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Robert Pattinson Has Been Lying to You for Years

Over the past 15 years, the ‘Batman’ star has been telling stories about befriending elephants, selling pornography, and watching clowns die. None of them are true.

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

Robert Pattinson is an enigma with a ballerina and a gremlin living inside of him. Although the actor with lush hair, a sculpted jaw, and absolutely perfect eyebrows has been a leading man in multiple major franchises and beloved indies for more than a decade, Pattinson has a nervous energy unlike any other celebrity of his status. And over the years, the former Twilight star has powered through his insecurities in interviews by using one fool-proof strategy: just straight up lying. In a recent GQ profile, Pattinson admitted that he’s been lying to the press since 2009. With more than a decade of lies—which include stories such as watching a clown die—Pattinson has created a mythology of himself.

“I definitely do get a certain high from it,’” Patinson told Willem Dafoe in an article for Interview Magazine. “There’s a little gremlin inside of me that thinks, ‘Just say something shocking. You’re only here for a few minutes, say something terrible.’ There’s a kind of perverse glee I get from that. But I’ve given my publicist a number of heart attacks.”

When Pattinson tells a story, everyone (especially late-night host Jimmy Kimmel) wonders whether it’s true. He has told so many outrageous stories that it’s been hard to keep track of what’s real and what’s not. (Was he lying about all the lying in that GQ piece? You can see the sort of turmoil Pattinson is putting us through.) In a feeble attempt to get Pattinson’s story straight, I appointed myself as his unofficial biographer and spent weeks combing through 15-plus years’ worth of old interviews to try to make sense of it all. On this amusing and at times harrowing journey to curate the essential online guide to the lies—or possibly true but extremely chaotic stories—Robert Pattinson has told throughout his illustrious career, I discovered his most common lies, found some hidden gems, and re-experienced the arc of digital journalism between the late 2000s and the 2020s. Now it’s time for you all to meet that little gremlin.

Prologue, 2005-08

To understand when the lies started—and what the lies are—it’s important to understand Robert Pattinson before he started lying.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

In retrospect, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was like riding a bike with training wheels for Robert Pattinson. Thrown into the most popular movie franchise at the time as Cedric Diggory, the school hottie who dies tragically, Pattinson was primed to be bombarded by fangirls. But due to the fame of the Harry Potter trio of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, and perhaps, all the confusing (though iconic) mop haircuts in Goblet of Fire, Pattinson had it easy, especially compared to what was to come. He didn’t do much press for the film, or at least not much that is readily available online. And in the few interviews that still exist online and in DVD extras, Pattinson seemed quite awkward and a little unsure of himself. He spoke softly and never confidently. In an interview from the Goblet of Fire DVD extras, Pattinson said, “Right at the beginning, I literally just sat by myself and never talked to anyone. I just drank like 25 cups of coffee every day.”

It’s giving “go girl, give us nothing” energy.

Twilight (2008)

In interviews for the first Twilight film in 2008, Pattinson seemed nervous and repeated similar stories, including one about almost being fired from the film because of his emo approach to Edward Cullen, a story he still tells (albeit in a more compelling way) today. In 2008, Pattinson touched on the tension about his performance in an interview with Collider, saying that “people wanted me to make it lighter” and that he “spent a long time fighting with producers.” He also said that director Catherine Hardwicke gave him a copy of the book that she highlighted with every instance in which Edward smiles. Like the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire press, the Twilight press tour (at least before the film’s release) was quite simple and run-of-the-mill for the up-and-coming actor.

The Twilight Era, 2009-12

Once Pattinson gained international fame, he grew more confident—and unfiltered. It was also around this time that Pattinson became a straight-up liar, according to Robert Pattinson. Knowing that, let’s evaluate some of the many wild claims he made during this time.

