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London native (born 5/13/86) Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson, 23, is what some call a double threat an actor and musician. Bitten by the acting bug at age 15, Pattinson started performing at the Barnes Theatre Company in London. This opened the door to his earlier roles such as Giselher in the television production of Ring of the Nibelungs and Rawdy Crawley in the film Vanity Fair. His role in Vanity Fair led to Pattinson being cast as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Following Harry Potter, Pattinson developed his talent further by playing in two U.K. television films. In the first film, The Haunted Airman, Pattinson was cast as lead character Toby Jugg, a disabled and traumatized World War II airman. Jugg proved to be a complex character who suffered from hallucinations, which ultimately leads to his own mental undoing.

In the second film, The Bad Mother’s Handbook, he played a minor role as nerdy Daniel Gale. Pattinson brought his own sense of eccentricity, which added a truth to the character.

Pattinson continued to mold his acting career by appearing in two other U.K. projects: short film The Summer House, directed by Daisy Gili and feature film How to Be, directed by Oliver Irving.

In How to Be, he is able to tap into his musical talents by playing Art, a troubled 20-something who lives at home with a dysfunctional family.

After filming smaller roles, Pattinson signed on to play the role of vampire Edward Cullen in the film Twilight, which is based on the book of the same name by Stephenie Meyer. Pattinson told Teen Hollywood.com in August about his lack of prior knowledge to the Twilight.

He said: “I read them after my screen test. I’d never even heard of them before. Then, we were doing the movie and it got exponentially bigger and bigger and bigger, and everybody knew about it, so it was kind of strange and unexpected.”

When fans of the book first discovered that Pattinson was cast as Edward Cullen, there was an immediate backlash. The criticism extended from his appearance being wrong for what they envisioned to him to being involved in the rival Harry Potter series. However, after the release of the first teaser trailer, fan remarks began to turn positive. The release of the second teaser trailer pushed the frenzy of support behind Pattinson.

But even after the tides obviously changed, Pattinson remained modest about the project when asked by FearNet.com about being in one of the most highly anticipated projects of the year.

He said: “I still can’t really come to terms with it. It’s just strange. I’m always just sort of terrified I’m just a good freaker-outer.”

Pattinson’s continued modesty seems to make fans more interested in his upcoming roles. Taking a look at Pattinson’s body of work thus far, it might be unexpected to see him portraying the artist Salvador Dali who engages in a rumored homosexual affair with poet Federico Garcia Lorca in Little Ashes. This is a far cry from the roles of wizard Cedric Diggory and vampire Edward Cullen has catapulted Pattinson into the fame stratosphere. However, Pattinson told London’s Evening Standard in February about his decision to take on such a controversial role.

He said: “I think some people might be a bit surprised. But I didn’t want to get stuck in pretty, public school roles, or I knew I’d end up as some sort of caricature. Playing Dali has been a complete turning point for me. It’s the first part I’ve had that has required really serious thought. I became completely obsessed with Dali during the filming, and I read every biography I could get a hold of. He was the most bizarre, complex man, but in the end I felt I could relate to him. He was basically incredibly shy.”

And people have begun to notice Pattinson and his dedication to his work. As early as 2005, comparisons have been made between Pattinson and other big names in film. Teen People dubbed him the next Jude Law after his portrayal as Cedric Diggory, and more recently, the Movie-Fanatic dared to compare Pattinson to the late Heath Ledger and wrote:

“Ledger gained respect from his peers and the film industry in general for maintaining his integrity and not succumbing to the dictates of agents to play sugary teeny-bopper roles. Robert seems to have chosen to go Ledger’s way – the hard way. I base my observation on the roles he has chosen which are his answer to critics who might be judging him as a handsome actor with no real talents or prospects. Like Brokeback Mountain, the upcoming Little Ashes has a gay-focused theme. There might be parallels between the two movies, but I think both movies are unique and offer different perspectives on relationships.”

As an actor who has been compared to the likes of Law and the late Ledger, Pattinson is sure to gain international popularity thanks to the risks he continues to take and the depth he displays in his roles. And Little Ashes may just be the breakthrough role to make him a major player in the world of film.

In September 2008, Robert began to receive accolades as an actor. He won Best Actor for his portrayal of Art in the the film “How to Be” at the Strasbourg Film Festival in France. He is also received the New Hollywood Award at the Hollywood Film Festival Awards Committee on October 27th 2008.

Early 2009 has already brought some news to Robert’s career. He has been removed from the rumored project, “Parts Per Billion” due to scheduling conflicts with “New Moon” (sequel to “Twilight”). We also have the release of “Little Ashes” on May 8, 2009 in limited release. to look forward to.

In April 2009, Robert is currently busy filming the sequel to “Twilight” – “New Moon” in Vancouver, Canada. He also was confirmed to star in a Summit Entertainment feature “Remember Me”. The film has been described as “originally penned by Will Fetters, centers on a pair of star-crossed lovers who meet and fall in love while struggling to deal with family tragedies that threaten their relationship. Jenny Lumet, who penned “Rachel Getting Married,” is aboard to rewrite.”

In late May 2009, Robert attended the Cannes Film Festival. He attended the “Inglorious Bastards” premiere and the amFAR Aids Charity event. At the charity event, he auctioned off a kiss on the cheek to two lucky ladies valued reportedly between $20,000-28,000 a piece. It wasn’t all play for Rob. He was there to promote “Remember Me” and “New Moon”. Not only did he do that, but he also confirmed “Unbound Captives” (featuring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weiss) and the fourth installment of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”. After the stop in Cannes, he filmed in Italy the final scenes in “New Moon” for approximately four days. Upon completing filming in Italy, he and co-stars Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner are expected to present the “New Moon” trailer at the MTV Movie Awards on May 31st 2009. What’s next for Rob? Early summer filming in New York City for “Remember Me” and then late summer filming for “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”. Rob is hot-hot-hot in Hollywood right now!

Written by: Kristin Rielly
Updated: May 29, 2009

Some portions of this biography were featured at the Little Ashes Promotional Blitz Project.