How Robert Pattinson Deals With Intense Social Anxiety


I’m Anthony.

I believe charm and social skills are the most important tools you can use to achieve great things in life more than anything else.

In the last ten years, no one has made more of a transformation than Robert Pattinson. From his face on teen girls’ lunchboxes to getting a standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival, it’s obvious he can charm anyone with his looks, talent, and charisma. But how does he do it? Take a step inside the unusual brain of R. Pats on this episode of Classic Charm.

Robert Pattinson is usually anxious. For most people, anxiety is a sign that you need to not continue to do whatever you’re doing at that instant. And if you’re like most people, chances are you listen to that anxiety and run the other way when that shock of nervousness and fear washes over you like the blood of Carrie on prom night.

Robert, however, doesn’t. By the way, if you think you’re an anxious, awkward person, you probably experience that anxiety a fraction of the time that Rob does. In this live audience round table with The Hollywood Reporter, you see relaxed, well-spoken celebrities, and then Robert is just a barrel of squirminess and nervous laughter.

You can see the others seem a bit confused. He’s quite unlike the character he portrayed in those vampire movies, eh? Listen, some people are just going to have to live with anxiety all their life, while others will figure it out and only have to manage it every once in a while. Rob is the former.

Here’s the difference between Robert Pattinson and most of the the world when it comes to anxiety. Instead of letting it control him and quitting every time it hits, Robert just accepts it. The best way for me to put it is during times when he needs to socialize, like in interviews Rob sees anxiety as a dark passenger that is always along for the ride, buzzing in his ear, but never a real threat to what he’s doing. And because of that, he just allows it to move through him while doing whatever he was going to do anyway. It looks as though by now like the anxiety doesn’t even bother him anymore. It’s just a thing that’s always going to be there and he’s come to terms with that. Smile, be positive, and keep going.

But when it comes to his work, the anxiety Rob feels can shoot through the roof. During these circumstances, Rob takes an unusual approach to his relationship with this dark passenger. Where in the past, Rob did what we all did, saw anxiety as an alarm for getting out of the building as quickly as possible. But eventually he learned to actually use his dark passenger as a means for making the art better and better. Robert Pattinson believes that anxiety is what challenges him to take more risks with his acting. He uses it as a sign that his work is reaching new heights. Notice in this interview how Robert stresses that the anxiety is what makes the work “mean something.”

It’s obvious that a large part of Robert’s success is his passion for evolving the craft of acting to new levels. It’s true that his role as Edward in the Twilight series was not planned at all. He thought it was gonna be a weird indie movie about a guy that wanted to kill his girlfriend. It’s Robert’s Purpose for making interesting cinema that makes his anxiety *help* him, instead of hinder.

And when you have a wildly strong sense of Purpose in doing something great—whatever that is. Whether it’s inhabiting a new planet, changes the way we communicate, or expanding the limits in storytelling, it’s your love for the craft and your just plain appreciation for getting to even attempt it that keeps you going on and on and on—even amid failure, negativity, and any dark passengers coming along for the ride.