He never washes his hair. “If you don’t care if your hair’s clean or not then why would you wash it?” Pattinson asked Extra in 2009. “It’s like, I don’t clean my apartment ’cause I don’t care. I have my apartment for sleeping in and I have my hair for just, you know, hanging out on my head. I don’t care if it’s clean or not.”

After these quotes surfaced, unidentified crew members told E! News that Pattinson smelled bad on the set of New Moon. “He stinks. I mean, it’s awful,” one alleged crew member said. “He never showers, and it drives people on the set crazy.”

Truth or lie? On March 30, 2009, Seventeen published a blog titled, “Robert Pattinson Stinks?”

The historic blog ends with the question, “What do you guys think of this?!” I, for one, have thoughts! This is the original lie, the kind of thing a 20-something Robert Pattinson would say to get a rise out of people. In 2014, Pattinson told The Wall Street Journal, “I was a brush-your-teeth-and-have-a-shower kind of guy. I can’t tell if it’s because of my association with Dior or because I’m older, but I’ve started moisturizing.” So there you go: Pattinson admitting to showering. Sure, it’s possible he took showers without shampooing, but we can at least agree that a man who looks like this probably smells fine. There are three possible explanations for those anonymous, complaining crew members from New Moon: They were worse liars than Pattinson; they were enlisted by Pattinson to further and deepen his original lie; or because he was the biggest teen heartthrob of the late 2000s, expectations for his scent were just extremely high.

He bored his stalker so much that she stopped stalking him. On Late Show With David Letterman in 2009, Pattinson said that while he was filming Little Ashes in Spain, a woman waited outside his apartment every day. “I was so chronically bored that one day, she’d been out there for about three weeks, and I said, ‘Hey, do you just want to go to dinner or something? I mean, no one else wants to hang out with me.’” He said that she took him to her parents’ restaurant and he “kind of complained about everything in my life for about two hours, and then she gave me the bill at the end. I had to pay for it.” After the dinner, Pattinson says the woman never appeared outside of his apartment again.

Truth or lie? Lie. This is just too good to be true. However, there are specific details—like the fact that she took him to a restaurant her parents owned—that make it somewhat believable.

The dashboard of his car caught on fire. In a 2011 appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Leno asked Pattinson about his car and Pattinson said, “It’s kind of lying in a garage somewhere, dumped. … It was so filled with cobwebs and I think someone was living inside it.” He then told Leno that the dashboard caught fire and the roof fell off while he was driving down the 101.

“That seems fairly rare,” Leno said. “That the actual dashboard would catch fire.”

Truth or lie? This one feels like a little bit of truth with some fictionalized details to make the story more compelling. But in this case, he gets a pass. What else was Robert Pattinson going to talk to Jay Leno about?

On the set of Breaking Dawn, he watched Two and a Half Men in his trailer. In a 2011 profile in Vanity Fair, Pattinson opened up about how he spent his downtime while filming Breaking Dawn Part 1 and 2 in Louisiana. Feeling rather bleak at the time about the Twilight saga and his fame, he said, “I’ve just kind of stopped doing everything. I never change the channel in my trailer. I just watch reruns of House of Payne and Two and a Half Men. I love Cops—I think it’s my favorite TV show.”

Truth or lie? This is either a lie or the most honest that Robert Pattinson has ever been in his life.

He was suspended from school for trying to save snails. On Ellen in 2011, Pattinson appealed to the daytime audience with a story about saving snails. “Everybody used to chuck snails at each other in school, and I used to try and save them,” he said. “And not only did I get in trouble for it, I got suspended for doing it. For saving the snails. It’s a big life lesson I learned. It’s like, never try and do anything nice for anyone.”

Going even further, Pattinson said he saved the snails by placing them in an egg carton, which he kept in the back of his classroom. “I made a little snail land,” he said. “For some reason, I had a strange compassion for snails.” He also claimed that when his teacher found the snails, she threw them in the trash and suspended him.

