Looking back at Robert Pattinson’s career, it’s almost comical to think that his two big breaks were in the form of major franchises. The quirky, self-deprecating actor (who claims he doesn’t know how to act) jumped from the big-budget Harry Potter and Twilight franchises to smaller, independent movies like Josh and Benny Safdie's Good Time and Claire Denis’s High Life without skipping a beat. For anyone who’s seen him act in recent years, you know Pattinson has a thing for the bizarre when it comes to choosing his roles. So now that he has made his way back into blockbusters as the lead in Matt Reeves’s The Batman, it's understandable that some people are confused.
The notoriously private star has turned in some incredible performances, and his acting trajectory has been a fascinating thing to watch. Even still, many people somehow only see the London native as Edward Cullen, the glowing vampire-turned-teen heartthrob. If you’re looking to learn more about Robert Pattinson, you’ve come to the right place.
1. Robert Pattinson is also a talented musician.
Not only is Robert Pattinson a great actor, but he’s also an experienced musician. At the age of 4, long before he considered a career on the big screen, Pattinson was learning both guitar and piano. Throughout his adult life, he has recorded several songs, including a few for Twilight (2008). You can also hear him on the soundtrack for Damsel (2018), which he stars in opposite Mia Wasikowska, and for High Life (2018), which he also stars in.
2. Robert Pattinson was once expelled from school.
Pattinson apparently wasn’t one to play by the rules growing up. While appearing on The Howard Stern Show in 2017, the actor recalled getting expelled from private school for stealing—and then selling—dirty magazines.
“I used to go in and take, like, one or two, and then put them in my bag,” he explained. “I was in my school uniform when I was doing it, and it was kind of risky. At the end, I got so cocky that I would take the entire rack.” Eventually Pattinson got a little too confident, and was eventually caught.
3. Robert Pattinson was edited out of his first movie.
Robert Pattinson wasn’t always the hot commodity he is now. Back in the early 2000s, the actor was cut out of what was supposed to be his feature debut. After scoring the part of Reese Witherspoon’s son in Mira Nair's Vanity Fair (2004), Pattinson was presumably excited to see himself on the big screen. Sadly, it was while attending a screening that he found out his part had been cut from the movie.
“[Tom Sturridge] and I ... we had scenes right next to each other and it was both our first jobs ... We went to the screening, and we thought the whole thing was such a joke anyway, because we had no idea what we were doing,” Pattinson told Vanity Fair in 2009. “We were, like, ‘acting’ or whatever—we had no idea—and we watched [Tom’s] scene and were like, ‘Yeah, that’s pretty good, that’s alright.’”
But when the actor was getting ready to watch his scene, he realized it was gone. "I’m sitting there going, ‘Ummm ... really?’ No one had told me that I had been cut out,” he said.
4. Robert Pattinson's role in Good Time was written specifically for him.
Fast-forward more than 10 years, and Pattinson had become an actor who inspires directors to create roles for him. When explaining how he was cast as the lead in the Josh and Benny Safdie's Good Time (2007), the Twilight cast alum revealed, “I saw a banner from their previous movie [Heaven Knows What] on a website and sent a crazy, obsessive email saying, 'I know, I know. It's meant to be.’”
OK, so while Pattinson was technically the one who chased the directors, they soon met and the rest is history. Josh Safdie talked about the fact that Good Time started with an email while speaking to in 2017, saying:
"It doesn’t even seem that legendary because ... you know why? I don’t mean to say this disparagingly to [Pattinson], but, the whole Twilight thing? It’s not even close to my periphery. Like, when it was happening, I kind of remember people talking about it. But not even really. To me, he was just an interesting guy who was chasing interesting work. It was just an email, you know? But I knew he was a megastar, I knew that."
5. Robert Pattinson looks up to Jack Nicholson.
Pattinson has named Nicholson as one of the actors he looks up to, once telling /Film: "I think he is literally the only actor who I can guarantee if I see a Jack Nicholson movie which I haven’t seen, even though I’ve seen them all now, but it’s like the same Jack Nicholson on a DVD box or whatever. It’s like seal of approval. So you know that there’s something going to be worth watching about the movie. Every single thing he’s done, it’s bizarre.”
