Rob talks to The Independent about MTTS and what it was like to have money for the first time

Maps to the Stars‘ is the title of the new David Cronenberg film starring Robert Pattinson.

It refers to the Hollywood cartography that informs tourists where to find the homes of their favourite actors. Anyone buying one of these plans will be tremendously disappointed if they are looking for the home of Britain’s most famous vampire. Last year the actor decided to sell his mansion in Griffith Park, near the famous Hollywood sign in central Los Angeles, saying he was too young to be tied to such a lavish property and instead wanted to lay low and live life to his needs rather than his means.

“The house was so amazing,” he says of the abode that he sold for $6.37m. “I wasn’t really thinking when I got it. I was just living in LA and had been living in and out of hotels, and you have money for the first time.”

When he says money, he means a mind-boggling amount, for anyone, not just a young British actor. He reportedly received $20m for the final part of Twilight, the saga that made him a global name, and made his private life fodder for public consumption. Pattinson reveals that the selling of the house is part of a general disassociation with Hollywood. “If you are the kind of person who needs to be pushed into doing something, then Hollywood is not the right place, so I think I might be done with Los Angeles. I’ve just realised that in the past few weeks.”

We meet on the day of the Toronto Film Festival premiere of Maps to the Stars and there is a yearning for Barnes, West London, where he grew up. His dad imported vintage cars from America, and his mother worked for a modelling agency, a profession Pattinson entered just before he hit his teens. “I think I need to spend more time in London, or just move around a bit more. I’ve been in LA for six or seven years or something and it’s weird. The more you stay there, especially as an actor, the more you think you need to be there, that you’ll be missing out on something by leaving, but you are not really. It’s a fun city, though, but you are permanently on holiday there. I feel like I’ve been on holiday there since I was 22.”

It seems the 28-year-old has had enough of the focus being on his romantic life rather than his career. His relationship with fellow Twilight star Kristen Stewart dominated headlines before a very public split after she was caught cheating on him by a paparazzo’s lens, and now there’s endless speculation that he’s going out with every girl who happens to be in the same room as him. The fascination with his love life must be frustrating because, since the Twilight franchise ended, not many column inches have been expended on the impressive résumé he has been building.

In addition to working with Cronenberg twice, he gave one of his best performances as a left-for-dead armed robber in David Michôd’s Australian outback thriller TheRover and he’s just finished playing TE Lawrence for Werner Herzog in Queen of the Desert and photographer Dennis Stock for Anton Corbijn . On the horizon is an adaptation of David Grann’s book The Lost City of Z, to be directed by James Gray.

The impressive list has come about because the actor has been seeking out auteurs: “In the last two years, I’ve just done stuff just for the director and not really thought that much about the script,” he says. “Now I’m swinging it back a little bit, trying to get a medium between the two”

He’s clearly thankful to the Canadian director Cronenberg for taking a chance on him, especially when people wondered if all he had to offer was a blank stare into the eyes of his co-stars. “After working with Cronenberg it just opened stuff up. People sort of approach you in a different way. I think also when it got into Cannes as well. Now I’ve done a few other things and it kind of works on a bit of a roll, working with auteur-y guys.”

There is an odd link between Cosmopolis and Maps to the Stars, in that in Cosmopolis he played a financial hotshot who went around New York in his limo for pretty much the whole movie, whereas in Maps he plays a limo driver who wants to be a screenwriter. Pattinson quips, “It’s a bit weird. It’s like Cosmopolis was the audition for this: ‘Well he fits into a limo, why look for someone else?’”

Maps to the Stars is about the odd characters that populate Hollywood. Pattinson has an affair with a personal assistant (Mia Wasikowska) and then memorably has sex on the back seat of a car with her boss, Havana – Julianne Moore won the best actress gong at Cannes for her portrayal of an actress whose best days are behind her. It’s a Hollywood full of oddball characters that Pattinson knows all too well; “I’ve met characters that are pretty similar to those depicted. Everyone is saying that the film’s so biting, but I think it’s sympathetic to a host of characters. Women like Havana, in reality people would despise her, they don’t have any friends for a reason, but I don’t think anyone comes out of the movie hating her and I think that’s testament to Julianne’s performance. It’s interesting and that’s why people are interested in the subject, it’s a bunch of weirdos who spend a lot of time self-obsessing and talk about it afterwards.”