Truth or lie? Lie. Although I’m confident that Robert Pattinson’s strange compassion for snails is similar to my strange compassion for Robert Pattinson, this is most likely Pattinson folklore. On The Batman press tour in 2022, Pattinson told the snail story again, changing a few details, including that he got detention for it. But I really doubt wildlife preservation is a punishable offense in the United Kingdom educational system.

He was a hand model. One of Robert Pattinson’s go-to late-night stories throughout the Twilight era was about his experience as a hand model when he was young.

Truth or lie? This is a lie, which crashed down on Pattinson while promoting Breaking Dawn: Part 1 on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2011. (For some reason, Pattinson always saves the absolute chaos for Kimmel.) And we know it’s a lie because his mother was there to confirm that it never happened. “I think, like, a lot of my dreams have intermingled with reality now,” Pattinson said, in full backpedal. In this case, it seems like Pattinson didn’t even realize he was lying, and that he genuinely thought this was a true story. Or maybe it is a lie he told so often that he eventually believed it was true?

He watched a clown die. In 2011, Pattinson was interviewed on Today by the now-disgraced Matt Lauer about his upcoming motion picture Water for Elephants. When Lauer asked Pattinson whether he ever dreamed about joining the circus, he spiraled into one of the most iconic moments in pop culture history.

“No,” Pattinson said. “The first time I went to see the circus, somebody died. One of the clowns died.” When Lauer asked Pattinson how the clown died, he replied, “His little car exploded. The joke car exploded on him.”

Truth or lie? This is the greatest lie ever told. The following week in Germany, a journalist pressed Pattinson on the story. “I said those things,” Pattinson answered. “But I actually made the whole thing up. It’s coming back to haunt me. I said it on some show. It was really early in the morning the day after the New York premiere. Someone asked me what my experience with the circus was and I was like, I have nothing interesting to say. I don’t know why I said that!”

He wept when an elephant wrapped shooting on Water for Elephants. In a 2011 interview with Vanity Fair, Robert Pattinson said that Tai, his elephant costar from Water for Elephants, was the best actress he’d ever seen in his life, and that he cried when she finished shooting her scenes. “She was the best actor I ever worked with in my life,” he told Vanity Fair. “I cried when the elephant was wrapped. I never cried when anyone else was wrapped.”

Truth or lie? This one was probably just good-humored hyperbole. (And probably not a shot at Kristen Stewart or Reese Witherspoon.) In that same Vanity Fair article, Water for Elephants director Francis Lawrence said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob says the reason he took the movie was because of [her, Tai the elephant]. He really fell in love.” His deep elephant adoration seems like something Pattinson fully committed to—both personally and in the media—for his own amusement. On The Graham Norton Show in May 2011, Norton alluded to Pattinson’s quote about the elephant. “I continuously say the wrong things in interviews,” a tense, called-out Pattinson explained.

He buys “everything” from Craigslist. In August 2012 while promoting the David Cronenberg film Cosmopolis, Pattinson appeared once again on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Instead of discussing what the people wanted (his then-relationship with Twilight costar Kristen Stewart), he discussed buying used cars on Craigslist. “I got a 2001 Silverado. It’s beautiful. Solid car,” Pattinson told Kimmel. “I buy everything off Craigslist. Every single car that I’ve bought.”

Pattinson added that he went to Chino Hills, California, to get the car from the owner, who “lived with his parents” and did not seem to recognize the extremely famous actor. “We were talking about gas prices going, ‘I know man. It’s crazy.’” Although all full clips of this interview have been wiped from the internet, an Entertainment Weekly report from the time said that during this same appearance, Pattinson discussed accidentally hanging out at a dogging spot.

Truth or lie? Pattinson isn’t lying about owning a Silverado. He’s been photographed in it many times; it was a major character in Pattinson’s split from Stewart, and has more recently been featured in a Suki Waterhouse (Pattinson’s current girlfriend) music video. So at most, Pattinson added some sensationalized details here to make the story more interesting (a Pattinson trademark). He was definitely lying about the dogging.

