Bel Ami is different from the Twilight movies that made you an international star. Why this movie?
Rob: I forced myself from the beginning to do different movies between each Twilight films because it made me feel better to become a normal guy again with no excessive makeup or contact lenses. That’s why I wanted to do Bel Ami. I knew of Maupassant’s novel because I love French litterature. The only regret I have is that we filmed in Hungary instead of Paris.
Why didn’t you film in France?
Rob: It’s very difficult to find the Paris from Guy de Maupassant in the French capital today. Whereas there’s hundreds of streets in Budapest that look like Paris from the 19th century. But I hope to film in France soon.
Do you already have a project that would allow that?
Rob: David Cronenberg has a film idea that could be done in France and I would be thrilled to collaborate with him again.
You were recently in Cannes for his movie Cosmopolis, what was your best memory of the festival?
Rob: It sort of an embarrassing one that dates from a few years back when I came for Twilight. I ended up facing a human tide when I left the beach. Bodyguards had to carry me over the crowd so I could go back to my car. It was surreal but I rather laugh about it. This year with Cannes, with Cosmopolis in competition, I really felt like I was here for all the right reasons.
Is it true that Brad Pitt gave you tips on how to handle the crowds at Cannes?
Rob: No, Cannes is a infernal spiral. The best advice I got was to keep my head down so I wouldn’t lock eyes with other people.
With all the media attention do you still manage to live a normal life?
Rob: I refuse to complain about my fate. I tell myself that I need to brace myself and wait for a years to pass. At the beginning of the Twilight success, people would call me Edward in the streets. I don’t think I’m the one they’re fascinated by, but my character.
Do you happen to think that you might not deserve all of this? Do you sometimes feel guilty?
Rob: Not guilty but lucky for sure. My ambition is to last so I’m going to work hard because I feel like the current craze will die down eventually.
What do you when you’re not filming, giving out interviews or trying to escape your fans?
Rob: I sleep. I’m a pretty shy guy, I prefer the quiet of my hotel room to a night out in a club.
In Bel Ami, your character goes from one female to another to climb the social ladder. Do you relate to this role?
Rob: I did happen to flirt with several girls before I was famous … but it never worked. In real life, girls used to blow me off. *laughs*
It took more than 3 years for Bel Ami to get released, why?
Rob: Because of a crazy reason: an American studio was very interested by the movie but they wanted to change the end. They didn’t want a tragic ending, maybe to keep it open in hopes of a sequel *laughs*. To take a masterpiece and change its outcome for marketing reasons is just ridiculous to me. So it took time to find a distributor that would bring out the movie on the screen while keeping Maupassant’s story untouched.
In the last Twilight movie – which comes out in France on November 14th – your character becomes a dad. Could you identify with him?
Rob: Kristen said that her most difficult scene to shoot was the birthing of the baby. I admit that this is far out in my mind but she was the one who had to fake a delivery, not me. *laughs* I don’t see myself married or as a dad but that’s what the cinema is for. To step into someone’s else shoes, someone who could be the complete opposite from you, I love that.
Where are you now when it comes to your music?
Rob: It’s something that I keep in me and I don’t have much time to focus on it right now. By spending months in Los Angeles, I realised that all the young actors want to be musicians or singers too. It’s a cliché I’d like to avoid. I love playing guitar but for now I’m playing as a passionate enthusiast. the cinema comes first!
What’s the craziest thing a fan ever asked you?
Rob: I found it funny the first time a girl asked me to bite her neck.
Which vampire powers would you like to have: immortality, strength or the power to fly?
Rob: The power of invisibilty … No need to explain to you why. *laughs*