Robert Pattinson, the future dad and an aficionado of inflatable couches, has never quite fit the mold of your typical Hollywood heartthrob. While he’s donning the cape as Batman, his heart lies with collaborating with unconventional filmmakers like the Safdie brothers and Claire Denis. Even in his early days before the Twilight saga, he didn’t strive for conventional attractiveness. In fact, according to Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first Twilight film, he nearly missed out on the role of Edward Cullen because, well, he wasn’t exactly a heartthrob at the time.
During an appearance on the podcast Watchalong, Hardwicke reminisced about their first encounter. She described Pattinson as having black bangs for hair and not being in the best shape, often hanging out at the pub.
Despite these initial impressions, Hardwicke was intrigued by Pattinson and decided to shoot some audition footage alongside his future co-star, Kristen Stewart. To her surprise, he did indeed look the part, almost like Edward Cullen himself.
Hardwicke recalled her thought process, saying, “I thought ‘it works not just in person, but it works on screen.’ I had to be sure. Of course in person, I just got carried away, but you have to be sure — does it really translate [to the screen]?”
However, Summit Entertainment, the distribution company, wasn’t entirely convinced. They questioned whether Pattinson could truly be transformed into the heartthrob character of Edward Cullen.
Hardwicke was determined and assured them, saying, “I said, ‘Yeah, I do. Did you see his cheekbones? We’re doing a makeover on the hair and everything, and he’s going to start working out, and he’s going to be gorgeous.’ But they didn’t believe it at first. He walked over there with a stained shirt… It was Rob.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Pattinson eventually became the iconic Edward Cullen, though he’s been candid about the challenges of maintaining that Hollywood image. He’s even faced criticism from fans and his own trainer when he confessed during the quarantine break that he doesn’t work out. Perhaps it’s time to let Pattinson work with the cool directors he prefers, rather than squeezing into tight comic book movie suits.
How do you think Robert Pattinson’s unique approach to his career and unconventional attractiveness have contributed to his success as an actor, particularly in roles like Edward Cullen and Batman? Leave us a comment.