Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson is an English actor, model, musician and producer. Pattinson started his career by playing Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He later landed the leading role of Edward Cullen in the film adaptations of the Twilight novels by Stephenie Meyer, and came to worldwide fame, thus establishing himself among the highest paid and most bankable actors in Hollywood. In 2010, Pattinson was named one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World, and also in the same year Forbes ranked him as one of the most powerful celebrities in the world in the Forbes Celebrity 100.
Pattinson was born in London, England. His father, Richard, imported vintage cars from America, and his mother, Clare, worked for a modelling agency. Pattinson has two elder sisters, singer Lizzy Pattinson, and Victoria Pattinson. Growing up in the Barnes suburb of London, he attended Tower House School until he was 12, and then The Harrodian School. He became involved in amateur theatre at the Barnes Theatre Company. He auditioned and was cast in a small role in Guys and Dolls. He next auditioned for Thornton Wilder's Our Town and was cast as George Gibbs. He also played in Anything Goes and Macbeth. He caught the attention of an acting agent in a production of Tess of the d'Urbervilles and began looking for professional roles.
Pattinson began modelling at the age of 12, but his workload began to decrease four years later. In December 2008, he blamed the lack of modelling work on his masculine appearance: "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 modelling career." Pattinson appeared in the advertising campaign for Hackett's autumn 2007 collection.
Pattinson had supporting roles in the made for television film Ring of the Nibelungs in 2004 and in director Mira Nair’s Vanity Fair, although his scenes in the latter were deleted and only appear on the DVD version. In May 2005, he was slated to appear in the UK premiere of The Woman Before at the Royal Court Theatre, but was fired shortly before the opening night and was replaced by Tom Riley. Later that year he played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. For this role he was named that year's "British Star of Tomorrow" by The Times and had more than once been hailed as "the next Jude Law".
In 2008 Pattinson landed the coveted role of Edward Cullen in the film Twilight, based on Stephenie Meyer's best-selling novel of the same name. According to TV Guide, Pattinson was initially apprehensive about auditioning for the role of Edward Cullen, fearful that he would not be able to live up to the "perfection" expected from the character. The film was released on 21 November 2008 and turned Pattinson into a moviestar overnight. Though the film received mixed reviews, critics praised his and co-star Kristen Stewart's chemistry in the film. The New York Times called Pattinson a "capable and exotically beautiful" actor and Roger Ebert said he was "well-chosen" for the role.
Pattinson then starred as Salvador Dalí in the film Little Ashes, and also appeared in How to Be and The Summer House. He reprised his role as Edward Cullen in the Twilight sequel The Twilight Saga: New Moon which was released on November 20, 2009. The film earned a record-breaking $142,839,137 opening weekend and an overall run of $709,827,462 worldwide. Though the film received negative reviews, film critic Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune said that Pattinson was still "interesting to watch" despite the bad makeup. Bill Goody Koontz from the Arizona Republic said that "Pattinson's actually not in the film that much, but he does his best when he's around" and Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post noted that his acting was "uniformly strong".
In 2009, Pattinson presented at the 81st Academy Awards. On 10 November 2009, Revolver Entertainment released the DVD Robsessed, a documentary which details Pattinson's life and popularity. On 13 May 2010, Pattinson appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and on 18 May, The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. He attended the official worldwide red carpet premiere for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on 24 June 2010, at the Los Angeles Nokia Theatre. The film was released on 30 June 2010, earning $698,491,347 worldwide.
Pattinson executively produced and starred in the film Remember Me, which was released on 12 March 2010. In 2011, he starred as Jacob Jankowski in Water for Elephants, a film adaptation of the Sara Gruen novel of the same name. The film received mixed reviews, but Pattinson's performance was praised. Film critic Richard Corliss from Time praised Pattinson for being "shy and watchful" and said that he "radiates a slow magnetism that locks the viewer’s eyes on him", ultimately calling him "star quality". Mick LaSalle from the San Francisco Chronicle stated that Pattinson succeeded at holding his own at the center of a major feature and was "endlessly watchable". Peter Travers of the Rolling Stone said he "smolders" in the film and Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter said that "Pattinson is entirely convincing as Jacob".
Pattinson reappeared as Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, which was released on 18 November 2011, and earned $705,058,657 at the box office. He played Georges Duroy in a film adaptation of the 1885 novel Bel Ami, and the film had a world premiere at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival. It was released on 12 February 2012. Pattinson starred in the film adaptation of Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis (2012), directed by David Cronenberg. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The film received mostly positive reviews, and Pattinson's performance was praised. Justin Chang of Variety wrote: "An eerily precise match of filmmaker and material, Cosmopolis probes the soullessness of the 1% with the cinematic equivalent of latex gloves. ... Pattinson's excellent performance reps an indispensable asset." Robbie Collin of The Telegraph stated that it is a sensational performance from Robert Pattinson "yes, that Robert Pattinson – as Packer. Pattinson plays him like a human caldera; stony on the surface, with volcanic chambers of nervous energy and self-loathing churning deep below." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly stated, "Pattinson, pale and predatory even without his pasty-white vampire makeup, delivers his frigid pensées with rhythmic confidence."
In May 2012, Pattinson was cast alongside Guy Pearce in David Michod's The Rover. He is also set to star in Mission: Blacklist, a psychological thriller based on the novel of the same name by military interrogator Eric Maddox. In August 2012, it was announced that Pattinson has been cast alongside Naomi Watts in Werner Herzog's adaptation of Gertrude Bell's biopic film Queen of the Desert.
Pattinson plays the guitar and piano, and composes his own music. He also appears as the singer of two songs on the Twilight soundtrack: "Never Think", which he co-wrote with Sam Bradley, and "Let Me Sign", which was written by Marcus Foster and Bobby Long. The songs were included in the film after director Catherine Hardwicke added Pattinson's recordings into an early cut without his knowledge, and he agreed that "one of them specifically, it really made the scene better. It was like it was supposed to be there." The soundtrack for the film How to Be features three original songs performed by Pattinson and written by composer Joe Hastings.
Aside from recording for the soundtracks, Pattinson has said, "I've never really recorded anything – I just played in pubs and stuff", and when asked about a professional music career, he said, "Music is my back-up plan if acting fails." In 2010, Pattinson was awarded the "Hollywood's Most Influential Top Unexpected Musicians" award.