"I think he's had to do with kind of a lot more," he said. "I had a very gradual easing in to the idea of fame, because I was doing the first two films back to back almost. So, while the whole 'Potter' film franchise was exploding, I was in studios filming and kind of unaware that this thing was going massive outside. Where as Rob, [he] was suddenly the most famous guy in the world. I think that's a lot harder to deal with."
There's also the matter of how their characters are portrayed, as well as the public's perception of the actors themselves. Radcliffe's Harry Potter is a boy wizard, steely and determined, but dressed in scarves and long black robes, not to mention his iconic rounded glasses. His love life in the books and film series is a late addition, and generally takes a backseat to the main action, which involves saving the entire world.
Meanwhile, Pattinson's Edward Cullen is described in the books as an adonis, a smoldering romantic of a vampire who is both sexily complicated and wildly devout to his virginal teen girlfriend. In short, the perfect man, undead or not. The entire series is predicated on their love and his willingness to take on all obstacles to defend her; in the end, all of his problems come from this undying love.
As for the actors themselves, the public watched Radcliffe grow up on screen, going from a 10-year old child to the 20-year old man he is today. In many ways it casts him like a friend or brother, more than sex symbol. Meanwhile, Pattinson was sprung onto world fully grown, and his secretive relationship with co-star Kristen Stewart was the total wish fulfillment of everyone who wanted to believe in the movie -- or gawk at two beautiful people.
With Radcliffe now done with Potter and starring on Broadway, and Pattinson wrapping up his saga in the next year and branching out his film career, it will be interesting to see which young Brit has more staying power -- both in show business, and the tabloids.