Cronenberg: Actors need to scare themselves. When I started to talk to [Robert Pattinson for “Cosmopolis”], it became apparent that he was terrified, as Keira was terrified to do Sabina, and that’s always good.
Why did you want Pattinson for the part in “Cosmopolis”?
Cronenberg: Well I’d watched a movie that I think not too many people have seen called “Little Ashes,” where he plays Salvador Dali, and he plays him as a young man and plays him with a Spanish accent. So I thought, well that’s really interesting, I mean this was before he was a “Twilight” star, because, it takes a particular handsome young man to decide to play that role. And then I did watch some of the “Twilight” stuff and I watched “Remember Me” and I felt that he had a lot going on. He’s supposed to be a super smart billionaire at a young age, 28 he says in the movie. It’s intuition. I didn’t know him as a person, but I’d figured from the movies that I’d seen, like “Little Ashes,” that I could maybe interest him in doing something that’s not “Twilight” obviously.