The phone call began with Pattinson and Cronenberg laughing.
Question: Sounds like you two aren’t having any trouble having fun.
Pattinson: We rollick and frolic. We have no problem.
Q: And Robert, you haven’t been in the news enough lately.
Q: Your character is a disconnected guy trying to connect. Or maybe it’s the other way around. How do you play that?
Pattinson: I think he’s just very, very self-obsessed. It’s going deeper and deeper into self-obsession until it kind of implodes. It’s also just the words. Everything is done for me. I sort of instinctively felt like I knew what to do from the beginning because the script was so good.
Q: Is it tricky to direct someone having a prostate exam (as Packer does in the film)?
Cronenberg: For me? Oh, no problem.
Q: Robert, I assume you’re rich. But Packer is incredibly rich. Is there a freedom to that?
A: I think it’s actually quite a difficult way to live. I’ve met a few people who have fictional money (laughing). If you have any interest in the world, it’s very difficult to see. Your eyes are totally different to most people. Money really does change people. You have to make an effort to be normal, I think.
Q: Did you go through that when you became successful?
Pattinson: It’s different. Dealing with fame is different. Everyone gets stuff thrown at them in life, and you have to figure out how to deal with it.
Q: There’s a ton of publicity surrounding you now, good and bad. Presumably you’re in a bubble while shooting the film, so not as many people are keeping up.
Cronenberg: In fact, a lot of the “Twilight” fans were keeping up. They made websites, and they had spy-cams. But all of that was really quite sweet. It was quite gentle and quite affectionate, and you had these young girls who had never read anything but “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” before (but) were reading “Cosmopolis,” they were reading Don DeLillo and writing about it on their blogs.
Q: Robert, “Twilight” is winding down. What has that been like?
Pattinson: Pretty crazy (laughing). No one ever believes me, but no one involved with the first movie had any idea that it was going to turn out to be what it was going to be. We didn’t even know if we were going to make the sequels. You go on this runaway train that I was entirely unprepared for. And at the same time, I was kind of figuring out whether I wanted to be an actor or not, which is kind of interesting. You’re in your 20s, you’re trying to figure out what you want to do with your life.
Q: What about the fame aspect of it? Isn’t that kind of a weird way of life? You can’t even walk across the street without someone taking a picture.
Pattinson: Yeah. It’s just how you deal with it. Everyone has to figure out how they want to live. It’s a challenge.
Cronenberg: I can say that Rob was definitely able to walk across the street in Toronto (where “Cosmopolis” was shot) and no one noticed. And he could go to a bar and he could go to a restaurant. Really, part of it has to do with where you are and how much you’re publicizing yourself. If you’re Lindsay Lohan and you’re making sure that everybody knows where you are at all times, then you know what the consequences will be. But if somebody doesn’t want that, there are ways you can do that.