For better or worse, some actors prefer to steer far away from any kind of transformation in their acting career, bringing more of themselves to a role than they do the character they are supposed to represent, but not in Robert Pattinson’s case. We see Pattinson adopt such wildly different styles and accents that it’s sometimes hard to remember if he’s actually British.
Robert Pattinson is British, born and raised in the heart of England, London. Both of his parents and his grandparents were born in England, with his family tree spanning generations of relatives that were all from England.
Based on Pattinson’s heritage, the only way that he could get any more British is if he walked around waving the Union Jack. The actor has done an incredible job of separating the characters he plays from his real identity, so much so in some roles that it becomes borderline impossible to tell that it is Pattinson on the screen.
Pattinson’s Early Roles
Although roles in movies like Harry Potter and Twilight were by no means bad for his career, they didn’t have a particularly exceptional level of depth compared to some of the parts he later took. The Harry Potter franchise was set to a British backdrop, albeit with a touch of magic, and the Twilight series seemed to put more emphasis on Pattinson’s ability to deliver a smoldering look rather than any heavyweight character exploration.
Still, he delivered very competent performances in both series, likely already very well versed from his experiences in theater productions. It was after all of this, however, once his longer term obligations to his sequels were fulfilled, that we saw Pattinson begin to show us just how much of a chameleon he could be.
Some of the movies with smaller productions that we had begun to see him in, such as Bel Ami and Cosmopolis had already started giving Pattinson far more interesting characters to delve into, and the young actor definitely had the skills to bring them to life. Although the characters were a significant departure from his previous work, they still banked a lot on his charm and looks.
Blurring The Man Behind The Character
The Rover was the first time that Pattinson had been in a role where he truly started to become indecipherable as an actor. A subtle southern American accent, and layers of dirt and grime from the apocalyptic hellscape that serves as the setting for the movie, did wonders at completely obscuring Pattinson’s British origins.
Although the reception to the movie was lukewarm, Pattinson’s work alongside lead actor Guy Pearce was one of the highlights of the film, managing to garner multiple nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Although the awards had all eluded him, the nominations and the positive feedback was a good sign, a sign of things to come.
Continuing to round out and grow his acting skills over the next few years, we arrive in 2017, where we truly see Pattinson disappear into the character for the first time. The movie in question is Good Time, where his transformation into the heavily-accented lowlife Connie is so jarring that you’d be forgiven for not even realizing that it was Pattinson playing the role.
If this was the movie that introduced you to Pattinson, then you would have almost no way to tell that he was British. The New York accent completely masks his perfect English enunciation, and the raggedy down-on-his-luck character he plays looks nothing like the actor.
The separation from his off-screen persona that he achieves in the role really shows, with his performance being one of the standout features of the movie, so strong that it arguably carries the movie.
He’s had some even more alarmingly dramatic shifts in accent, something that seems to be a hobby of his based on the fact that in almost all of his work he adopts a different style of speech. One of the most eccentric standouts being the preacher he played in The Devil All The Time, which even shocked his fellow cast members.
Still, no matter how well Pattinson blends into another character from another time or place, don’t be fooled, he’s definitely British. Although obligations will often see him staying indefinitely in different places around the world, he also still has a home in his birthplace of London.