The 28-year-old says he’s not exactly in a position to talk: “I self-obsess a lot. When I’m doing interviews I’m always waiting for some stupid remark to come out.” When he first entered the room, his opening gambit to me was, “I’m so bad at doing press junkets”. As he said this he had a glint in his eye that gave the impression he thinks much of it is a charade. “I try to avoid getting into any subject where I’m locked into something. It’s not like I’m a politician or something. I used to be so dumb in interviews, I used to try and make jokes all the time and everyone is thinking, ‘this guy is a moron, he’s just been saying dumb stuff for years and years’.”

Herzog is a director he has long admired and he jumped at the change to appear in his Gertrude Bell biography Queen of the Desert, starring Nicole Kidman as the British archaeologist who helped draw the border between Iraq and Jordan at the turn of the 19th century. Pattinson has subsequently found out from his dad that he’s related to the traveller.

In the film he plays TE Lawrence. “It’s sort of close to the real guy, it’s certainly not [the film] Lawrence of Arabia-like,” he says. “At the same time the guy was really small and I’m not physically kind of right for the part, but I think I have quite a good little handle of who he is. After I got cast I started researching and there are certain things you can’t do as I’m just not physically the same so I had to invent it a little bit, and it’s a small part as well. The film’s about Gertrude Bell, it’s really not about making Lawrence of Arabia.”

And doing smaller role suits him just fine: “It’s quite nice doing small parts. Then the film isn’t totally reliant on what I do in it, so I get to work with who I want to work with and it’s not my fault if it doesn’t make any money.”


Source: The Independent UK

Rob’s full & unedited interview with Little White Lies

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The chiselled Brit teen idol tells LWLies about his work on The Rover and his swift transformation into an actor who’s always up for a challenge.

Robert Pattinson’s star power still burns across the globe but all he wants to do with it is make interesting art house movies. David Michôd’s The Rover fits that bill. Pattinson stars opposite Guy Pearce as a splash of humanity in a violent vision of post-apocalyptic Australia. We spoke to him at the Cannes Film Festival, where he also had David Cronenberg’s Maps To the Stars on the docket.

LWLies: David Michôd has said that there’s a very angry man – aka him – at the heart of The Rover. What emotions did you draw from for it and what emotions do you think it conjures?

Pattinson: It definitely conjures a lot of dread and anxiety but it was the character I was reading from. Also the first thing I connected to was purely a stylistic thing. Clean writing and also having it so stark. It was so original, even the way it looked on the page.

What did you find interesting about Rey when he first came into your life?

I thought it was quite interesting to read something where you actually can’t tell if the guy’s mentally handicapped or not. I asked David at the beginning in the auditions whether he was or not and he was like, ‘I don’t know. Maybe’ and then we established that he was someone who has  just been really severely bullied or someone that has been told that he’s mentally handicapped his whole life but it’s more to do with confidence. He’s really shy and people around him, his family, are really rough and have been slapping him around his whole life and so he’s decided that he can’t be his own person. He’s never even attempted to think for himself or speak for himself or anything. It was interesting, the only time when he is his own person is when a horrible man forces him into it.

He goes from being the only peaceful person left alive to not being that anymore.

I don’t think he even really knows what’s happening. I think you can force anyone to be anything. Eric is trying to make Rey more like him. I guess Rey sort of does become just like Eric in the end. He’s been forced to be someone who he’s not, even though it’s out of his comfort zone. He is better. He can stand up for himself a little more but it’s in this totally backward and weird way that’s completely pointless. And I think Eric looks at what he’s done. He’s created a monster and can see himself for this first time and it makes him reflect.

With Rey I was always interested in that dynamic where a husband is beating up their wife and the wife keeps coming back all the time and the worse the husband is the more the woman thinks he loves her and I like transferring that to the relationship of Rey and Eric slightly. I kept thinking that I hadn’t really seen that in a movie. I was kind of looking at it as a love story. There were scenes where I was trying to flirt with Guy.

Was he receptive to your advances?

He had no idea. Neither did David. I said half-way through, ‘You know I’m playing this as a love story.’ In one scene when he was kicking me I tried to put my hand up the back of his shorts. It was cut out of the movie.

Rey has a lot of distinctive vocal and physical traits. Did they come from you or were they something David told you to adopt?

I kind of did it before. It’s a little bit based on my cousin and also just extreme discomfort in yourself. Rey’s spent his whole life trying to hide, even inside himself and in how he’s speaking. He doesn’t want anyone to really hear him. I imagine those little slightly annoying dogs that people have spent their whole lives  kicking away. And he just keeps flopping around chasing after people. He hasn’t toughed up at all. He’s just this floppy, malco-ordinated kid.

I read that Guy Pearce said it was a very heavy atmosphere on set.