The Indie Era, 2013-18

At this point in Robert Pattinson’s career, he had broken free from the Twilight saga and earned a reputation as a serious actor with prominent roles in films from directors like Werner Herzog and the Safdie brothers. Simultaneously, Pattinson continued to cement his reputation as a liar, proving he simply does not care what he does or says, particularly when on Jimmy Kimmel Live. This period would also see a complete transformation in coverage as journalism shifted to a digital focus, meaning that more of Pattinson’s absurd stories and anecdotes were reported on and distributed to an audience beyond late night television viewers.

He lies because of his heavy saliva. On Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2014, the talk show host pressed Pattinson (who was promoting his latest film, The Rover) about the lies he tells everyone. “I have extraordinarily heavy saliva,” Pattinson answered. “If I try and spit, I can only get it about a foot.”

Truth or lie? I think this one is true because I cannot imagine anyone—not even Robert Pattinson—making it up. What does the viscosity of saliva even have to do with lying?

His 18th birthday was kind of sad. On Late Night With Seth Meyers in 2014, Pattinson said he always wanted a baby brother. Then on April Fool’s Day one year, his sisters told him their mother was pregnant.

“I think [my sisters] kind of always wished I was a little sister,” he said. “I always wanted a little brother. They told me on my 18th birthday that my mum was pregnant. On April Fool’s Day. I went to school just rejoicing and basking in the fact that I could have a mini-me. At 18, I was so convinced. It was the most disappointed I’ve ever been in my life.”

Truth or lie? Robert Pattinson’s birthday is May 13.

He is launching a clothing line. In March 2016, Robert Pattinson told Numéro magazine that he was working on launching his own clothing line. “I’ve started making clothes,” he said. “For the last two years, I’ve been visiting producers and craftsmen. There’s already quite a few pieces. I love doing it.”

Truth or lie? I’ll answer that question with another question: Did Robert Pattinson ever launch a clothing line? No, he did not.

He had a meeting with directors Josh and Benny Safdie after seeing a picture on IndieWire. While promoting Good Time—an indie made by the then little-known directing duo Josh and Benny Safdie—in 2017, Pattinson told Jimmy Kimmel that he met with the directors after seeing a still from one of their films on the website IndieWire. “I literally just saw a photograph on IndieWire,” he said. “I keep plugging IndieWire. It was a frame from their last movie, and I just sort of fell in love with the photograph.”

Truth or lie? This one is actually probably true! The story is consistent enough throughout the Good Time press tour, without any signature strange embellishments, that it is most likely based in reality. In a Business Insider interview in 2017, Pattinson told the same IndieWire story and said, “I literally fucking look at film websites all day long.” I literally fucking hope he isn’t looking at this one!

He was expelled from school for stealing, selling pornography. On The Howard Stern Show in 2017, Pattinson said that he was expelled from school for selling stolen porn. “I was stealing porno magazines, and selling them and no one knew at all what to do with me. I’d sell them for a lot of money. I used to go in [the store] and take one or two and put them in my bag. I was in my school uniform when I was doing this, so it was kind of risky. But then at the end, I got so cocky that I would take the entire rack [of porn].”

According to Pattinson, first he got caught stealing the porn; then the guy who caught him told on him. “Every single one of my friends snitched on me,” he said.

Truth or lie? It must be tough for a school administrator when a promising young lad graduates from saving snails to peddling smut on the playground. In all seriousness, though, this is probably just as made up as the snail story. Respect to Robert Pattinson for knowing his audience, though—this was the perfect story to tell Howard Stern, and Howard Stern ate it up.

He locked a teacher in a cupboard. On Jimmy Kimmel Live (where else?) in 2017, Pattinson revealed that he once tortured a substitute teacher. “I actually bullied one into leaving by locking her in a cupboard until she cried. She was literally crying on the first day.” Pattinson went on to clarify that “a lot of people” assisted him in imprisoning the substitute teacher in a cupboard.

