Robert Pattinson’s Accents, Ranked by Weirdness
Robert Pattinson has one of the most interesting acting resumes of all time, having thrown his hat in a variety of genres. After his rise to stardom with the hit Dusk saga, Pattinson turned to smaller independent productions for a few years before returning to blockbusters like The Batman. Small-scale films such as the rover or Lighthouse to films distributed by Netflix such as The king or the devil all the timePattinson is clearly drawn to characters with unconventional and experimental stories.
And one thing that a vast majority of these roles have in common is his commitment to creating the weirdest accent possible.
In honor of his 36th birthday, let’s rank some of Rob’s accents in order of extreme weirdness.
“Twilight”: Edward Cullen
Pattinson’s breakout role as Edward Cullen in the Dusk The franchise was what introduced many of us to the A-list actor and what made us fall in love with him in the first place. In terms of accent, the moody monotone is fine. It’s medium. It is quiet and accidentally slips in and out sometimes. Not particularly special or great in terms of American accents, but it worked to sell Edward as the brooding vampire, so clearly a hit.
WHERE TO LOOK DUSK
“The Batman”: Bruce Wayne
Pattinson’s gruff performance as Bruce Wayne is probably one of my favorite roles. Unlike Christian Bale’s confident exterior, Pattinson portrays Bruce as a very reclusive and depressed loner. His voice, while resembling Rob’s general American accent, reflects Bruce’s lonely mental state. His Batman voice is quite similar to his Bruce voice, though slightly heavier and raspier. There’s nothing too crazy about his voice or his performance, except maybe when he and Riddler yell at each other in Arkham. A scene combining Riddler’s unsteady vocals with Bruce’s aggressive screams that I couldn’t help but laugh at.
WHERE TO LOOK THE BATMAN
While Principle is a rollercoaster of headaches and confusion, one thing that’s pretty straightforward is Pattinson’s accent, which just sounds whimsical and British. He was inspired by English journalist Christopher Hitchens for how to play Neil, and Pattinson himself said he never used his own London accent when playing British characters. “For some reason, it feels wrong to me when I use my own accent for a role – if I just play myself on screen, I feel like an impostor.” Ironically, watching Rob speak in a classy manner seemed more off-putting compared to his more outlandish accents. Attractive? Yes, but still weird.
WHERE TO LOOK PRINCIPLE
“Good Time”: Connie Nikas
Good time introduces us to Connie Nikas, a Queens bank robber who embarks on a nightmarish journey to try to break her brother Nick out of prison. The role was his most immersive yet, as he completely transforms into someone unidentifiable and remains in character both on and off screen during filming. Developing his accent, Rob opened up about learning to speak in a Queens accent at a tattoo shop during an interview with Good Morning America. An admirable effort in terms of authenticity, and it’s clear Rob put a lot more effort into perfecting the accent compared to the other roles.
WHERE TO LOOK GOOD TIME
“Little Ashes”: Salvador Dali
In a rare pre-Dusk role, Pattinson played a young Salvador Dali with a Spanish accent with a “Scouse twang”. He learned the accent by watching interviews and copying former Liverpool Football Club manager Rafa Benitez, although he clearly gave it up halfway through, speaking in a very uncomfortable mix of British inflections and Spanish. Not only that, but considering the cast is full of actors of Spanish descent, Pattinson’s accent is all the more confusing.
WHERE TO LOOK LITTLE ASHES
“The Rover”: Rey
Pattinson’s first post-movieDusk is a quick shift into a dystopian future. He plays Rey, the stuttering brother of a car thief that Guy Pearce’s character is looking for. The film is set in outback Australia, though Pattinson produces a woodsy South American accent full of hiccups and tics. Strange and not at all pleasant to listen to, but not his worst attempt at channeling the South.
WHERE TO LOOK THE ROVER
‘Lady’: Samuel Alabaster
The crazy western of the Zellner brothers fits perfectly with Rob’s overall filmography, and I find it baffling that he hasn’t done more comedies. In Lady, Pattinson plays a fast-talking trailblazer with false teeth and the dumbest country accent. It’s pretty much ridiculous, and Rob greatly exaggerates it through a wild use of hand gestures. It ranks pretty high on the weird accent meter, but also fits oddly given the movie’s offbeat tone. And the movie also features Pattinson singing a romantic love ballad, so maybe that’s not all bad.
WHERE TO LOOK LADY
‘The Lighthouse’: Thomas Howard
In Robert Eggers’ second feature, Pattinson and Willem Dafoe play two lighthouse keepers living on a remote island and slowly driven mad by their isolation (an experience that feels all too familiar). Pattinson’s New England accent is delightfully theatrical. He looks like a drunken pirate from start to finish. I honestly didn’t understand much of what he was saying without the help of the subtitles, and yet that’s what I found most appealing. From very specific fisherman lingo to bold sea shanties, this truly bizarre accent shows Rob at his most off-balance.
WHERE TO LOOK LIGHTHOUSE
“The King”: The Dolphin
Pattinson’s terrified French accent in The king has to be by far one of his funniest acting choices. It’s so awkward to sometimes switch between three different accents in one sentence. It’s also what I imagine Americans look like when they’re drunk and trying to impersonate a Frenchman. The backstory behind the Dolphin accent is even funnier. In an interview with GQ, Rob explained how he came up with it by mimicking the Dior people: “I started doing it as a joke at first, but then I filmed myself and watched it back. and I thought it really worked.” Oh Robert…that’s definitely not the case, but I’m glad you continued anyway.
WHERE TO LOOK THE KING
“The Devil All the Time”: Reverend Preston Teagardin
Devil all the time? Perhaps the worst ever. Probably the craziest accent he’s ever tried. Pattinson explained that he didn’t let any of the cast and crew hear him until the first day of filming, because he turned down a dialect coach and created the accent himself. While wandering around the town where they filmed, he would record vocal notes practicing the voice just to make himself laugh. And… it definitely shows. He plays a despicable preacher with a high-pitched Southern drawl. What makes the bad cartoonish accent particularly strange is the fact that he had already done a Southern accent in the rover (see above), and it’s just completely different. It’s loud and pathetic and all upsetting.
WHERE TO LOOK THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME