Here, Pattinson and Cronenberg talk about the fandom surrounding “Cosmopolis,” the movie’s stance against one-percenters and what it’s like filming an extended prostate exam in front of the camera. We also discussed “Videodrome” at length.
Considering the anti-capitalist bent in this film, I thought it was ironic that you two were ringing the bell of the NYSE this morning.
David Cronenberg: It was a much more surreal experience than I thought it was going to be. I thought, Yeah, we’re visiting the scene of the crime now, and it’s going to be kind of cathartic to ring the alarm bell.
Robert Pattinson: I am curious to know if anyone had actually seen the movie or had any idea what it was about.
DC: Yeah! And [people there] seemed so excited about the movie and so excited about us and were very sweet and friendly. Yet it’s such a completely different world. It’s so familiar to them. I think they think everybody knows all about what they do. And I think the infamy and fame of stock traders and fraud only enhances the idea for them, that everybody knows what’s going on. But once you’re there you realize “Oh my god. I don’t understand anything at all.” But it was a very interesting, and I would say ironic [opportunity]. To use that moment, ringing the bell to open the Stock Exchange, for “Cosmopolis,” it was very strange. Were we selling out? I don’t know [laughs]. They gave us little medals!
Rob, you mentioned on “The Daily Show” about how “Cosmopolis” is almost physically impossible to explain to people. So how do you explain it to yourself? Can you even explain it?
RP: The last interview [I did], I just started projecting things. I literally just used that as therapy sessions [laughs]. I didn’t really know what I was talking about.
DC: I was in shock! I never heard him say those things.
RP: [Laughs] I just [realized] that the movie was about things that I’ve said it’s not about. So I have no idea what I am talking about. It’s funny, my initial thought about [the film] was that the script was funny. It’s kind of a sad comedy. The first time I watched the movie, I was shocked by how sad it was. And then you start promoting [the film], and everyone else is saying it’s about capitalism [and] has all these deeper meanings, so then you start following that road. Then I [say to myself] “Interesting, that’s interesting. I should talk about it in an interesting way.” I mean, I always knew it was interesting but you kind of…It’s like looking at a rock. It can be anything.
It is a bit of a sad comedy. There’s a lot of a dark humor in this. For instance, let’s talk about that prostate scene. Obviously you didn’tactually get one, but…
RP: [They used] Three fingers!
[Laughs] I respect your method acting approach.
RP: See, for this film I didn’t learn anything about [stock] traders. I didn’t have a single thought about it the entire time. I didn’t even really know anything about Occupy Wall St. When we were doing the riot scene [where protesters crowd the car and start shaking it] I wasn’t thinking it had anything to do with capitalism.
Read the rest of the interview here.