Pattinson attends Harrodian School, a noted institution for drama, and joins the Barnes Theater Club after befriending a group of female drama students while out to dinner with his father. In 2003, Pattinson meets with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire director Mike Newell before flying to South Africa to film the TV movie Ring of the Nibelungs. Upon arriving home, he lands the role of Hogwarts hunk Cedric Diggory.
Pattinson skyrockets to international fame as ill-fated Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. "The day before I was just sitting in Leicester Square, happily being ignored by everyone," he says at the film's London premiere. "Then suddenly strangers are screaming your name. Amazing!" Director Newell says, "Pattinson was born to play the role; he's quintessentially English with chiseled public-schoolboy good looks."
From handsome wizard to dashing vampire, Pattinson covers EW as Edward Cullen, the immortal hero of Twilight, with costar Kristen Stewart. Portraying the brooding vampire, described as "devastatingly inhumanly beautiful" in author Stephenie Meyer's Twilight book series, came with daunting expectations for Pattinson. "I stopped reading [blogs] after I saw the signatures saying 'Please, anyone else,'" the actor says of "Twilighters" initially protesting his casting.
As the film's highly-anticipated release draws nearer, EW publishes a second Twilight issue with three collectible covers in response to the first cover's polarizing feedback. The ever-increasing buzz surrounding Twilight thrusts little-known Pattinson further into the spotlight. "I asked the producer, 'Is Rob ready for this? Have you guys prepped him? Is he ready to be the It Guy?'" Twilight author Meyer tells the magazine. "I don't think he really is. I don't think he sees himself that way. And I think the transition is going to be a little rocky."
"Twilighters" come out in droves for the film's release, making it the weekend's No. 1 film with $69.6 million. The movie's monumental success leads Summit Entertainment to green light the onscreen adaptation of Meyer's second Twilight novel, New Moon, with Pattinson and Kristen Stewart returning to star. "Props to Stewart and Pattinson for playing this uncool-girl-meets-undead-boy story with genuine romantic ardor," raves Rolling Stone. "You buy the fantasy because Pattinson goes beyond dreamboat duty to create a character you believe in."
A swoon-worthy Pattinson covers GQ’s April issue, but the magazine reveals Hollywood's reigning heartthrob didn't always render people so smitten. "There was a call from the head of the studio," Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke says about execs questioning Pattinson's casting as Edward Cullen. "'Are you sure you can make this guy handsome?'" Fortunately for fans, Hardwicke won out, and says of the star, "He's obviously ridiculously photogenic, but he's also so talented…I see him creating stylized, odd, wild, fantastical characters."
The highly anticipated sequel, New Moon, opens, pulling in a record $258 million worldwide to become the third-largest debut on record – behind The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3. "I think very few human beings will ever get to experience the same feelings and love we feel at Twilight events," Pattinson says at the movie's premiere.
Although they've been coy about their relationship, Pattinson and Stewart privately step out to welcome 2010 together on an island off the south coast of England. But Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke spills the beans to Time about their romance: "I think it took a long time for Kristen to realize, 'OK, I've got to give this a go and really try to be with this person.'"
In Remember Me, Pattinson leaves Edward Cullen behind to play a rebel without a cause, opposite Pierce Brosnan and Emilie de Ravin. "It was the most ridiculous experience," he says of shooting the movie as fans looked on. "You're trying to stay in character and you're trying to walk down the street, but all those people keep reminding you that you're not this character."
The third Twilight film, Eclipse, rakes in more than $150 million during its first week at the box office, making way for two more sequels based on the final book, Breaking Dawn. "I can barely remember the last two years," Pattinson tells Details. "Not like a haze of partying or anything like that. Just it's been crazy."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Warner Bros.; Courtesy of EW; Courtesy of EW; Deana Newcomb/Summit Entertainment; Summit Entertainment; Fame; Nicole Rivelli/Summit Entertainment; Jason Merritt/Getty