Was that not your experience?

No, I thought it was really fun. It was so relaxed. Playing a part like that there are no parometers to it. You just turn up and have no idea what you’re doing every day. You can be loose.

So you had fun in a post-apocalyptic vision of the future?

It was really fun. Just being out in the middle of nowhere. Also the crew was all staying in the same place and you never normally get that. As an actor, you usually go to an unfamiliar city but then everyone else lives in the city so they go home and you just go back to your hotel and it’s lame but this meant I was able to hang out with everyone else. It was amazing. It was really fun. I had such a good time.

Where does it rank in the fun movie shoots of your life scale?

Very, very close to the top.

What’s above it?

Probably the first movie I ever did. Being 16 or 17. They give you your own apartment and stuff. Shooting in Cape Town. It’s probably why I’m still acting. It’s ridiculous. How did this happen?

How do you find this experience, the media circus that you have to perform in that goes along with being an actor?

It’s so weird. I have such a disconnect. It’s really strange. Especially here in Cannes because I’m always so hungover. It was the Maps to the Stars premiere last night and we went to the after-party. I keep forgetting I have to work. Yesterday I did a whole day of interviews and I literally can’t remember a single thing I said. I start panicking at the end of sentences and thinking, ‘I can’t remember words.’

It must be weird having the expectation that you must make sense at any given moment in time.

I know! At the Maps to the Stars press conference everyone was so articulate. And I was like [makes noises]  the De Niro style of doing interviews. I can’t think quickly enough. I need to plan my answers. It’s amazing how articulate most actors are. Evan [Bird] is like 13 and I’m thinking, ‘How are you answering? This is your first ever interview!’

Maybe that freshness helps.

I find that with interviews I did have a lot of fun at the beginning because I didn’t realise that anyone actually read them. So there’s no responsibility whatsoever. You’re basically trying to tell jokes and then you realise that people remember and it’s written down and they ask you about it after and then you start to close down.

Also you don’t really want people to know who you are. It’s just the worst thing that can happen for an actor. It’s not even about them knowing who you are. It’s just saying enough stuff to make people think you’re a certain kind of thing. When I first started I had so many problems with people thinking, ‘Oh he’s just a private school English kid.’ No one wanted to put me in different parts because of that. Now people don’t even think I’m English anymore and that’s the Twilight baggage and I’m just coming out of that now. But it’s weird. It’s funny how things change. It’s like four years of having one public persona.

You’ve done a pretty good job of turning around perceptions. I was looking at what you’ve got coming out, and Werner Herzog was there. Does he direct in that extraordinary monotone?

Yes, it’s ridiculous. He’s so funny it’s insane because he wrote the script as well and it’s one of the most difficult scripts. It’s only a small part. I remember my first scene with Nicole Kidman and it’s something about the political situation in Turkey and then Werner comes up and he says, ‘This line is a joke! Say it as a joke! And I was like, ‘What?? What are you talking about?’ And then he just walks off and says, ‘It’s funny, it’s funny.’ Nicole said, ‘Good luck’. But Werner’s great. He’s exactly what you’d expect. He’s got so many amazing stories. On every single story he’s got an insider story.

He’s also got this constant existential awareness that’s quite soothing. I don’t know if you find it soothing?

He’s got this insane confidence as well. I think that’s where it all comes from. He’s got 100 percent belief in himself. It’s a little bit like Cronenberg so you feel fine to say, ‘Yes, I’ll just do whatever you say’

What did it require of you to manoeuvre from the blockbuster super-highway to the arthouse sidepath?

It just took quite a long time. Cosmopolis really changed everything. I’m basically just trying to recreate my DVD shelf from when I was 17. I’ve got my list of 20 directors.

Hit me.

I’ve crossed off like nine just over the last few years! Who else did I wanna get? Paul Thomas Anderson because everybody does, Jacques Audiard. Alfonso Cuarón I want to do a Godard movie. I’m doing Harmony Korine, James Gray, Olivier Assayas and James Marsh.

You got to exercise your singing muscles in The Rover. Will you be releasing your version of ‘Pretty Girl Rock’?

I’d never heard that song before David played it. I love that Rey would know all the words to that song. One of the more embarrassing things to do is to sit there and listen to it constantly. I’m so bad at remembering lyrics so I just had it playing constantly in my hotel room. It’s so catchy as well. But yeah. I’m definitely going to be releasing a cover version.

What role does music play for you in your life?

