Robert Pattinson’s Journey: From “Vanity Fair” to “Twilight”
Robert Pattinson had us all bawling our eyes out as the beloved Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and he’s even more famous for his turn as Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies. However, the British actor’s career started with a series of fumbles and bad auditions, as he told Teen Vogue in a recent interview. Let’s take a look at the timeline of Robert Pattinson’s acting career, from his fresh-faced beginnings to today!
2004: German Films and Vanity Fair
Robert’s very first role was in the German fantasy film Ring of the Nibelungs in 2004. He played Giselher, the brother of King Gunther, in this three-part movie, which was loosely based on characters from Norse sagas. The movie is nearly three hours long and is available on YouTube in its entirety. His second role was as Reese Witherspoon’s son in Vanity Fair, but his scenes were cut from the film and only appear on the DVD version. Despite his disappointment upon learning he’d been cut, Robert did find a silver lining:
I went to the screening, and no one had informed me that I was cut…The casting director…felt so guilty…that she gave me first run at the part in Harry Potter, so I was quite glad I got cut, in the end.
That takes us to the next stage of Robert’s career…
2005: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Robert’s breakout role as Cedric earned him the title of “British Star of Tomorrow” from the Times in 2005. He also cites the role as one of the biggest events of his life and as a chance to make a name for himself in the acting world:
I didn’t know how I would be interpreted, so I went into Harry Potter determined to be a real actor and kind of didn’t speak to anyone for awhile. I didn’t notice the transition to being accepted, but they are all really nice people. It seems like it should have been daunting, but it wasn’t.
He was hailed as “the next Jude Law” (Young Albus Dumbledore) for his performance as a classic “good guy” role, as director Mike Newell told the Evening Standard:
Cedric exemplifies all that you would expect the Hogwarts champion to be. Robert Pattinson was born to play the role; he’s quintessentially English with chiseled public schoolboy good looks.
Robert’s time in the Harry Potter franchise was short, but memorable. Not long after, a similarly disastrous career mishap to the one that landed him Cedric’s role would get him his most well-known part yet…
2008: Twilight Saga Mania!
In 2008, Pattinson landed the part of Edward Cullen in the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, a five-part saga that would bring him the love of thousands of fans worldwide. He says that he wound up with the part by a twist of fate:
I flew out to L.A. to actually audition for something else, which I was told was mine to take, just on a plate. And I went in and completely ruined the audition. And then the next day was the Twilight audition. And I think I was at such a kind of nothing-to-lose state, it was quite easy for me to do.
Edward’s character proved difficult for Robert, for several reasons. He confessed that he knew very little about playing a vampire from the beginning but soon found some interesting character details:
My character certainly is [more substantial] than the character I played in Harry Potter, mainly because the entire thing is based on Edward’s character and who he is. He is very tortured and conflicted, which is very different from what I played in Harry Potter. But it’s a completely different style of book.
Still, all things must come to an end, and Robert bid farewell to the Twilight saga in 2014.
2014–2017: Indie Films Galore!
Since the end of Twilight, Robert has worked tirelessly to make a name for himself as a serious actor with several indie films. His film Life, in which he played magazine photographer Dennis Stock, was a major departure from his earlier fantasy roles. He appeared at the Cannes Film Festival in David Michôd’s dystopian thriller The Rover and David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars in 2014 and then again this year in Benny and Josh Safdie’s Good Time, a crime thriller set in the streets of Queens. He plays Connie, a bank robber trying to support his developmentally disabled younger brother Nick. Pattinson says he’s glad for the change in film style and budget:
There are plenty of other huge movies; everybody is trying to do that. And I think there is a minor renaissance of what used to be a mid-budget movie, which would now be considered a micro budget, I guess. I love going to the cinema to see interesting, crazy things. I don’t just want to watch that on TV.
We’re so curious to see what unique and interesting projects Pattinson will take on in the future! Make sure to catch Good Time before it leaves theaters, and keep an eye out for his new film, Damsel, premiering soon.