For Pattinson’s next role as Bruce Wayne in The Batman, Matt Reeves revealed they took inspiration from Jack Nicholson in Chinatown (1974). “In Chinatown, Jake Gittes, in investigating that series of crimes that were part of that story, he discovers the depth of corruption in Los Angeles,” Reeves told Vanity Fair. “It’s a classic noir, and the series of murders Batman is investigating are very much in that mode.”
6. Robert Pattinson has been nominated for multiple Razzie Awards.
Although Pattinson hasn’t been nominated for an Academy Award or Golden Globe, he has been nominated for a handful of Razzies. If you’re unfamiliar, the Golden Raspberry Awards highlight the worst performances of the year in a parody-like ceremony. Pattinson’s starring role in the Twilight series earned him quite a few noms. He was nominated for Worst Actor twice for his role as Edward Cullen, Worst Supporting Actor once, and shared the nomination for Worst Screen Couple with Kristen Stewart a whopping three times.
7. Robert Pattinson thinks Congo is a masterpiece.
Speaking of Razzies: While attending the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 to promote The Lighthouse, Variety asked Robert Pattinson if he remembered the first R-rated movie he ever saw. He recalled being desperate to see the 1995 jungle adventure movie Congo, which earned seven of its own Razzie nominations, including Worst Picture. Pattinson called the film "a masterpiece," though he admits he hasn't seen it since then. In the actor's defense, Roger Ebert did give the movie (which features a talking gorilla) three stars—and it has earned some cult classic status since its original release.
8. Robert Pattinson has never appeared on a TV show.
Though Pattinson has been working as an actor since the early 2000s and has 39 credits on his IMDb page, he has never appeared on a TV series. If we’ve learned anything from watching his career thus far, it’s that Pattinson is anything but predictable. Maybe one day he’ll appear on the small screen.
9. Robert Pattinson has an asteroid named after him.
Not only is Pattinson admired by Twilight fans and indie movie lovers alike, but he also even inspired an astronomer. According to UPI, Timur Kryachko from Russia named a 1.4-mile wide asteroid “246789 Pattinson.” The amateur astronomer had the asteroid registered in the International Astronomical Union after finding it through his telescope back in 2014.
10. Robert Pattinson was named the “Most Handsome Man in the World.”
While many fans would’ve already argued this opinion years ago, it wasn’t until early 2020 that Robert Pattinson was officially named the Most Handsome Man in the World by cosmetic surgeon Dr. Julian De Silva. As reported by CNN, De Silva based the decision on the Golden Ratio of Beauty Phi. Apparently, The Batman star scored 92.15 percent "accurate.”
11. Robert Pattinson would love to appear in a Star Wars movie.
Could we see Pattinson in the next Star Wars trilogy? Who knows—but we at least know the actor would be up for it. And one character he’d be down to play might surprise you. When he was asked about traveling to a galaxy far, far away back in 2013, he responded, “In Star Wars? Oh, absolutely. In a heartbeat.”
Pattinson didn’t stop there. In response to whether or not he’d join Star Wars even if it meant he had to play Jar Jar Binks, he revealed, “I actually kind of like Jar Jar. I don't understand what the big deal is about Jar Jar.” In a 2017 interview with , Pattinson echoed having interest in joining the franchise, stating about the possibility, “Sure, yes. I love those movies and everyone wants those parts.”
12. Robert Pattinson skipped university to appear in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
After scoring the part of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at 17 years old, Pattinson decided to skip out on college altogether and pursue his acting career.
“It went so far over schedule, I couldn’t go,” he explained to on why he didn’t go to university. “It was supposed to be four months, but it ended up being 10 or 11. I’d turn up to set every day but not work for weeks at a time [because he wasn’t needed for filming]. I was 17 and I was the only person who wasn’t in school. I’d just hang about.”
13. Batman has been a dream role for Robert Pattinson.
Though many people know Pattinson for a few odd roles in indie films, he clearly has a passion for some big franchises as well. While speaking to in 2019, Pattinson admitted that, “Big movies, generally the parts aren’t as interesting—at least the stuff that was coming my way.” Though one role the actor admitted he had been eyeing was that of the Caped Crusader.
“I’d had Batman in my mind for a while,” Pattinson said. “It’s such an absurd thing to say. I sort of had an idea to do it, and I’d been prodding Matt [Reeves]. He didn’t accept any prods. I kept asking to meet him.” Clearly, Reeves eventually came around, and the rest is moviemaking history.