“He was after something deeper”: Robert Pattinson Broke the Twilight Curse by Accepting 1 Movie That Was Way Different from ‘American Aesthetics’

Robert Pattinson had to collaborate with Benny Safdie to break the 'Twilight' curse.

“He was after something deeper”: Robert Pattinson Broke the Twilight Curse by Accepting 1 Movie That Was Way Different from ‘American Aesthetics’


  • Robert Pattinson enjoyed a lot of fame and success due to his stint in 'The Twilight Saga'.
  • However, during the same period, he was desperate to get out of Twilight's shadow and do more daring dramas.
  • The Englishman got in touch with indie filmmakers Benny and Josh Safdie for a gritty role.
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Robert Pattinson rose to stardom in 2008 after starring in the romantic fantasy Twilight. The engrossing love story between enigmatic vampire Edward Cullen and misfit high-school teen Bella Swan gained so much popularity that it transformed into a five-chapter long saga that dominated pop culture between 2008 to 2012.


The franchise played a big role in putting Pattinson on the map, but its popularity also put him in a box. The Englishman’s dreamy eyes attracted more headlines than his acting prowess, forcing the on-screen vampire heartthrob to look for something different. Pattinson started seeking out challenging roles in ‘daring dramas.’

Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in Twilight

In 2015, he came across a promotional still for Heaven Knows What, which eventually paved the way for an intriguing collaboration that helped him break the Twilight curse.


Read more: “Act monkey”: Jennifer Lawrence Did Not Regret Being Rejected for Robert Pattinson’s Iconic Franchise but 1 Film’s Loss Struck her Devastatingly

How Robert Pattinson Found His Ideal Role After The Twilight Saga

Heaven Knows What is a 2014 thriller about a homeless drug addict, who also struggles to seek forgiveness from her addict boyfriend for infidelity. The gritty indie is directed by Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie.

Robert Pattinson in The Batman
Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman

At the time, Robert Pattinson had no idea about the Safdie brothers’ work. He hadn’t even seen a trailer of Heaven Knows What. However, the still image of actress Arielle Holmes (Harley in Heaven Knows What) covered in pink neon light was enough for him to know he had to work with these filmmakers.


“It really struck me,” he told Rolling Stone“You normally see really striking imagery in a lot of European movies. But it’s rare to see that coming out of American independents.”

Accordingly, Pattinson emailed them, and two years later the trio were on the set of Good Time.

The 2017 crime thriller sees Pattinson portray small-time criminal Connie Nikas, who goes to extreme lengths to get his developmentally disabled brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of prison after a disastrous robbery attempt.

Read more: “No, it’s disgusting!”: Robert Pattinson Refuses To Label ‘Twilight’ as Romance Despite Its Global Status


How Benny Safdie’s Movie Helped Robert Pattinson

Good Time helped Pattinson go “dark” and at the same time improved the filmmakers’ commercial profile. The brothers were nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for the pulpy crime thriller. After its premiere, the film received a six-minute-long standing ovation.

Benny Safdie in Oppenheimer (2023)
Benny Safdie in Oppenheimer (2023)

In a separate interview (via Rolling Stone), Josh and Benny revealed what Pattinson was looking for at the time Heaven Knows What dropped.

“I noticed that his struggle that he was going through was not a commercial one,” Josh said. “He was after something deeper.”

Pattinson’s brilliant stint in Good Time did pay dividends. According to IMDb, his performance in Good Time brought director Matt Reeves to write The Batman (2022) script with the Twilight lead in mind for the role of the Caped Crusader.


Written by Vishal Singh

Articles Published: 514

Vishal Singh is a Content Writer at FandomWire. Having spent more than half a decade in the digital media space, Vishal specializes in crafting engaging entertainment- and sports-focused stories. He graduated from university with an honors degree in English Literature.