Truth or lie? I don’t know what to think anymore.

He can open a beer bottle with a tea bag. In a 2017 interview with W magazine, Pattinson said that one of his special talents is opening beer bottles with unconventional objects. “I can open a beer bottle with pretty much any object. I can open it with a tea bag. I can do it with a dollar bill,” he said. “If you fold anything the right way, you can get the right, um, purchase on it. It takes a while. You rip up your hand a bit as well. It sounds way cooler than it looks,” he said. Sure, Rob!

Truth or lie? Somewhere in between, really. His prowess with a tea bag is likely overstated, though bottle-opening does seem to be a talent he’s practiced for years. A 2014 Esquire profile of Pattinson mentions that after trying to use his iPhone as a bottle opener, the actor could not turn off the speakerphone.

He ate mud. Like Taissa Turner from Yellowjackets, Robert Pattinson turned to the Earth’s soil for nourishment. In 2019, Pattinson told Esquire that he ate mud to get in character on the set of The Lighthouse. “Because you’re playing a mad person, it means you can sort of be mad the whole time,” he said. “Well, not the whole time, but for like an hour before the scene. You can literally just be sitting on the floor growling and licking up puddles of mud.” Esquire clarified that Pattinson was speaking literally, not figuratively.

Truth or lie? Truth. I don’t have any arguments against this one.

He was a women’s hand model. You are not experiencing deja vu. In 2019, Robert Pattinson told Fresh Air host Terry Gross that his hands were used to model women’s jewelry in a catalog when he was 12. “I used to do women’s hand modeling,” Pattinson said. “For jewelry, for catalog rings and stuff.” When asked how he got the gig, he said, “I don’t know, I think it was sort of like an accident?”

Truth or lie? Liar! Remember earlier in this very blog when you read that in 2011, Robert Pattinson’s mother said on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he was never a hand model? Robert clearly forgot what she said. Unless ... Robert Pattinson’s mom is the liar? Maybe he got it from her.

Corky Romano (2001) is one of his favorite movies of all time. On The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon in June 2018, Robert Pattinson said that Corky Romano is one of his favorite films. In case you’re blissfully unaware, that is the movie in which Chris Kattan plays a veterinarian who helps his mob boss father elude prosecution. “Corky Romano is in my top three of all time,” Pattinson said. I would’ve loved to have heard him elaborate, but an excited Fallon quickly turned the conversation to his cowbell sketch on Saturday Night Live.

Truth or lie? It’s probably a lie that Robert Pattinson told to appease Jimmy Fallon, who worked with Corky Romano star Chris Kattan on SNL. Since Fallon made the interview more about himself than about Pattinson, it’s hard to tell.

The Batman Era, 2019-Present

In this current era, Pattinson still has the nervous energy that makes him so mysterious, strange, and lovable, but he has more confidence than ever before. Now, he’s more respected as an actor both worldwide and within the industry itself, and has been mostly asked about playing Bruce Wayne/Batman in Matt Reeves’s The Batman. Throughout this period, Pattinson’s creative endeavors have expanded from acting and lying and into fast food pasta.

His version of Batman talks like a pirate. In a 2019 interview with Access, Pattinson joked that his The Lighthouse costar Willem Dafoe would be the inspiration for his Batman voice. “Willem’s voice in this is quite inspiring for it, to be honest,” he said. “It is pretty similar to the voice I’m gonna do … I think Batman has a sort of pirate-y kind of voice.”

Truth or lie? Unfortunately, some people took this seriously, but he was clearly kidding. Or was he?

He threw up before shooting a masturbation scene in The Lighthouse. In 2020, Pattinson told Time Out London that he threw up on himself before a “ferocious masturbation scene,” which was shot on day one of production on the Robert Eggers film The Lighthouse. “We’d just done a week of rehearsals where I’d basically hidden everything from him,” Pattinson said. “I felt I had to prove myself on the first day, so I went [for] the most extreme and grotesque … grotesquery.” So, he threw up on himself. “They didn’t use that take in the end,” he said. “It was a bit too much.”

