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The vampire, that’s all past now. Around Christmas though, the last long-completed “Twilight” movie will hit the cinema, however, the British Robert Pattinson, 26, doesn’t play a bloodsucker anymore. In “Cosmopolis” he’s a barracuda who lets himself chauffeur in a stretched limo around Manhattan. The movie, based on the novel by Don DeLillo, is directed by the master director David Cronenberg. Therewith Pattinson has definitely arrived in the cinema of the big ones. Or not? He shows up for the interview on deck of a luxury hotel in Cannes with a pink lollipop.
Does it taste good, Mr Pattinson?
Oh I like these. Does it bother you when I suck?
No. In a French mag it was written: Robert Pattinson was a star, now he’s an actor. Do you see this in the same way?
Crazy how a thing like that works. Already when the trailer of “Cosmopolis” came out, I read: Now he’s a true actor. I beg you, that trailer lasts 30 seconds, and I don’t even say a word. Who wants to judge that? But it depends on the appearance.
Until now you’ve been the biggest teenager star and not an actor.
Seems like. My career has actually started with “Twilight” in the first place, the biggest thing one can image. When you get big out of nowhere, many think of it being a wrong career. You’d have to work your way up first.
Will you miss “Twilight”?
Acting wise, no, as my vampire doesn’t go through such a huge process. He cannot die, he cannot hurt himself. It’s difficult to develop new ideas. However…
I owe those films everything. Before “Twilight“ I wanted to quit acting. My career didn’t really get on.
Is it true that you were fired during a production of the Royal Court Theatre?
Yes, during “The Woman Before”. Actually I still don’t know why. But afterwards seen it wasn’t that bad at all. Thus the people took notice of me. “What a rebel” they suddenly said.
Tom Riley took over your part back then…
…which really bothered me: At the same time, a secondary role in a film with Juliette Binoche was cast and I really wanted to get it. But Tom Riley got that role too. It was crazy though: There was a review of that film with my name in it and it said that I was pretty good. The reviewer confused us because of the theatre story.
While telling that story, Robert Pattinson giggles infectiously. It’s alright for him to laugh, because the Juliette-Binoche-movie from back then – “Quelques jours en septembre” with John Turturro – is long forgotten. Instead the actress now mounts in a limousine with him, as a gallery owner, for a quick round of sex and for selling him a painting by Mark Rothko, which is worth millions. However it’s too cheap for him.
Yes, Pattinson is doing absolutely well as a bighead, worth several millions, who manages everything in his limousine. Actually he just wants his hair cut, that’s why he lets himself chauffer around Manhattan. But right on that day, the streets are blocked, nothing moves. Furthermore his wife wants to divorce him, an assassin strives for his life, and a doctor states at the routine check, that he’s got an asymmetric prostate.
Is your prostate asymmetric, Mr Pattinson?
I’ve never had it checked. Everyone’s asking me after seeing the movie. Maybe I should go to the doctor after all. “Cosmopolis” is going to trigger the longest prostate-examinations of the world. All men will be queuing!
In “Cosmopolis” you’re in every single scene, you carry responsibility. Was that terrifying for you?
And how! I read the script, found it captivating but also mad. Then David Cronenberg’s call came in amidst the “Twilight” shooting. I had to decide the very same day. I kept him waiting for an entire week, though. He thought I had airs and graces. But I was just terrified!
By what exactly?
In the movie it’s about insecurity in a complex world. It wasn’t easy for me to set the right tone.
How did you achieve it?
By completely letting myself go. A feeling that I actually knew only from my performances as a musician. But it worked: Whenever I didn’t think of anything, the scene was done. And when not, David Cronenberg yelled: Stop acting.
You play a man who perceives the outer world through the window of a car. Do you feel the same way with the paparazzi and the fans, from whose you got to protect yourself?
I can control what sinks in from the outside. The pressure comes from me. I’ve got the impression that I have to prove myself repeatedly. I don’t want to be trapped in myself.
For now, Robert Pattinson doesn’t have to worry concerning that. There’s no week without an announcement of a new project with him. Among them are a movie in the Iraq and a weird road movie, nothing streamlined. Pattinson is looking for such projects. In his private life it seems to be quieter: Since two years he’s in a relationship with the “Twilight” co-star Kristen Stewart.
You certainly get a lot of offers for movies as a young lover.
Hard to believe.
Maybe it’s also my agent who spares me with them. But I don’t think I’m very good at those roles. Just entering a room and looking supercool is difficult.
But in “Cosmopolis” you’re kind of supercool too.
No. That guy is just cool because he’s got so much money. That’s something different.
Has your girlfriend, Kristen Stewart seen the movie?
She was sitting in front of me at the premiere. I was constantly looking at the back of her head and thought, damn, does it bore her, shall I whisper something into her ear? But yes, she liked it.
Will you perform with her after “Twilight”?
Absolutely. I’m writing a script for the two of us.
What is it?
I cannot say anything, the book rights are still unclear. Also, I don’t know how long I’m going to work at it. Because one is clear: It’s got to be brilliant. Otherwise people will just ask: What are those two doing together?