Before ‘Twilight’ Robert Pattinson Pretended to Be American During Auditions

Robert Pattinson is a born and raised Englishman. But after realizing his British accent hindered his chances of landing roles, the Twilight star pretended to be an American when he walked into auditions

Robert Pattinson landed his ‘Twilight’ role as an American vampire in 2008 

'Twilight' and 'The Batman' star Robert Pattinson in 2019 on the red carpet
‘Twilight’ and ‘The Batman’ star Robert Pattinson in 2019 | Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Pattinson portrayed a Britisher in projects like Vanity Fair and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire early in his career. But in 2008, he landed his breakthrough role as the brooding American vampire Edward Cullen in Twilight

The actor reprised the role for four subsequent Twilight movies. He then portrayed American characters in several films, including Maps to the Stars, Water for Elephants, and The Devil All the Time

Until he was cast in ‘Twilight,’ Robert Pattinson pretended to be American in auditions

Pattinson auditioned for several projects before joining the Twilight cast. And in a feature for GQ, the British actor revealed that casting directors would “always question” whether he could pull off an American accent. So instead of admitting he was from England, Pattinson pretended he was from America.

“I used to always come in as a different person, an American,” he recalled. “I’d say, ‘Hi, I’m from Michigan.’”

But everything changed when Twilight was released. The film turned Pattinson into an international superstar overnight. So when he went in to audition with his American spiel for Transformers 2, casting executives thought the actor was trying to be funny. 

“I went in as some guy from Denver,” Pattinson said. “And they called my agent and were like, ‘What’s wrong with him? Why was he doing an improv? A really boring improv?’ ”

‘The Batman’ star admits he’s bad at auditioning

With the success of Twilight, Pattinson became a Hollywood A-lister and didn’t have to audition as much. And he attributed that early fame to keeping his career intact, admitting he’s “bad” at auditions. 

“If I hadn’t gotten really lucky, and had instead been forced to audition all these years, I wouldn’t have a career at all,” Pattinson told GQ. “I’m so bad at it.” 

In Pattinson’s early career, he vied for the same roles as Eddie Redmayne and Andrew Garfield. And he recalled seeing his fellow British actors nail their auditions. 

“Eddie Redmayne and Andrew Garfield were so f***ing good at auditioning. It’s just unbelievable,” he revealed. “You’d see them, and then if you were waiting outside, you would literally hear casting directors inside going, ‘Oh, my God! Oh, my God!’ And you’d be like, ‘F***ing hell, who’s inside?’”

“And Eddie would come out and be like, ‘Hey, mate,’” Pattinson continued.  “I’d be doing something thinking it was a comedy and suddenly hear these heaving sobs. I’m thinking, ‘Who has managed to get a sob out of this?’ And then f***ing Eddie comes out, goddamnit.”

Pattinson’s new film, The Batman, hits theaters on March 4.

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