Why Robert Pattinson Is the Hot Weirdo Batman

He's told countless of lies and bizarre stories in interviews leading up to the release of the DC movie 'The Batman.'

robert pattinson the batman premiere
Robert Pattinson at the Paris premiere of 'The Batman' | Warner Bros.
Robert Pattinson at the Paris premiere of 'The Batman' | Warner Bros.

Now that Robert Pattinson is about to take on Bruce Wayne like A-listers before him including Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, and George Clooney in this year's highly anticipated release of Matt Reeves' DC film The Batman, he's about to become one of the biggest movie stars in the world... again. He was at one point—when he broke out playing a lovestruck, teenage vampire in the Twilight series. But since then, unless you're somewhat of a cinephile who's been closely following his career, he's largely been out of the mainstream. You see, Robert Pattinson is somewhat of a self-described recluse who has always tried to escape the spotlight. That's partially why he's not necessarily one of Hollywood's go-to golden boys or traditional franchise stars, and the fact that he's just kind of too weird to be. 

Robert Pattinson has something the other boys on the big screen don't, though. He is, if you will, a hot weirdo. His perfectly tousled hair, the air of mystery around him, his tendency to be self-deprecating and tell lies in interviews, and his fascinating post-Twilight career choices make it so. Rather than going for more roles in major franchises, he became the brooding poster boy for A24 hypebeasts everywhere, working with indie directors like the Safdie Brothers in Good Time, Claire Denis in High Life, and Robert Eggers in The Lighthouse. Now, as he transitions back into being the center of attention with the March 4th release of The Batman, he's continuing not to lean into the Hollywood leading man playbook. Instead, he's been embracing being the weirdo that he is on his recent press tour.

robert pattinson in the batman
Just look at how emo he is. | Warner Bros. Pictures

Given his career moves of late, it may seem surprising that Pattinson decided to play Batman, one of the most buzzed-about roles an actor can get. He did, though, because he sees the part as no different from any of the other weirdo roles he's played—like a lighthouse keeper who has sex with a mermaid. "My agents were like, 'Oh, interesting. I thought you only wanted to play total freaks?'" he recently told Variety. "And I was like, 'He is a freak!'"

While you'll have to wait to see how he interprets that "freak" in Reeves' neo-noir- and Kurt Cobain-inspired film, he's been making himself akin to what he's described as the "emo," "nihilistic," "weirdo" Dark Knight in countless interviews leading up to the release. He's actually been doing so since 2020 when he appeared in a GQ cover story in which he talked about his anxieties, past collaborators called him "meta," and he lied about not getting in shape for The Batman—recently saying that it was too "embarrassing" to admit that he was. He also went viral for saying he was working on developing a revolting-sounding microwavable pasta. It remains unclear if he was being somewhat serious about that—like it was some inside joke that he had with only himself—or it was a complete fabrication, as he told GQ in a February 2022 profile that he's been a compulsive liar all his life in both interviews and socially.

So, he basically spent the entire profile explaining how strange he is—but in a hot way, because you just can't quite put your finger on what really goes on in his head (and they styled him in the photo shoot like a sexy, tattooed-, tooth-gem-wearing villain from a '90s hacker thriller). The lies are truly a source of Pattinson's weirdo mystery, though, and thankfully in the interview he broke down some of the infamous ones he told growing up—if you had met him when he was in high school, you would have believed him to be a rapper, a skateboarder, and a drug dealer who smuggles his supply through floppy disks. (From following many Rob lies over the years, it seems as though the art to detecting whether they're true or false is to assess how detailed he's being, and how nervous he is—like, for example, this clip of him talking about taking care of snails. From that equation, it seems, copious Rob lies are born.) 

In speaking more specifically about the role, he's also been strange. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, he said he watched videos of bats fighting in preparation, that he used a different, whispery voice for two weeks of filming before the crew told him that it wasn't it, and during early costume meetings, he suggested they "go really, really Kurt Cobain" and let him wear a dress and Bugs Bunny slippers as Bruce. In other on-camera interviews, he shared a story that sounds like total bullshit, saying the first thing he did when he found out that he landed the role was sit in "the garden" and yell, "Why me? Why all these blessings?" at the sun.

Given (gestures) all of that, DC fans might be skeptical of Rob Pattinson taking on Bruce Wayne. Rob Pattinson fans, though—ones like myself, who love and embrace the hot weirdo that he is—can tell we're in for quite a performance, especially with how eccentric he's been leading up to the release. Director Matt Reeves actually spoke about hesitancy around Pattinson's casting in an interview with Esquire, saying, "The people who were excited, I knew it was because they knew Rob's work post-Twilight. The people who weren't excited, I knew it was because they didn't know Rob's work post-Twilight." I, for one, loved him in Twilight (Team Edward, forever and always) and everything he's done since—from Good Time to Reddit AMAs where he said his life outside of acting "sucks" and he spoke at length about his obsession with the hip hop group Death Grips. I'm ready for my Batman—as the Zoë Kravitz meme saysto step into the spotlight and for his weirdness to be what helps propel him back to blockbuster success.

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Sadie Bell is the entertainment associate editor at Thrillist. She's on Twitter and Instagram.