Pattinson was born in London, England. His mother, Clare, worked for a modeling agency, and his father, Richard, imported vintage cars from the U.S. He became involved in amateur theatre through the Barnes Theatre Company. After some backstage experience there, he took on acting roles. He caught the attention of an acting agent in a production of Tess of the D'Urbervilles and began looking for professional roles. Since then he has performed in an amateur version of Macbeth at the Old Sorting Office Arts Centre, as well as trying his hand at modeling.