Every generation can easily pinpoint a movie or heartthrob that defined their generation. For some it was “The Wizard of Oz,” for others, “Star Wars” and for the pre-teens and teens circa 2008, it was the bloodsucking vampire versus werewolf franchise, “Twilight.”
While as middle schoolers we drooled over the very bad acting and awkward sexual tension we now find cringey, we can’t deny the saga’s success in producing some of the most recognizable actors of this generation. Among many is none other than Robert Pattinson.
Pattinson was most definitely some of our first crushes, but let’s be honest, we probably haven’t thought about him in years. That was, of course, until he made our hearts skip a beat once again, just a few weeks ago, when Christian Dior dropped a steamy advertisement featuring Pattinson.
While this might have awakened the dormant "Team Edward" fandom, it also made us see that Pattinson is not tied to the vampire character he played more than a decade ago. He has reinvented himself, and if we look deeper, he’s been doing it all along.
While child actors get to enjoy a slew of perks from fame to money, there are countless drawbacks to young stardom, one being typecasting. Basically, if you were a dorky kid you were most likely repeatedly casted as the dorky kid. Take for example, Michael Cera. Ever seen him stray from the giant man-child he consistently plays?
While some either can’t manage to break the mold or enjoy the typecast roles they get, a select few commit themselves to reinvention, in efforts to break the glass ceiling sort of speak.
If you’ve kept up with Pattinson post-"Twilight" or are an indie film connoisseur, you’d see that Pattinson takes on a variety of roles ranging from romance to historical fiction to action. Ideally, every actor would be able to take on any role they’d like to, but like everyday people, you can’t always take financial risks for personal gain.
It all boils down to opportunity. Pattinson, who made $25 million with “Twilight” alone, has enough room to take risks.
Pattinson is the first to admit that he was able to partake in the smaller indie films, and consequently reinvent himself, because he was able to turn down bigger roles that didn't fulfill him.
“Why not another blockbuster, why do you like the small stuff,” said Stephen Colbert to Pattinson, in “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” “I had the luxury of not having to keep working constantly and so I’ve kind of been able to choose what I’ve wanted to do,” Pattinson said, candidly.
While “Twilight” was über-successful, it was also a laughing stock and the subject of many “Saturday Night Live" sketches and comedians’ jokes. In turn, Pattinson’s acting was often the butt of these jokes.
Something tells me that Hollywood circa 2008 would have put him in every romantic movie imaginable, casting him as the mysterious, misunderstood stud, inadvertently tying him down to not only Edward, but also to an actor who isn't taken seriously.
Years after the “Twilight” frenzy has died down, we see that those plans thankfully never came to fruition.
In the years following “Twilight,” Pattinson showed us that he could not only act, but also that he could nail almost any accent and guise himself into pretty much any character.
Pattinson was able to reinvent himself because he refused to live the label of Edward Cullen. He didn't have to make five movies a year or take every role offered to him. He waited it out, accepting only the roles that showcased his range and skills to the max.
Pattinson was awarded unique opportunities post-"Twilight," allowing him to create an identity of his own. I’m sure no one had to teach us, or Pattinson, that money mixed with privilege buys more than just nice things. It's freedom and opportunity.