Within that environment, two contrasting characters meet and join forces – for reasons that only gradually become clear. Michod wrote one of the roles with one of his Animal Kingdom stars in mind: Guy Pearce. Pattinson, however, was far from his thoughts until they had an unrelated meeting in Los Angeles.
‘‘I like to meet actors, and I like to meet actors whose work I’m not necessarily familiar with,’’ Michod says. He had never seen any of the Twilight films, the hugely successful vampire romance franchise that made Pattinson a household name and a paparazzi target. ‘‘But I heard a couple of people say that he’s interesting.’’ When they met, he found Pattinson ‘‘very smart and not the sort of pretty boy I was expecting’’.
Talking to Pattinson, in the final stages of the shoot, it is clear he was more than enthusiastic. He was already aware of the members of Blue-Tongue and had seen several of the films. ‘‘I like the way they work together and keep it quite tight. It reminded me of me and my friends, and I knew it was the kind of environment I wanted to work in – with a bunch of young people who were ambitious.”
What’s more, he loved Animal Kingdom.When The Rover came his way, he was in.
‘‘It was such a startlingly original script. When I read it, I thought, this is one of those parts where you think, ‘I’d love to do this, but I know I’m not going to get it.’’’ He did a couple of tests in Michod’s Los Angeles house. ‘‘They were exhausting, they were about three hours long, but it was kind of fun. I liked the way he worked in the audition. Normally, they’re such horrible experiences.’’
Pattinson’s character, Rey, is an American. He and his brother have come to Australia to work, but have fallen on hard times. He is naive and trusting ‘‘in a really strange way. He was brought up to believe he’s not capable of being independent. [He is] someone who has always been looked after and he has taken it with him into adulthood.’’
So when he loses contact with his brother at the beginning of the film, he is stranded. ‘‘He grabs onto the first person who comes along’’ – and this happens to be Pearce’s character, who has an ulterior motive for joining forces. ‘‘No matter how he gets treated, Rey just wants to please him. There’s something so strange and disturbing about the whole relationship.’’
The Rover will screen as part of the Sydney Film Festival, which runs from June 4-15. David Michod will discuss the film with Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson and producer Liz Watts at Sydney Town Hall on June 8.
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Source: The Sydney Morning Herald