Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson (born 13 May 1986) is an English actor and grew up in Barnes, southwest London, UK. His mother worked as a booker at a modeling agency and his father was a car dealer importing vintage cars. He has two older sisters, is an musician and singer and started learning the guitar and piano at the age of four. When he started his acting career he used to perform solo acoustic guitar gigs in pubs around London where he sung his own written songs. He recorded two titles that were being used in Twilight (2008).
He never thought about the idea of becoming an actor and a teacher in school even told him not to sign up for the drama course because she thought he wasn't cut out to do the creative subjects. But when Robert was 15, he started acting in amateur plays at the local drama club after his father convinced him to attend because he was quite shy. After starring in a view plays, a talent agent was in the audience in an adaption of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, discovered him and he began looking for professional roles.
His first screen role was opposite Reese Witherspoon in Vanity Fair (2004), but he'd been cut out of the final film and didn't know about it until he attended the premiere. The casting director felt so guilty for not telling him, that she got him the audition for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). He was lucky and succeeded in gaining the role of Cedric Diggory which brought him to wider attention at the age of 18 and he continued to star in mostly smaller british TV productions.
At the age of 22, the role of vampire Edward Cullen in the film adaptations of the Twilight novels written by Stephenie Meyer brought him to unexpected worldwide stardom and established him among the highest paid and most bankable actors in Hollywood. The five films between 2008 and 2012 grossed over $3.3 billion in worldwide receipts. Between the Twilight Saga films, he also starred in Remember Me (2010), Water for Elephants (2011) and Bel Ami (2012).
He started to distance himself from vampire Edward Cullen with the role of the detached billionaire Eric Packer in Cosmopolis (2012) from cult auteur director David Cronenberg, which was Pattinsons first film in competition at the Cannes Film Festival with many to follow. With Pattinson being a big cinephile, he since then starred in mostly independent films from gifted auteur directors, such as The Rover (2014), Maps to the Stars (2014), Life (2015), Queen of the Desert (2015) and The Childhood of a Leader (2015). His unrecognizable role as an explorer in the amazon jungle in The Lost City of Z (2016) from director James Gray brought him much critical acclaim. And his transformation to a sleazy, manic conman in the gritty crime thriller Good Time (2017) was a major step for his transition into a character actor with incredible range, with critics praising his performance a revelation and comparisations being made to Al Pacino.