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Monday, June 14, 2021

Robert Pattinson at 35: How Twilight’s Edward Cullen became Batman

Before Robert Pattinson dons the cape and the cowl of Dark Knight in The Batman, let's trace his journey in Hollywood so far.

Written by Kshitij Rawat | New Delhi |
May 13, 2021 4:39:42 pm
Robert PattinsonRobert Pattinson turns 35 today. (Photo: Lionsgate/Warner Bros)

Robert Pattinson turns 35 today. The British actor is all set to play the coveted role of DC superhero Batman in Matt Reeves’ movie next year. It will be easily the biggest role of his career. But before he dons the cape and the cowl of Dark Knight and becomes Battinson, so to speak, let’s trace his journey in Hollywood so far.

Pattinson first burst into the limelight with blockbuster franchises like Harry Potter and Twilight. His first role was in the fourth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in which he played a rather brief but memorable role of Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory. Cedric represented Hogwarts alongside Harry and was ultimately killed at the hands of Lord Voldemort.

Pattinson’s portrayal of Cedric got him the lead role of vampire Edward Cullen in Twilight quadrilogy. The films were not received well and became an object of derision for many, but they were nevertheless hugely successful in commercial terms. They became a pop culture sensation and turned Pattinson into a globally known star.

In between the Twilight movies, Pattinson had begun doing smaller flicks. He explained to the Guardian in a 2011 interview that Twilight series was like a “safety net” for him that allowed him to do the stuff he wanted to do.

“I had a three- or four-month window between each one during which I could do another job. But whatever I did I knew that I’d have another Twilight movie on the way, which is theoretically guaranteed to make a lot of money. So I could always afford to fail,” he said.

Some of those smaller movies are Remember Me, Water for Elephants and Bel Ami. But it was in films like The Rover, Life and particularly Safdie brothers’ Good Time that cemented Pattinson’s status as a versatile, all around brilliant actor with an incredible command on his craft.

In 2019’s The Lighthouse, he played the role of one of the two lighthouse keepers (the other played by Willem Dafoe) who begin to lose their sanity after they are stranded on that remote island. The film was a masterwork in terms of direction and cinematography. Pattinson and Dafoe were astounding together, making the viewer forget they were watching a movie and not really taking a glimpse into the lives of those forlorn, doomed men.

That Pattinson is Batman is no doubt a result of his consistently stellar work that few (including the movie’s casting director certainly) saw. Despite misgivings that many have voiced after he was cast, there should not be a shred of doubt that Pattinson is going to leave a considerable impact in the role. His take on the character might not turn out to be accurate to the lore, but the least we can expect, judging by Pattinson’s career thus far, is it will undoubtedly be interesting to witness.

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