Truth or lie? I have no reason to call this the truth, and I have no reason to call this a lie.

He smells like a crayon. In a February 2020 interview with Allure, Robert Pattinson was asked what he smells like. “Lots of people tell me I smell like crayon,” he said. “Like I’m embalmed.”

Truth or lie? Lie. This man is the face of Dior Homme, an “intriguingly powerful and appealingly fresh” cologne with notes of various woods and spices. He smells good.

He used to eat pencils. In Vogue’s “24 Hours With Robert Pattinson” from January 2020, Pattinson tells a Dior fragrance creator that he used to eat pencils as a kid. The admission comes when he smells cedarwood, which reminds him of the familiar smell of pencils and school. “Taken in this context, it does smell really delicious,” he said. “When I was a kid, I did used to eat my pencils all the time.”

Truth or lie? Truth. The top comment on the YouTube video says, “Robert Pattinson treats his entire life like it’s a PowerPoint presentation he didn’t prepare for and it’s so incredible.” I wholeheartedly agree with that.

He tried to launch a fast food pasta restaurant. In May 2020, GQ profiled Robert Pattinson during the pandemic lockdown and he shared his dream to start an Italian fast food joint. Here’s an excerpt:

“Last year, he says, he had a business idea. What if, he said to himself, ‘pasta really had the same kind of fast-food credentials as burgers and pizzas?’ I was trying to figure out how to capitalize in this area of the market, and I was trying to think: How do you make a pasta which you can hold in your hand?

He told GQ that he designed a prototype with a panini press and met with Los Angeles restaurateur Lele Massimini. When he told Massimini his plan, “his facial expression didn’t even change afterward. Let alone acknowledge what my plan was. There was absolutely no sign of anything from him, literally. And so it kind of put me off a little bit.”

Truth or lie? Truth. Pattinson was serious about this project—he exploded his microwave during the interview, and Massimini confirmed everything he said was “100 percent true.”

He stopped working out to prepare for his role in The Batman. In the same 2020 GQ profile, Pattinson said that he stopped his training for The Batman during the lockdown. “I think if you’re working out all the time, you’re part of the problem,” he said. “You set a precedent. No one was doing this in the ’70s. Even James Dean—he wasn’t exactly ripped. Literally, I’m just barely doing anything.”

Truth or lie? This was a lie. In a January 2022 interview with MovieMaker, Pattinson said so himself. “That really came back to haunt me,” he said. “I just always think it’s really embarrassing to talk about how you’re working out.”

He was high on Valium during a Twilight audition. Pattinson said this in a breakdown of his roles for GQ released in February 2022. “I had never taken a Valium before,” Pattinson said. “I just remember feeling so glorious in the back of the taxi with the window open and just being like, ‘Wow, this is what I’ve been missing.’ I think I had this quite spacey, detached kind of thing in the audition, which must have worked for the character.”

Truth or lie? Truth, unless he has been using this story to loosen his saliva for over a decade. According to an E! segment from when New Moon came out in 2009, Pattinson did reportedly take a quarter of Valium to calm himself down before an in-person audition. And in an interview with ABC News from 2010, Pattinson told the story himself: “Twenty minutes before I had to leave [for audition] I suddenly started panicking,” he told ABC News. “Luckily the person I was staying with had half a Valium on her bedside table, so I just stole it. Probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

His first Batman voice was so bad that he was told to “stop:” On Jimmy Kimmel Live—does anyone else allow Pattinson to appear on their show at this point?—in February 2022, Pattinson said that the first voice he used for The Batman was so atrocious that he was asked to stop doing it. “I wanted to do a radically different thing to all the other Batmans,” he said. “I just thought because everyone has this kind of gruff, gravelly thing, I’m like, ‘I’m gonna do the opposite, I’m gonna go really whispery.’ And I tried to do it for the first, like, two weeks, and it just looked absolutely atrocious, and they told me to stop doing it.”

