By Lily Meek
10th May 2020

Cast your mind back to 2008. You probably just shuddered. As did I, reminiscing on a time where wearing knee-high gladiator sandals was considered acceptable. Whilst we're here... let's also share a moment of silence for the bangs, fake nerd glasses and bubble-hemmed dresses you probably also owned. For me, 2008 can be defined by the gift it bestowed upon my screen. I'm talking of the time when young adult fiction roamed freely from cinema to cinema, when you had to decide whose team you were on, and when everyone secretly hated Bella. 2008 was marked indistinctly by one thing...

Edward Cullen.

What's entertaining and slightly cringe-worthy about my wishing Robert Pattinson a very happy 34th birthday is the perspective it puts on getting older. I watched 'Twilight' five times in a row on an overnight flight upon first discovering it. I'm fairly certain my sister, sitting beside me, ignored the fascination and let me embrace my embarrassing entry into adolescence for once. I never said anything after that. With three older siblings, you have to learn to keep your cool with these things for fear of being mocked. Mum almost gave me away once when she asked who had been Googling "Robert Pattinson shirtless" on the family laptop at dinner. I'm hoping at least one reader finds this situation relatable.

To my point! And this may sound odd... Robert Pattinson has been to us exactly what we needed him to be - and when we needed him to be it. 'Twilight' is controversially a great film. Heck - I'll even admit I watched the whole saga months ago with a bottle of wine and popcorn... and it was great. We love to hate the films, and we hate that we love them. It's unexplainable, but there you have it.

What we didn't expect was that this was a long-term journey in the making. Pattinson kicked off with more films, his 'Twilight' posse following him along. We watched 'Remember Me,' 'Bel Ami', 'Water for Elephants'. They weren't bad! There was just no progression. That's when everyone popped him in a box, neatly labelled "Actors Past Their Peak".

And then the Safdie Brothers dropped 'Good Time'. How on earth did Robert Pattinson get on that film? Well, he wrote an email, of course! Responding to a poster of 'Heaven Knows What', Pattinson addressed the brothers with a want to be in their next film. The Safdie's admitted to never watching Pattinson's films, and Pattinson admitted to never watching theirs. However, the brothers do admit to respecting a man who chases after work. It became Twitter and Reddit norm to comment about the actor everybody underestimated. The coolest part about this film was Pattinson distanced himself as much as humanly possible from everything the world knew about him, by acting on a gut reaction. It was the best thing he could have done.

Robert Eggers says in a behind-the-scenes interview that Pattinson continually surprised him, often translating scenes differently or displaying things he didn't know the actor to be capable of. I feel like we're all Robert Eggers.

Pattinson's demonstration of spontaneity, guts, courage and talent contributed to further achievements. His performance in 'The Lighthouse' garnered more anticipation, with excellent delivery. His execution of character, range and receptivity are all widely complimented on. Robert Eggers says in a behind-the-scenes interview that Pattinson continually surprised him, often translating scenes differently or displaying things he didn't know the actor to be capable of. I feel like we're all Robert Eggers. Pattinson has pulled a Hollywood hat trick and we are all so excited for it, welcoming the arrival of 'Batman' and 'Tenet.'

What's perhaps greater is that I get to appreciate the actor for his journey. Such an actor would perhaps not be as widely celebrated had the beginning of his story not been an international teen success. It's awesome that in growing as a person myself - one who now actually appreciates good films and doesn't Google random celebrities topless - I get to appreciate Robert Pattinson for what he is: a really great actor.

I guess what I'm saying is Robert Pattinson's greatness is born out of the fact that he is just as relevant to me now as he was 12 years ago. It's comforting to see growth in people through their career, and in observing their growing - know you've done a little of your own.

Happy birthday, R. Pattz. Keep surprising us.

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