September 17th, 2020 / 0 comments


The Best Robert Pattinson Is Weird Robert Pattinson

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The Ringer believe that some of Rob’s best work is when he plays a secondary character, and here’s why:

The Devil All the Time is uncompromisingly bleak stuff … and that mood is matched in the ensemble’s somber performances.

But Pattinson proves to be the exception to that rule. As a predatory preacher in small-town Ohio, the actor seems to relish the chance to play a preening snake oil salesman—the kind of person who sees faith as the best means of manipulation and coercion. The phoniness of the preacher’s behavior is matched only by Pattinson’s hilariously over-the-top Southern accent and sacrilegiously poofy dress shirt. I’m not sure whether he deserves an Oscar or a Razzie; perhaps both.

The sheer campiness of Pattinson’s performance runs counter to everything else in The Devil All the Time—it’s the equivalent of a player ignoring a coach’s set play to do whatever the fuck he wants. But the effect of Pattinson’s work here is almost contagious: I couldn’t get enough of it, and suddenly I understood why all those parishioners couldn’t see through the preacher’s obvious facade. They were simply too beguiled to care.

The Devil All the Time is not the first instance of Pattinson appearing in a Netflix production where it appears he got a totally different memo from everyone else on set. In David Michod’s ultimately underwhelming The King, which was supposed to be another star-making turn for Timothée Chalamet, it’s Pattinson’s supporting work as the Dauphin of France that steals the show from his costar. Sporting Prince Charming–like blond locks and a French accent so thick and egregious it sounds like he’s constantly choking on a mouthful of escargot, Pattinson almost single-handedly saves The King—one ridiculous line reading at a time. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Robert Pattinson with Pepé Le Pew’s voice call Bowl Cut Timmy Chalamet someone who has, and I quote, “giant balls with a tiny cock.”

But just as well as Pattinson can call attention to himself, he can disappear into a role that requires something a bit more understated. In yet another supporting turn for James Gray’s masterful The Lost City of Z, Pattinson plays the aide-de-camp Henry Costin to Charlie Hunnam’s fabled real-life British explorer Percy Fawcett, who obsessed over finding an ancient lost city in the Amazon. Hiding behind a scraggly beard and old-timey spectacles, Pattinson is virtually unrecognizable, but carries a rugged grace while constantly following Fawcett through ordeals in the jungle that most would consider a living nightmare. It’s only when Costin starts a family of his own that he refuses to keep searching for Z with Fawcett, a choice Pattinson conveys with quiet consternation. 

It’s within this arthouse space, and in taking on bizarre supporting roles that appear antithetical to the interests of someone who has the look of a prototypical movie star, that Pattinson continues to impress. Call it the Jake Gyllenhaal Principle: He might be good-looking, but Robert Pattinson never seems more content than when he can get his freak on.

Despite his taking on one of the most sought-after superhero roles in Hollywood—not to mention starring in a time-bending Christopher Nolan movie—I hope filmmakers continue to let Pattinson cook as a weird character actor trapped in a leading man’s body. (While I haven’t seen Tenet because I care about my well-being, the fact that he plays a character who stole Nolan’s haircut is promising.) He’s sneakily become perhaps the single most exciting actor working right now; someone whose body of work radiates true chaotic energy. There’s no reason Robert Pattinson’s post-Twilight career can’t continue to sparkle, like a horny vampire in the sun. 

Edit above also done by The Ringer

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Rob’s Films
Mickey17 Role: Mickey17
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Release Date: 31 January 2025 (US). | Post-Production since 22 December 2022. Check out all upcoming release dates at our Film Page by clicking on News below


The Batman Role: Bruce Wayne | Batman
Director: Matt Reeves
Release Date: Aust: 3 March 2022 | US: 4 March 2022. Check out all upcoming release dates at our Film Page by clicking on News below


Tenet Role: Neil
Director: Christopher Nolan
Release Date: 26 August 2020. For DVD release dates head to our dedicated film page by clicking "News" below.



The Lighthouse Role: Ephraim Winslow
Director: Robert Eggers
Release Date: Screened at TIFF Sept 2019 | US 18 Oct 2019 - DVD releases at Film Page - click News below





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