no actor is dazzling the studios quite like freshly minted heartthrob [movieperson id="365131"]Robert Pattinson[/movieperson]. But now that "Twilight" has exploded on to the scene, the time has come for RPattz to answer what might be the most significant question of his career: Where does he go from here?
Surely, the 22-year-old Pattinson could take the road of [article id="1455368"]Ben Affleck[/article], [article id="1473204"]Eric Bana[/article], [article id="1594231"]Tobey Maguire[/article] and others by using his newfound fame to land a high-paying gig as a superhero. He's even said in the past that [article id="1591541"]he would love to play Gambit[/article] in an "X-Men" movie, which Hollywood is coincidentally enough attempting to put together at this very moment.
Or the star could go the route of actors like [movieperson id="14200"]Russell Crowe[/movieperson], [movieperson id="93819"]Sean Penn[/movieperson] and others who've been known to overlook potential franchises for projects with artistic merit.
Then there's option #3: Pull a Joaquin Phoenix and abandon acting altogether to [article id="1598919"]embrace his musical talents[/article].
"I think if I did it, I'd do it under a different name and not promote it. ... Maybe I could just do it under 'Edward Cullen,' and we'll see what happens," Rob laughed when we [article id="1599904"]asked him recently[/article] if he would ever put out a full-length album. "That would be pretty obvious. But, maybe? I don't like to look like I'm cashing in on stuff, so I probably won't do it for a while. I'm not really interested in having a music career. I don't care if people buy my stuff or not."
Instead, Pattinson will pass the time until [article id="1600080"]"New Moon"[/article] by taking meetings and carefully selecting his next project. And his fans can bide their time with a few small films he already has in the proverbial can.
"I did it before 'Twilight,' and I assume it will come out at some point next year," he said recently when we asked him about [article id="1598106"]"Little Ashes,"[/article] a movie about the early days of surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. "It's a tiny, tiny movie, and I don't know what would have happened [to it] if 'Twilight' hadn't happened."
Remembering that shoot opposite young actors Javier Beltran and Matthew McNulty, Pattinson said "Ashes" taught him several lessons he'd eventually bring to his work as Edward Cullen. "It was the first job I had where I had an opportunity to really obsess over something, and I brought that mentality into 'Twilight,' doing that as well. When I was working in Spain doing ['Ashes'], no one spoke English. I was the only one that spoke English on the whole set most of the time. So all I did was read about Dalí and just think about the script a lot. ... I realized that if you fight enough to find what the story is, it will start to form how you want it to form. So many actors are so subservient to their directors, they forget they are human beings — a director can't know everything."
The 2009 flick might also raise eyebrows among Pattinson's devout female fanbase, as it depicts a love affair between Pattinson's Dalí and Beltran's Federico García Lorca. "There was tons and tons of letters. There's a book of letters between Lorca and Dalí, where they make obvious references to their relationship, which is obviously more than just a friendship," Pattinson said. "Dalí says, like, 'Lorca tried to have sex with me.' ... It's a very complicated script, and before anyone would see it, I recommend that you read a biography of Dalí. Otherwise, you wouldn't get too much out of it."
Also sometime in early 2009, audiences may finally have the opportunity to see "How to Be," a tiny film in which Pattinson stars as an introspective young man seeking to better himself by hiring his own personal life coach. Co-starring Rebecca Pidgeon ("Redbelt"), the film has been making the rounds at film festivals all year, most recently making a stop at the Lone Star International Film Festival in Fort Worth, Texas.
Beyond those two films, Pattinson is due to wrap up his "Twilight" media blitz by taking a brief respite over the holidays and then reporting to work on "Parts Per Billion," a drama that will put him alongside heavy-hitters such as Dennis Hopper, Rosario Dawson and fast-rising [movie id="306135"]"Juno"[/movie] star [movieperson id="397380"]Olivia Thirlby[/movieperson]. That project is due to begin filming in January, Pattinson will once again embrace an American accent — and where he goes after that is anybody's guess.
This much, however, is certain: Wherever RPattz's career leads, he now has tens of millions of new fans who'll be watching.
Check out everything we've got on "Twilight."
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.