“I don’t know if I could ever really be cast in a heartthrob role apart from ‘Twilight’, which I didn’t really know was a heartthrob role. I really don’t feel I am one.”—Robert Pattinson.
Does Robert Pattinson need an introduction? When it comes to heartthrobs from the early 2000s, Pattinson is an essential part of Hollywood hunk history. Best remembered for playing Edward Cullen in the Twilight series (of course), the English actor has evolved into one of the most interesting and reluctant celebrity personas in filmmaking. From his alleged disdain for the very franchise that made him a star to his explosive off-screen affair with Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart, Pattinson had made plenty of headlines in his time in Hollywood.
As Pattinson keeps spreading his wings towards weirder films—and weirder Hollywood stories—there’s still plenty to learn about the former fictional bloodsucker. Sharpen those fangs to these 42 dazzling facts about Robert Pattinson.
42. No Clowning Around Trauma
Robert Pattinson made up a childhood story about seeing a circus clown die. He did this while promoting the carnival-themed film, Water for Elephants, on the Today show. When admitting to the story being fake, all Pattinson could say in his defense was, “I don’t know why I said it!”
41. School’s Out
At the age of 12, Pattinson was expelled from his private school in England. He has never disclosed the reason why.
40. One Day You’re In, The Next Day You’re Out
After getting kicked out of private school, Pattinson began a lucrative modeling career from the ages of 12 to 16. He blames the decline of his career on becoming “too much of a guy.” When he started modeling, Pattinson claims the “androgynous look was cool,” which spelled big bucks for his peculiar pairing of tall frame and looking “like a girl.” After the “fad” ended, the job offers dried up.
39. A Deep Dive into Fame
Pattinson’s true silver screen breakout was playing Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. According to an interview, this job is also where Pattinson learned how to scuba dive.
38. The Language of Love
Pattinson speaks French. Kinda. According to him, his Francophonic skills rank only at a “3-year-old’s standard.” That’s not too bad.
37. Love Pains
Pattinson injured himself during his very first shot in Twilight. In his words, “I wasn’t even doing a stunt. I was just trying to pick up Kristen Stewart and I almost tore my hamstring because I hadn’t been doing enough squats.”
36. Can’t Rely on These Jazz Hands
Like Edward Cullen, Robert Pattinson has super limbs. The actor has double-jointed fingers, which he puts to good use as a goalie in British football. He’s also broken his nose three times in the field—his fingers would bend back, letting the ball hit him square in the face. So he’s not at Edward-levels of agility just yet.
35. The Eyes Have It
To capture Edward’s magically piercing stare, Pattinson wore golden eye contacts throughout filming Twilight. He charmingly referred to these enhancements as “orange blobs.”
34. What a Vacation
Between the second and third Twilight films, Pattinson only got three entire days off to film his other flick, Remember Me.
33. Are Babies Low in Calories?
At one point, a crew member brought a fan’s baby to set and asked Robert Pattinson to take a photo with it. To quote Pattinson, somewhere out there is “a photo of me biting a baby’s head.” Edward is a “vegetarian,” so it’s okay.
32. Wait for It…
At the time, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s relationship was a low-key open secret in Hollywood. The two began dating in 2008 on the set of Twilight, but their relationship did not become public until 2010, after the pair were seen on holiday on an island off the English coast together.
31. Looks Like We Have a Winner
In 2009, Pattinson was declared to be “most handsome man in the world” by Vanity Fair. Angelina Jolie won that year for “most beautiful woman in the world,” so the competition was clearly tough.
29. You’re Hot and You’re Cold
The actor is a long-time friend of singer Katy Perry. She’s another gal pal who got him through his public break-up with Kristen Stewart.
28. Edward and the Big Oedipal Complex
In a deleted scene, Robert Pattinson played Reese Witherspoon’s son in Vanity Fair (2004). Years later, he would go on to play her love interest in Water for Elephants (2011).
27. Light a Candle for This One
Madame Tussauds’ collection of wax figures currently owns a life-sized statue of Robert Pattinson for all of your photo-op needs.
26. Make a Wish, Bella
In 2014, an asteroid was named after Robert Pattinson. A Russian astronomer discovered the crater and promptly named it “246789 Pattinson.” Catchy.
25. Behind the Music
Performance is part of Pattinson’s upbringing. His sister the English singer and musician, Lizzy Pattinson. He himself has been taking piano and classical guitar lessons since the ages of 4 and 5, respectively. In fact, Pattinson’s first band, called “Bad Girls,” performed in London’s pub scene.
24. Steer Clear of This Guy
Pattinson could not drive when he landed the role of Edward in Twilight. To capture the essence of the Volvo-driving vampire, the actor took a 10-hour crash course on motor vehicle operation right on the movie’s set.
23. Pity is the Most Powerful Magic
Pattinson attended the premiere of Vanity Fair without knowing that he had been cut from the film. Luckily, the casting director felt bad and got Pattinson an audition to play Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which became his second-most famous role.
22. Every Frame a Casting Call
Robert Pattinson got his role in the Safdie Brothers’ Good Time based on his love of a single photo from their other film, Heaven Knows What. Just a photograph. Struck by the still, Pattinson sent the directors a personal email expressing intrigue in their next project—whatever it would be. Struck by Pattinson’s candor, the Safdies wrote a role in Good Time just for him.
