Robert Pattinson Learned How to Drive For His ‘Twilight’ Role

Remember the Twilight craze? Every teenage girl in the world became obsessed with vampires for a few years, in large part thanks to actor Robert Pattinson‘s irresistible portrayal of the handsome vampire Edward in the Twilight series of films.

Pattinson was perfect for the role in many ways, but it turns out that there was one thing he was hugely lacking to play the part: the ability to drive a car (so central to Edward’s character!). 

Pattinson was so committed to playing the part that he actually got his drivers’ license just for the movie!

Who is Robert Pattinson?

Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson | Francois Durand for Dior/Getty Images

The world had a whirlwind romance with heartthrob Robert Pattinson in the late 2000s, when the Twilight series of films were released. Before snagging the starring role of vampire Edward in the mega-popular franchise, the only notable role that Pattinson had was as another heartthrob in yet another extremely popular YA book/movie series, Harry Potter.

He played Cedric Diggory in the fourth installment of that franchise, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Harry Potter super-fans fell in love with him as Cedric, but the world hadn’t formally been introduced to Pattinson the superstar yet. 

When the first Twilight movie was released in 2008, everything changed for Pattinson. He was cast as Edward, the beautiful vampire high-schooler and the love interest of the main character, Bella (played by Kristen Stewart).

Since he reached super-stardom due to his role on the films, he’s been cast in several other movies, and he’s even set to play the new Batman in the new film which will be released in 2021. He’s estimated to be worth around $100 million, most of which was earned for his job playing Edward.

Edward is known to drive a nice car in ‘Twilight’ — but Pattinson didn’t have a license

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Edward, to make a long story very short, is a hundred-year-old vampire, the founder of the Olympic coven, and Bella’s eventual husband. He’s only been a vampire since 1918, when he almost died of the Spanish flu and was turned into a vampire to escape death.

The producers of Twilight ran into a bit of trouble when they realized that the handsome actor they’d cast as their star vampire — who was otherwise perfect for the part — didn’t know how to drive, according to BuzzFeed.

This was a big problem because one of Edward the vampire’s defining traits is that he drives a very nice car around town: a Volvo XC60, to be exact. Obviously, Pattinson needed to be able to drive the Volvo to really play a convincing Edward.

Pattinson got his driver’s license in Oregon, where ‘Twilight’ was filmed

The only solution to the problem was for Pattinson to learn how to drive, which he did. According to Oregon Live, Pattinson revealed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (remember Jay Leno?) that he took some emergency driving lessons when they realized the problem, and passed his driver’s license test in Oregon, where the cast was filming the first Twilight film. It’s a good thing he did: how else would he be able to drive the Batmobile?

Getting his driver’s license wasn’t the only thing that Pattinson did to prepare for his role as Edward, though. He’s shared that he was panicked about auditioning for the part, given that Edward is written to be absolutely gorgeous.

But then he figured out the trick: to focus on the love story between Bella and Edward, rather than Edward’s appearance.

“[Bella] does not see a single flaw in [Edward] at all. It’s a very traditional aspect of first or young love. So, it took me ages to think of it, but it ended up being really simple: if you are in love with someone, you can’t see any flaw in the other person. So I finally figured out that I didn’t have to play the most beautiful man on the planet, but just play a man in love,” he’s shared.