Pattinson started his film career by playing Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a 2005 fantasy film. He later got the leading role of vampire Edward Cullen in the film adaptations of the Twilight novels by Stephenie Meyer, which consisted of five films between 2008 and 2012 that combined grossed over $3.3 billion in worldwide receipts. Twilight brought Pattinson worldwide fame, and established him among the highest paid and most bankable actors in Hollywood. In 2010, Pattinson was named one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World, and also in the same year Forbes ranked him as one of the most powerful celebrities in the world in the Forbes Celebrity 100.
In 2009, he portrayed Salvador Dalí in Little Ashes. That same year, a documentary film, Robsessed, about the actor's fame and popularity, was released. He appeared as a troubled young man in Remember Me (2010) and also starred in a romantic drama, Water for Elephants (2011). His performance as a tough, cold-hearted and calculating billionaire in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis (2012), earned him critical praise. He gained critical appreciation for his performances in David Michod's futuristic western The Rover (2014), in Cronenberg's satire drama Maps to the Stars (2014), in Werner Herzog's biopic film Queen of the Desert (2015) and in Anton Corbijn's Life (2015), a drama film about Life Magazine photographer Dennis Stock and James Dean. He will appear in James Gray's The Lost City of Z, about an explorer who disappeared in the Amazon while looking for an ancient city.
Pattinson composes and plays his own music. He sang in the Twilight film series and How to Be, a 2008 independent comedy-drama film. He is a supporter of ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), Parents and Abducted Children Together (PACT), and the GO Campaign, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness and funds to help orphans and vulnerable children throughout the world, of the latter he became ambassador in 2015 to help raise international awareness of the non-profit organization. He is a member of International Medical Corps and has promoted and shared details about cancer through Public service announcements to raise awareness about the disease.