21. Last Call Before Sundown
Right before he got the job in Twilight, Pattinson was thinking about leaving acting altogether. While the role in Goblet of Fire was sweet, he was still having trouble finding work. His alternate plans included going back to school to become a political speechwriter or throwing his hat back into music.
20. The People Have Spoken
It’s hard to picture Edward Cullen without Robert Pattinson, but many fans could. In fact, thousands of them could: when Pattinson was first cast in Twilight, more than 75,000 readers signed a petition to ban him from embodying their beloved Edward. Some people just can’t be pleased.
19. Stop or Edward Will Shoot
How does a former vampire relieve stress? If you’re Robert Pattinson, you fire rounds at the Los Angeles Police Department shooting range. It’s an odd hobby, but it’s something he admits to doing frequently.
18. Don’t Say My Name
Robert Pattinson hates being called “R-Patz.” He is quoted as wanting to “strangle” anyone who uses the nickname.
17. When You Gotta Go
In response to the question the public was begging to know the answer to (I guess), Robert Pattinson admitted to peeing in jars in his car “many times” over the course of his life.
16. Slow Down
Before he was expelled at the age of 12, Pattinson was suspended at age 6 or 7 for carrying around snails in a carton. In his defense, he was saving the critters for his school chums. But to undermine that defense, they were saving the snails to be killed later.
15. It’s Showtime
Pattinson got his acting start after getting discovered, ironically, in the theater. Seeing a show at the Barnes Theatre Company, he was noticed and then went on to star in Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
14. An Attractive Lineage
Pattinson’s parents have interesting careers themselves. His father Richard made a living importing vintage cars from the United States, while Pattinson’s mother, Clare, worked at a modeling agency.
13. Not Sweet Enough
Robert Pattinson is a sucker for Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. This is so well-known that reporter George Stephanopoulos tried to bribe the actor with the treat in exchange for spilling on his break-up with Kristen Stewart. It didn’t work.
12. You Have the Right to Remain Indulgent
While he plays a blood-sucking bad boy, Pattinson himself loves a different kind of “bad boys”: Cops is his favorite TV show.
11. Can I Crash Here?
In the fallout of Kristen Stewart’s cheating scandal, the spurned Pattinson allegedly hid in the home of his longtime friend and Water for Elephants co-star, Reese Witherspoon.
10. Say Yes to Distress
While they were dating, Robert Pattinson popped the question to Kristen Stewart on multiple occasions. This was verified by Stewart who said, “I mean, I don’t know how serious he was, but yes.”
9. Here Comes the Waterworks
Robert Pattinson’s music moved Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke so deeply, she was literally brought to tears.
8. These Hips Don’t Lie
Even Edward Cullen has flaws. Or at least, the actor who plays him does: Robert Pattinson is notoriously self-conscious when it comes to his “wide hips.” It gets to the point where he won’t fully undress at the pool because he’s that insecure.
7. International Exposure
During his modeling days, Pattinson starred in an advertisement for Japanese underwear. Where are the pics?
6. Blood and Regrets
At this point, Robert Pattinson’s open hate for Twilight is practically a meme. Not only has he said that Edward would have been an “ax murderer” in real life, but Pattinson also described reading the book and thinking it “wasn’t supposed to be published.” In his words, he also “stopped mentally progressing around the time when I started doing those movies.”
5. She Doesn’t Ship It
How did Kristen Stewart feel about her relationship to Pattinson? In retrospect, she said it made her feel “gross.” The public pressure to make it work for the sake of fans got to the actress. She admitted, “People wanted me and Rob to be together so badly that our relationship was made into a product. It wasn’t real life anymore. And that was gross to me. It’s not that I want to hide who I am or hide anything I’m doing in my life. It’s that I don’t want to become a part of a story for entertainment value.”
42. Baby’s First Method Acting
As the youngest of three siblings, Pattinson was the butt of many jokes. The cruelest: his older sisters would dress him up as a girl and introduce him to people as “Claudia.” This gag went on until he was 12.
38. Professional Sleepover
Snagging the role of Edward in Twilight changed Pattinson’s career forever. After landing the coveted lead, along with Kristen Stewart as Bella, the two actors flew to director Catherine Hardwicke’s house, where they rehearsed love scenes in Hardwicke’s own bedroom.
36. Hot or Not?
Both fans and studio heads had doubts as to whether Pattinson had the looks to play the impossibly attractive vampire, Edward Cullen. An executive outright asked Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, “Are you sure you can make this guy handsome?” Ouch. Hardwicke has said of Pattinson, “He’s obviously ridiculously photogenic, but he’s also so talented… I see him creating stylized, odd, wild, fantastical characters.” Way to dodge the question, Hardwicke…
29. Betrayal with a Fashion Statement
In 2012, his then-girlfriend Kristen Stewart was caught cheating on him with her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders. As if to rub it in, she was captured embracing her director… while holding Pattinson’s baseball cap in her hand. What’s less remembered is how their relationship wasn’t immediately destroyed: Stewart and Pattinson took a break after the scandal but did reconcile later that year. Nevertheless, they officially called it quits after 2013. As it turned out, Pattinson never got over the trust issues which resulted from the fallout of Stewart’s stepping out.
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