Blame it on the typecast of pale, out of this world vampire that accompanies him. I don’t know what I expected from Robert Pattinson, but what I got up close was a totally grounded behavior, a warm smile (maybe little shy too), an inherent gentleness. Pattinson was at Cannes Film Festival for David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis”, a movie where he gave his most demanding performance, which he admitted didn’t know how to handle at first.
He asks for mineral water. He is immediately asked about his prostate. It’s not a random question – prostate is connected to Pattinson’s part in “Cosmopolis”. “I wish I knew” the actor says (after a while) when he realizes the reason he is asked this “anatomically indiscreet” question. “I have to have it examined. People say is very important – everybody talks about it. I never exactly understood what prostate is anyway” he comments.
When David Cronenberg sent Pattinson “Cosmopolis” script, the young actor was at the last days of filming Twilight’s last movie, titled “Breaking Dawn Part 2″, which premieres in Greece on November. “I read David’s script and I’m not ashamed to say I didn’t understand a thing, but I admit it was too cool, too scary and too weird.” Pattinson called Cronenberg to tell him he wasn’t ready to play the part – mostly because he couldn’t understand what the part was about. “No problem” Cronenberg said “I don’t really know what it is about. But it does seem juicy – doesn’t it?” Pattinson was encouraged. “I thought that under these circumstances we could have a good start. So we decided to go through with it.” Written by David Cronenberg himself “Cosmopolis” script is based on Don De Lilo’s novel which has the same title and describes one day in the life of young multimillionaire Eric Packer(Pattinson) inside his huge white limo. All things start from Eric’s wish to have a haircut at his old neighborhood barber shop. On his way there, he will stop many times at New York’s hell, meet dozens of people and finally change the way he sees his life.
I asked Pattinson what was it he couldn’t understand about the script “Look, I gave it to a few friends and people I know in order to read it and they all asked “What the hell is this thing?” I guess that somehow I made myself unable to understand it, because I hadn’t realize that my acting would be based exactly there. Because my part Eric simply doesn’t understand. He is in search of a new and better reality. So if you place yourself in a world where you understand nothing and everything seems alien, then you see it makes sense”. Later on, during filming, Cronenberg was constantly stopping shooting whenever Pattinson attempted to act and pretend to understand what was going on. “David didn’t want that. He wanted me constantly hypnotized.”
I wonder whether Robert Pattinson ever felt like Eric Packer, who tries to avoid all things he considers crazy. Since Twilight movies catapulted him to stardom Robert Pattinson is hounded by the paparazzi and like any purebred star is unable to find peace. Has he ever felt the need to get away from all this? “It doesn’t have to do with the world that surrounds you, but with the world inside you. You feel the need to get better and the catch is you might trap yourself. That’s why I felt relieved to play in “Cosmopolis” – because I didn’t have to think. Like I said I was hypnotized. “Cosmopolis” was a good therapy and I’m lucky this will continue. Many similar parts keep coming”. I understand him. And I know he is telling the truth.
Star at first bite.
Robert Pattinson became overnight the emotional, brooding, introverted vampire who has the ability to steal hearts, as well as a pop icon for millions of teenagers worldwide. To be truthful cinema doesn’t have an avant garde vampire like him. I was always wondering what happens after Pattinson/Cullen time though. Some believed that Pattinson through Edward Cullen became a symbol for today’s rebelious young people. Many things have been written for the actor who was born on May 13 1986 in London, although he tries to be discreet about his life.
“Rolling Stone” gave him the title of the hottest actor in 2008. He was on the list of Breakout stars of Los Angeles Times and among Forbes 100 most powerful celebrities, as well as People’s list of sexiest stars. “I always believed it is good to have the safety of a permanent job – another Twilight movie for example” Pattinson said. “I’m not so sure I feel the same now the series is ending. I don’t know if safety is a good thing. When you have an all or nothing attitude in every thing you do, you have more chances of doing your job well and having fun at the same time. When you stop thinking about safety, many good things come”. Or many bad things.
Months after Cannes, Kristen Stewart cheated on him (…). Pattinson didnt expose himself, merely allowed his deep sadness to show. Coincidentally the same period i met with him in Cannes, Stewart was there as well for On The Road.
“We went out last night and we are going out tonight as well. I cant wait. Some people say that the moment Kristen, me and Efron are at the same festival it has failed. Isn’t that funny?” He laughs loudly. So happy and entertaining, so in love with his girlfriend. “She is amazing, ambitious ready to grasp life. She has an attitude she doesnt kiss people’s asses, she is respected. I would die for Kristen. Yesterday i was watching her movie and felt so proud.” He mentions he has been writing something so that they can work together again. Something very different.“It will be difficult and it will have to be far ahead in the future because many people will not like it. But i do not care. I want it, it’s mine”.
Dali and vampire
I mention the title of a french newspaper about Pattinson, one day after “Cosmopolis” screening. “Pattinson was a star until now. From now on he is an actor”. Pattinson laughs. He constantly laughs during the interview – he likes to laugh. “It’s all a trick, right? When “Cosmopolis trailer came out, many immediately said I’m doing something different. How do you know man? Trailer only lasts 30 seconds and I don’t even say a word. I’m not saying the trailer isn’t cool, but how can you jump to that conclusion since we talk about acting?” Surely Pattinson doesn’t live in his world. He knows very well how the game is played and how vulnerable famous people can be. “I understand when out of nowhere you become someone, you have to prove it, you have to earn it. You have to build it, by doing small or big things.”
Isn’t it ironic, maybe a bit paradox too – that thanks to Twilight, Cronenberg and many other directors found out about him? “It’s part of the game too” the actor answers “They have to learn about you somehow. I had filmed a few movies before Twilight, but I’m not even sure I would still be an actor if Twilight success hadn’t occurred. David (Cronenberg) claims he liked my acting when he saw me in “Little Ashes” (a movie where Pattinson portrayed Salvador Dali which wasn’t distributed in Greece). I wasn’t well paid before Twilight – 500 sterlines in four months. When I was filming “Little Ashes” I was completely broke. I was going to quit acting and look for another job. Then Twilight came.”
“I managed to get fired!”
Edward Cullen was a lottery for the young Brit when he was cast at 22 having very few on his resume (most important part was Cedric Diggory at “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”). From the moment Twilight was out in late 2007, his fee has skyrocketed. His (mostly female) fans were and still are ready to do anything. Pattinson was expected to appear live in San Fransisco a few years ago. 500 fans were expected to attend, but 3.000 came, accidents occurred and the police came. A star was born.
Pattinson had a lot of misfortunes before that. He felt liberated when he was fired from the play “The Woman Before”. “I managed to get fired! Cool! It was the best thing ever happened to me! I felt being such a rebel. I did it!” Today he reconsiders it. “It was a time when I didn’t know what I was doing. I think I wasn’t talking loud enough. Too much bullshit.”