British schoolboy Robert Pattinson became Hollywood's hot new star alongside Kristen Stewart in TwilightIt's the movie sensation that's set to knock Harry Potter off his number one perch. The boy wizard is dead... long live Edward, the good-looking vampire.
Five years ago, Robert was a schoolboy in his local amateur dramatic society in South-East London. Now, the film's success has made the 22-year-old £5million richer and has propelled him into superstardom.
Even so, he remains every inch the boy next door.
Robert wears a brace, he doesn't wash his hair and his sisters would dress him up as a girl when he was little. Terribly unstarry, he even drinks the odd pint of beer and eats crisps. But he is, without doubt, Hollywood's hottest new pin-up.
And he can act too.
He grew up in a small house in Barnes, South-West London, the son of a vintage car dealer, who even Robert says he wouldn't buy a car from. He drifted briefly into modelling - helped by his mother, an agency scout. And he only applied for drama school at 15 hoping to meet pretty girls.
He didn't - he's still resolutely single - and until recently lived with his parents. But he did get to meet an agent, who spotted him in a local play and introduced him to Harry Potter director Mike Newell.
Mike snapped him up as Cedric Diggory, a prefect at Hogwarts. But it has taken a lead in Twilight to turn him into a global phenomenon.
Fame has come so quickly that Robert is stunned. "I still haven't really got my head around it. I've been to so many cities now where everybody screams," he says.
"It's strange. I've even had people wanting to pay for autographs, which is crazy. You keep thinking you should do a little dance for them as well or something."
Although he now lives in LA, Robert remains down to earth, saying matter-of-factly: "I just decided that I should try to act. So I auditioned for Guys and Dolls and got a little tiny part as some Cuban dancer and then I got the lead part, and then I got my agent. I owe everything to the Barnes Theatre Club."
Not that it's all been plain sailing. His scenes in 2004 movie Vanity Fair were deleted and, in 2005, he was fired from a West End play just before opening night.
But the lantern-jawed Londoner isn't letting the adulation go to his head. He doesn't even have a car.
"I can't see any advantage to fame," he says. "I'm happy with the life I have now. I've got the same two friends I've had since I was 12, and I can't see that changing.
"I haven't even seen the movie yet. If I watch my own stuff I want to be sick, every single time."
He admits: "Up until I was 12 my sisters used to dress me up as a girl and introduce me as 'Claudia'! Twelve was a turning point as I moved to a mixed school - and then I discovered hair gel and became cool."
His legions of female fans seem perfectly happy, whatever he does. One of the many fanzine websites devoted to him is subtitled "ridiculously good-looking".
And, it seems, he's not even trying. On a recent chat show, Robert confessed to supermodel Heidi Klum that he never washes his tousled hair. Pushing back his fringe, he told her: "I don't have much of a sense of personal hygiene or styling or anything.I gave up washing it a while back."
Robert is too smart to be stereotyped.
After gaining his heartthrob status in Harry Potter, he changed tack to play the troubled artist Salvador Dali in next year's raunchy Little Ashes.
He says: "I didn't want to get stuck in pretty, public school roles, or I knew I'd end up as some sort of caricature.
"Playing Dali has been a complete turning point for me. It's the first part I've had that has required really serious thought. I became completely obsessed with Dali during the filming, and I read every biography I could get hold of.
"He was the most bizarre, complex man, but in the end I felt I could relate to him." Robert is nothing if not pragmatic. A professional actor for seven years, he even had to pay his own school fees.
"I was at a small private school in London," he says. "I wasn't very academic. My dad said to me, 'OK, you might as well leave, since you're not working very hard'. When I told I him wanted to stay on for my A-levels, he said I'd have to pay my own fees, then he'd pay me back if I got good grades."
Robert did - an A and two Bs - but his father didn't pay, which must rankle.
Robert says of the car salesman: "My dad told me a lot of stories. I would never buy a car from him."
But it's clear Robert will have to answer to his family if he displays the slightest sign of diva-like behaviour.
Robert's aunt Monica Weller, from Leatherhead, Surrey, said: "My sister is going to make sure the fame does not go to his head." But she added: "Robert has wanted to be an actor for as long as I can remember. We are all really proud of him."
Robert readily owns up to the fact that he aspires to be Jack Nicholson and Twilight - his first lead role - is set to make him a superstar.
Happily, Robert isn't quite perfect. His American film bosses insisted that he wear a brace to correct his wonky chops. Pro that he is, he didn't have to be asked twice.
Today, his teeth are Hollywood perfect.
With its pretty stars and gothic horror, Twilight seems a winning formula. The film is based on the best-selling teenage vampire chick-lit novels by America's answer to JK Rowling. Stephenie Meyer's books have already sold 25million copies here alone. The 34-year-old Mormon housewife says the plot to Twilight came to her in a dream, but she woke up before getting to the end-so she had to write it to find out what happened to the handsome vampire who falls for a beautiful virgin (played by Kristen Stewart) and is torn between his love for her and wanting to chomp her neck.
Meyer, who wrote the book to pay off debts on her mini-van, is now a multimillionaire.
And the sensation shows no sign of slowing. Her style has been described as Jane Eyre meets Dracula with a heavy dose of Romeo and Juliet.
Teenage girls, seemingly, just can't get enough of her lusty, yet thoughtful, bloodsucker. Nor, it seems, of Robert. There's no stopping the boy.
Beatlemania 'with fangs'
The mass hysteria which has greeted the release of Twilight has seen it dubbed "Beatlemania with fangs".
When the film opened in Los Angeles, hundreds of fans in fancy dress lined the street outside the cinema, screaming and chanting and crying. Many had camped out overnight. In San Francisco, a screening was cancelled after 3,000 turned up and caused a near-riot.
Robert has appeared on the cover of most supermarket tabloids in America and hundreds of internet forums are devoted to the film.
Not bad for a movie made for a modest Û38m. The vampire romance is based on a series of books by Stephenie Meyer. Her tale of a romance between high-school girl Bella Swan and teenage vampire Edward Cullen was rejected by nine publishers and ignored by another five. The 15th offered a Û750,000, three-book deal and the first book went on to sell 10 million copies worldwide over the last three years.
The film has also taken everyone by surprise. It opens in the UK on December 19.
could he be any more charming?!