P: Is there some part of you that is thrilled to surprise your Twilight fans who would see Cosmopolis?
RP: When my casting in Cosmopolis was announced, I saw many of them buying Don DeLillo’s book. And it doesn’t shock them at all that I’m playing a role like this one. On the contrary, I feel liek they want to see us succeed, for us to be successful after the saga. They want us to be loved and respected. They’re aren’t fans like any others, they might not all be movie fanatics, but I can feel in them a desire to become one. They’re interested in what we do, even if it’s an usual movie like Cosmopolis. Actors that are in popular hits or franchises, often feel like they have to do things that would please ‘this’ audience. But I think that they underestimate their spectators. I know that Twilight fans want to adapt themselves. If you’ve played in Transformers, it doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to that all your life.
RP: I don’t see which scene they could focus on that would reduce/narrow down the movie …
P: I do …
RP: You mean the chek-up scene, I guess? Having said that now, it’s a pretty good promo for the movie: “So, you get your prostate checked in Cosmopolis?” *laughs* As soon as I have an erotic scene, teh most commun you could imagine, I know I’ll hear about it.
P: In Cosmopolis, there’s one where a taser is involved?
RP: The one in the hotel .. We shot that one in one take. Patricia (McKenzie), the actress, was really at ease with her body. When we had to rehearse the scene, she almost took all her clothes off. I just stood there in my underwear, so embarrassed! After the scene was done, I went to see the cameraman and asked him: “Is it me or what just happened was really intense? I almost felt like I really had sex!” The sex scene in History of Violence was already incredible. I don’t know why but David Cronenberg is really talented for that. It’s a surprising speciality for a director, but it’s his.
P: David Lynch is pretty good too for that. It’s funny because when you see Lynch and Cronenberg, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t: “I’m sure those guys shoot amazing sex scenes.”
RP: It might be due to the fascination that David has with the human body. Even in a movie like Videodrome, he sexualizes everything – the orifice that James Woods has on his belly looks a lot like a vagina. And I can really see David thinking about it and tell himself: “MMMh, I like that.” We see less and less filmmakers having enough confidence that would let them flaunt and dig their obsessions. It’s like Tarantino and women’s feet. It’s his thing, he likes that and thus going to put it iin all his movies. I’m not attracted to feet but when they film those of Bridget Fonda in Jacky Brow, it’s sexy.
P: In Cosmopolis, you get a visit from Juliette Binoche in the limp. She uses the space in a very creative way …
RP: Originally, the sex scene with Juliette was supposed to happen in a hotel room, but found it more interesting for it to happen in the limo. You have to ask yourself a question: how to you film, with success, a sex scene in a limo? Well, you end up bumping yourself everywhere in the car *laughs*. The worst is that I met Juliette Binoche, who is one of my favorite actresses, right before filming the scene. And 5 minutes later, we were writhing in the limo … Very strange. But yes, it was more appropriate in that space.
P: What about Mathieu Amalric, the other French of the movie?
RP: He’s amazing. I’m sad he’s mostly filmed in wide shots because you can’t really enjoy the crazy facial expressions he did. Does he work a lot in France?
P: Not enough. But he directs too.
RP: It doesn’t surprise me. By the way, did you see the trailer for Rust and Bone? If only Audiard decided to film in English .. He’s probably the biggest director active, able of making movies that touch the general public while still being, indisputably, art. The performances in his movies are the best, his action scenes are the best … Not a lot of filmmakers can reach his level, except for maybe James Gray, with whom I dream of working.
P: What attracts you in project today?
RP: I want to do a movie that would make people want to hang its poster on their wall. Like with Trainspotting before: everyone had that poster in their room, me being the first. It was a way to declare one’s identity. I dream of being in movies that would inspire the same thing.