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The store owner who gave Robert Pattinson his first job says he found out about his fame after seeing his face in the newspapers he was selling

INSIDER logoINSIDER 3/21/2020 Hayley Peppin
Robert Pattinson et al. posing for a photo © Hayley Peppin/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
  • A British convenience store discovered one morning when sorting through his papers that one of his former employees - Robert Pattinson - was cast in "Harry Potter."
  • "I can't even pinpoint when it was but I was like, 'Wow that's Robert,'" Patel said.
  • Patel said before fame, Pattinson worked as his paperboy for Natsons newsagency in Barnes, London for just over a year.
  • Patel said he "was always on time and punctual" and diligently worked through stormy London weather.
  • The newsagency owner said he's "proud" he gave Pattinson his very first job and now watches all of his movies. He even thinks the 33-year-old could be the next James Bond.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Vipin Patel, the owner of a British convenience store, was sorting through his newspapers one morning 15 years ago when he learnt that a former employee of his - Robert Pattinson - was cast in the hugely successful film franchise "Harry Potter."

"I can't even pinpoint when it was but I was like, 'Wow that's Robert' when I read one of the papers here about him," Patel said.

Patel told Insider he signed the star's very first paycheck in his store when Pattinson was a teenager looking for some pocket money.

Patel said the then-15-year-old Pattinson - who is now the face of Dior Homme - wasn't stylish.

Nor was he known as heart-throb "R-Patz" among the local ladies, although Patel said he was always handsome.

To the owner of Natsons newsagency in Barnes, south London - the British actor was simply "Robert the paperboy."

Kate Moss, Robert Pattinson are posing for a picture © Francois Durand for Dior/Getty Images

Pattinson was Patel's hard-working paperboy for more than a year

Patel said his store was desperately seeking a paperboy at the time and Pattinson couldn't have been a better fit.

Patel said he had a strong work ethic, never complained, and diligently made his rounds across the neighbourhood.

"He worked very well, I don't remember him not turning up. He was always on time and punctual and even worked when the weather wasn't good," Patel said.

One day, in particular, Patel said he remembered Pattinson voluntarily going out during a "very bad storm" to do the paper rounds.

a person standing in front of a store © Hayley Peppin/Google Maps

Patel believes it's a combination of Pattinson's determination to get the job done, and having such "caring" parents that may have helped the star stay grounded.

"I think in general, it's nice from an early age to have a job like that as it teaches you something, maybe a bit more responsibility and how you should spend money and also how hard it is to earn that money," Patel said.

In 2008, the Pattinson told Birmingham Live he applied to the local drama school hoping to meet pretty girls.

While the actor said he didn't have much luck with the ladies there, he did meet an agent who spotted him in a local play.

The agent then introduced him to "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" director Mike Newell who cast him as Hufflepuff prefect Cedric Diggory at age 18 - and the rest is history.

He acquired a legion of global female fans across the world who were enamoured with his "Twilight" character, teenage vampire Edward Cullen.

Patel said he's 'definitely Team Edward' when it comes to 'Twilight'

"I like all his 'Twilight' movies, I enjoyed all that," Patel said.

Prior to Pattinson's casting, the newsagency owner said he wasn't much interested in vampire-related movies or books - but now calls himself a "Twilight" fan.

"Just his character is amazing, how they built his character in that was fantastic."

Patel said he's now seen every single movie that Pattinson has appeared in.

"You feel connected to him because you knew him as a kid and then you watch him playing and acting in these big movies," Patel said.

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson are posing for a picture:   Age gap: 86 years   Although Robert  Pattinson's "Twilight"  character, Edward Cullen, was turned into a vampire at age 17, as  he tells Bella in the first "Twilight" book and film, that  transformation occurred in 1918.   That makes him around 87 years older than Bella (Kristen  Stewart), who was born in 1987, according to the original  book series.   When both the book and film series begin, Bella is 17 and Edward  is 104.  © Summit Entertainment

Age gap: 86 years

Although Robert Pattinson's "Twilight" character, Edward Cullen, was turned into a vampire at age 17, as he tells Bella in the first "Twilight" book and film, that transformation occurred in 1918.

That makes him around 87 years older than Bella (Kristen Stewart), who was born in 1987, according to the original book series.

When both the book and film series begin, Bella is 17 and Edward is 104.

And now Patel said he's looking forward to the release of Matt Reeves adaption of "The Batman" in which Pattinson plays the titular masked crusader.

"I think initially, when they were talking about it, I didn't think he'd get it but good luck to him as he got the part so it's fantastic.

"All the other Batmans were fantastic in their own right, but Robert will be special," Patel said.

Patel believes Pattinson could be the next James Bond

Patel thinks James Bond could be on the cards for Pattinson following Daniel Craig's departure.

"I can just picture him. His acting is superb, I think he's growing with the 'The Batman,' he has to be James Bond next," Patel said.

His 26-year-old son and 32-year-old daughter, who Patel said are Pattinson fans as well, are also "amazed" their father gave him his first start.

"To see him where he's now it's amazing, he was just a young lad with us here and look where he is now. It's absolutely fantastic and we're so proud of him," Patel said.

a person in a red lit up in the dark © Warner Bros.

"Every time we hear his name on the news or something like that, you feel like he's one of us, he grew up here and it's fantastic.

"He's one of our Barnes boys who reached stardom," Patel said.

The 33-year-old actor still has some kind of presence in Patel's humble newsagency as he always arranges magazines and newspapers that feature Pattinson on the cover.

"I put it in the front, in the window itself and people say, 'Ah yes, this is one of our local lads,'" Patel said.

Read more:

Robert Pattinson said his worst ever style look was leather trousers, cowboy boots, and a velvet jacket worn to a 'Harry Potter' premiere

Robert Pattinson gatecrashed the premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' after drinking beer and eating pizza all day

Robert Pattinson says he 'doesn't think he can act' and will do 'art-house porn' if his career die

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