Truth or lie? This could be true, but he’s definitely exaggerating. It’s possible for an actor as talented and successful as Pattinson to make a mistake, but this story has the same formula as his other lies. Also, a production as big and as high budget as The Batman would not let its star go on for two weeks with a voice that would be unusable in the final product.

Tom Holland wore a Spider-Man costume on The Lost City of Z set: In the same Kimmel interview from February 2022, Pattinson told Kimmel—whose career at this point is 30 percent hosting a late night show and 70 percent pretending he believes what Robert Pattinson says—that Tom Holland manifested his role as Spider-Man by wearing a full costume on set of The Lost City of Z (2016). “I think he [Tom Holland] hadn’t even been cast as Spider-Man, and he was wearing a Spider-Man outfit when I was shooting that movie. He really manifested that part. I swear to God, we were in Colombia, and I’m 99 percent certain that he wasn’t cast yet.”

Truth or lie? A tale as tall as Lee Pace. Tom Holland signed a contract with Marvel and Sony Pictures to play Spider-Man in June 2015, and The Lost City of Z did not begin production until August 2015. If Pattinson ever saw Holland on set in a Spider-Man suit, it was probably because he was doing costume fittings in preparation for Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

He pretended to be a drug dealer. In a 2022 GQ profile, Pattinson opened up about one of his first lies, which was pretending to be a drug dealer to impress a girlfriend, even though he didn’t know what drugs looked like at the time. “So I had this idea I’d get floppy disks, open up the floppy disk, pour this kind of powder stuff inside, and then spray it with, like, some kind of cleaning product so that it’d smell chemical-y, and seal all of it in,” he said. “I bought, like, 40 floppy disks, and then I’d show it to kids who were probably 15 or 16, and I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I’m importing drugs in floppy disks.’ And everybody believed me. And I kind of got this reputation that, ‘This kid is crazy. He’s a drug dealer!’”

Truth or lie? I’ll give him this one. At least one of his school tales has to be true, right?

He lies all the time. In the same GQ profile, Pattinson admitted that he lies all the time to the media, and also in his personal life “in order to say anything at all.” He said that early in his career, he would pretend to be an American when casting agents were concerned about his British accent. “I used to always come in as a different person, an American. I’d say, ‘Hi, I’m from Michigan.’”

Truth or lie? Lies! He tells the truth sometimes.

He found 50 photos of himself wearing a Batman costume as a child. In February 2022, Pattinson said on Good Morning America that he was looking for childhood photos of himself in a Batman costume to show on talk shows, and found nearly 50.

Truth or lie? Where are the photos, Robert?

Why Does Robert Pattinson Lie?

My research confirmed what I always knew to be true: Robert Pattinson doesn’t lie maliciously. In fact, some lies (such as the hand model one) are the result of memories twisted over time, which happens to all of us whether we’re aware of it or not. Robert Pattinson lies because he wants to entertain. He cares what people think about him. As an actor and as a celebrity, he wants to be fresh and interesting. Robert Pattinson does not want to be the kind of celebrity on a press tour who tells the same story in the same way over and over again for months on end. He does not want to be Stefani “there could be 100 people in a room” Germanotta.

Pattinson’s relationship with the media also solidifies that unless you know a celebrity on a personal level, you’ll never actually know them. What you see is them, but it’s just a fragment. A celebrity—whether on their own (like Pattinson) or with a team—has endless opportunities to curate their public image however they please. In a weird way, even though Robert Pattinson is a self-proclaimed blatant liar, he might be one of the most honest celebrities we’ve ever had.

Carrie Wittmer is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer with bylines in Vulture, Consequence of Sound, and Harper’s Bazaar. She tweets at @carriesnotscary.