Robert Pattinson loves 'Reality Bites': Is R-Pattz the new Ethan Hawke?

pattinson-reality-bites_lDuring interviews for EW’s upcoming cover story on New Moon, Robert Pattinson revealed that he and I have something most trivial and intriguing in common: an appreciation of the 1994 Gen X drama Reality Bites. “I really like Ethan Hawke in it. And I liked Winona Ryder. Actually, I liked everything,” he told EW senior writer Karen Valby. “[I was] watching my older sister and her friends when I was 12 and thinking it was all really cool. Like the scenes in their apartments with the candles in the wine bottles. I wish that was still cool—now it’s just silly pretentiousness. I just wanted to put a candle in a wine bottle.”

Sure, Pattinson has enough clout at this point to stick as many candles in wine bottles as his undead heart desires, but this aside did get me thinking about Ethan Hawke and Robert Pattinson and the pantheon of twenty-something cinematic heartthrobs through the years. As I said, I too am a Reality Bites fan, both on the movie’s merits and because of the impressionable age at which I first saw it. Remember that run in the early 90s when Ethan Hawke (who also starred in another Gen X gem Before Sunrise) represented the male ideal of a certain time and place? Remember the grungy, thrift store chic with the long, slightly-greasy hair always getting pushed back, only to fall in his face again? The disaffected, but soulful, sort-of poet, kind-of musician? It’s funny to think of an adolescent Pattinson absorbing these cues and emerging 15 years later (15!) as a different spin on a similar song. His Edward Cullen is a little more cleaned-up than Hawke’s Troy Dyer, but the handsome brooding rings a bell, (not to mention the obsession with his hair — it’s not for nothing that Pattinson notes that his unruly pompadour is really the result of his admittedly poor personal hygiene.) I supposed you can trace this kind of angsty dreamboat all the way back to James Dean if you really wanted. But what do you think: Is it fair to see a movie lineage between Hawke and Pattinson? Who else falls into this line of grungy Hollywood heartthrobs?

Photo Credit: Pattinson: Sara De Boer / Retna Ltd; Everett Collection

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  • The next Ethan Hawke?

    Ha Ha. I seriously doubt Pattinson will have much of a career out of these mediocre Twilight movies and being a teen hearthrob.
    I’m not saying Hawke has had a HUGE career but it’s respectable.
    Pattinson will never go that far.

    • crispy

      Based on career path, I’d suspect he’s going to be more like Christian Slater.

      • What?

        Trying like mad to find a television show?

      • crispy

        Trying like mad to find work at all.

      • paige

        trying like mad not to look like he smells…

    • hugh

      Noone reminds me more of Johnny Depp than Pattinson

      • mari cooper


    • Chris

      I’m betting Pattinson goes a lot farther than that.

  • elle

    Robert Pattinson has always rung a bell for me as Johnny Depp. Both are unbelievely handsome, smart, funny, talented, and have greasy hair.

  • helen

    Pattinson is a mixture of Depp and James dean

    • lea


  • maureen

    Wrong comparison Rob is a mixture of Errol Flynn, Depp and Dean with a hint of Jeffrey Hunter thrown in for good measure

    • katie f.

      nice! I like this.

  • garo

    Rob is as close to a young Johnny Depp as its possible to be

    • Lynny

      he’s gonna have to do something besides Twilight to prove that.

  • ali

    Actually Pattinson is more of a combination of Montgomery Clift and James Dean.

  • Penny

    I can see Pattinson as an Ethan Hawke. Although Ethan toes the line between grungy heart throb and off-putting homeless man. I think its his teeth and sad facial hair, but he pulled it off in this heyday. But I agree with Elle, I think Pattinson is more of a Johnny Depp sort.

  • carrie

    There’s been noone quite like Pattinson but I like the Montgomery Clift mention.

  • holly

    He’s more the Rudolph Valentino of the 21st century

    • He’s more…

      the Leif Garrett of the 21st Century.

    • Karen

      Completely agree… he’s maybe not the greatest actor, but he plays a character that absolutely nails a half a dozen female fantasy stereotypes (the outsider, the dangerous guy, the rich guy, the impossible-to-get guy, the protector, etc.)
      We’ll see if his career continues or if he just got lucky like Valentino.

  • sari

    He’s more the Ivor Novello of this generation. He;d make a great Novello in a film

  • Max

    Ethan Hawke’s character was a total jerk in that movie. Plus I think he & Hawke have something in common. People have said neither of them bathe very often

    • Lynny

      I agree. Love the movie, but I think we were supposed to be happy when Lelaina and Troy get together. I just thought they deserved each other. They were both kind of big jerks. I was all about the “sidekicks” in that movie.

  • crispy

    OMG, young people like Reality Bites. Crazy! Next you’re gonna be telling us that baby boomers like the Beatles.

    • Lynny

      You do realize Reality Bites is 15 years old, right?

  • sari

    Far more Depp/Dean like with the mischief of William Holden

  • hugh

    I agree with the Montgomery Clift analogy

  • bobbie

    I love the Montgomery Clift example

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