Here’s what I imagine it’s like being Robert Pattinson‘s agent: An auteur calls you, says “I want your client to —” and then you stop them immediately and scream, “Yes, he’ll do it,” and then they say, “Are you sure? It’s pretty weird,” and then you stop them again and scream, “Just send us the call sheet already!”
Born in London in 1986, the actor first made a global-scale splash as the tragically-fated Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, before utterly dominating the cultural conversation in the Twilight franchise as broodingly romantic vampire Edward Cullen. This role made Pattinson a superstar, regular tabloid fodder, and the subject of lots of pop culture ridicule. But when you peer through and put aside all this noise, you’ll find a fundamental truth about Pattinson: He is a very, very good actor.
Since Twilight, Pattinson has stretched himself in a series of eclectic and eccentric films with a series of eclectic and eccentric directors. With the exceptions of the recent Tenet and The Batman, he’s avoided big-budget blockbuster fare, preferring a slate of independent passion projects that seem designed to circumvent any kind of mass appeal. For a man who’s objectively one of our biggest acting superstars, Pattinson’s choices reveal a purposeful lack of ego. He’ll take a leading role, sure, but he’s just as comfortable as a committed, supporting character actor —and if he looks foolish, idiotic, or out of his depth, all the better. Some actors might rewrite scripts to make them look better; Pattinson seems determined to do the opposite.
With The Devil All the Time recently dropping on Netflix, we thought it time to rank the best Robert Pattinson performances, and chart the course of one of our most uniquely singular talents working today. And for more on Mr. Pattinson, here’s the latest on The Batman filming.