Oh, Robert Pattinson, you excellent, popular, adorable English actor you. How far you’ve come from your humble beginnings as a child model to the halls of Hogwarts, to the heady, complex and well-received world of celebrated director David Cronenberg and his big-screen adaptation of “Cosmopolis.”
At this point in Pattinson’s career, he is mainly known for his role as Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” franchise but is clearly ready to expand his horizons in Hollywood via the R-rated thriller, out this week.
Here’s a quick look at the interesting road Pattinson has taken to get to “Cosmopolis”:
The Diary of a Male Model
Pattinson started modeling at the tender age of 12, before being discovered by agents and getting involved in local theater and, later, feature films. When asked about his early beginnings, Pattinson self-deprecatingly joked to the U.K.’s Closer magazine that he was the most unsuccessful model ever.
“When I first started, I was quite tall and looked like a girl, so I got lots of jobs, because it was during that period where the androgynous look was cool. Then, I guess, I became too much of a guy, so I never got any more jobs. I had the most unsuccessful modeling career.”
From an 18th-Century Baronet to Wizard’s Duels
Pattinson’s first role in a major movie was in the 2004 period piece “Vanity Fair,” in which he played Reese Witherspoon’s son. Although his scenes were cut from the theatrical release, they were added as a bonus feature on the DVD. Pattinson booked a few TV movies here and there, but it was his casting as Hogwarts dreamboat Cedric Diggory in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” that earned him name recognition.
Indies in the Midst of the ’Twilight’ Juggernaut
Once “Twilight” became the box-office surprise of 2008, it paved the way for a completely different Pattinson project, “Little Ashes,” to get a limited release. The film wasn’t at all a blockbuster, but Pattinson’s popularity meant that many of his die-hard fans learned a lot more about Salvador Dalí than they would have otherwise.
Next up for Pattinson outside the “Twilight” world was the romantic drama “Remember Me,” which required Pattinson to play a different type of romantic lead from Edward Cullen.
“It seems like in a lot of ways main characters in other movies, when there is a young guy who is the lead, he always seems like a vessel, [he] always [has] to be so naive and ridiculously innocent so the audience can feel that with [him] in the story,” Pattinson said of the role. “Tyler didn’t feel like that. He was a very specific character.”
More Romantic Period Pieces
Pattinson’s profile continued to rise, and he used his time between “Twilight” films wisely to film two very different period pieces with two respected and lovely leading ladies: 2011’s “Water for Elephants” opposite Reese Witherspoon and this year’s “Bel Ami” opposite Uma Thurman. Even better than landing those bigger movies opposite Hollywood vets was the feedback Pattinson received from his co-stars, cementing his fate as a “serious actor.”
“I would say [he is] the hardest-working person I’ve ever worked with, honestly,” Witherspoon told MTV News of Pattinson. “[He’s] professional, hard-working, so appreciative, more grateful than I’ve ever seen anyone for where he is in life.”
Thurman agreed, saying she thought he was on his way to becoming a “really serious actor.”
“I think he’s incredibly concrete in his presence on the set and obviously is very handsome. [He] is a very nice person and he’s sensitive. He’s present. … He’s a really good actor. … He’s extremely dashing, like an old-world movie star,” Thurman admitted. “[But] he’s got a lot of weight to him. I don’t think he was knocked down by all the women they threw at him [during the filming of ’Bel Ami’], which I think is probably lucky for him.”
Catching Cronenberg’s Eye
And that brings us to “Cosmopolis.” The film was originally slated to star Colin Ferrell, who backed out due to scheduling. Pattinson landed the role because director David Cronenberg had a feeling he was the right man for the gig.
“Ultimately, I felt he was the guy. Once again, intuition,” he told MTV News. “I saw his movies, including ones maybe his Twi-hard fans don’t know about, like ’Little Ashes.’ Maybe they saw ’Remember Me,’ I’m not sure.
“Can the ’Twilight’ kid actually act?” Cronenberg continued. “Really, he’s fantastic. He’s sensational,” he said. “Really, I’m telling you. He’s a great actor. It’s obvious in the movie. It’s not like maybe yes, maybe no. It’s obvious.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Cosmopolis.”
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