Not as much as it used to. I’ve got into a little bit of stagnation with music and I don’t know why. I’ve found a few different people recently but it’s weird how you can just stop listening to music sometimes. I don’t know. I’m trying to get back into it again now. I used to always listen to music when I was on set and use it for inspiration and I just don’t really. I just listen to rap all the time.

What do you love about movies?

When I first realised I really wanted to be involved in the industry I remembered and this is a very, very vague answer and I don’t even know what I’m saying, I remember watching One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and for some reason wanting to be that character afterwards. Being inspired. Pretending to be something else gives you confidence, even if it’s a false confidence for a second but I think it stays with you afterwards. I remember watching that and watching A Clockwork Orange and they both did the same thing. I was extremely shy when I was a kid. It was that movie that for some bizarre reason had me dressing up as Randle McMurphy. They’re the best mass education tools as well. Oh no, I’m too hungover…

The Rover is in UK cinemas 15 August.

Source: Little White Lies

Rob interviews with Detroit News

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His name is Rey and he does not look, talk or act like anybody’s idea of a teen heartthrob.

His teeth are crooked and foul. His hair is a bad bowl-buzzcut. He’s dirty from head to toe, and when he manages to speak, he mumbles disjointed sentences, often repeating them for no good reason.

He certainly bears little resemblance to the world’s most handsome vampire, the perfectly coiffed, sparkly skinned Edward Cullen, hero of the “Twilight” franchise. And yet Rey, the train-wreck at the center of the post-apocalyptic manhunt “The Rover,” is indeed played by the usually dashing Robert Pattinson.

“I generally don’t get picked for these parts,” Pattinson admits on the phone from L.A. “There’s about five actors who seem to have a lock on the weirdos. I’ve never really been perceived to be one of them — up until now maybe.”

How badly did Pattinson want the part? He auditioned for it. Twice.

Understand, this is a guy whose last movie, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” earned $829 million worldwide.

But he understood the need for an audition.

“Well, it’s very different from who I am, personally. There’s no way of really proving that I could have done it by just talking about it,” he says. “It would have been a giant leap of faith.”

Pattinson, 28, saw the jittery, perpetually insecure Rey as a literal underdog.

“In a pack of dogs there’s always one who will completely accept the beta position,” he says.

To help him find the right mindset, director David Michod had Pattinson watch the documentary “Bully,” which follows the lives of kids who are constantly picked on. The actor understood right away.

“People have been accusing you of having something wrong with you for so long that you believe it,” he says. “No one’s expecting anything from you, you stop thinking, you’re a dependent. You don’t have any choice. Really, the only thing he feels is fear of everything.”

It helped that co-star Guy Pearce happens to be a fairly imposing presence.

“Guy’s just got this constant pressure on you in a scene. And he’s got such a singular focus that you kind of end up just falling to pieces,” Pattinson says. “It’s like you’ve got a laser beam on you.”

Pattinson certainly has experience with bright lights. Born and raised in London, he started working in amateur theater at age 15. An agent spotted him there and by 2005 he had landed a small part in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

By 2008 he’d been chosen to play Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” series. Five movies and countless magazine and tabloid covers later, the franchise concluded last year with “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” having earned more than $3.3 billion.

Pattinson has learned to adapt to the spotlight over the years, and he even ventures out into public on occasion these days.

“You sort of weigh up what you want your day to be. If you say my friends are going to a movie or whatever and if you go you’re probably going to get a bunch of photographs taken of you,” he says. “Sometimes you’re cool with it, other times I don’t want to be bothered to deal with the stress of it. But I’ve definitely figured out a more balanced way to live than four years ago.”

Along with celebrity, “Twilight” brought Pattinson high visibility within the film world, and he’s been working with some of the most respected people around. He did “Cosmopolis” with director David Cronenberg in 2012 and stars in Cronenberg’s upcoming “Maps to the Stars.” He’s playing T.E. Lawrence in director Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert,” alongside Nicole Kidman and James Franco, and has “Idol’s Eye,” with Robert De Niro and Rachel Weisz, coming up.

Pattinson says “Twilight” probably gave him a boost with his peers, but he’s not sure how much of one. “Within the industry, lots of people I work with, none of them have seen ‘Twilight’ — but then Werner Herzog loves ‘Twilight’!” he says. “I think it’s helped me out in a lot of ways. You have to kind of figure out how to ride the wave afterward.”

And he wants to keep riding that wave, chasing the acting high.

“I guess I was a relatively shy person when I was younger. I still am kind of. It’s nice to challenge yourself, especially in big emotional scenes with a part you’re not capable of doing. To be able to challenge yourself in that way, it’s quite exhilarating,” Pattinson says.

“Especially when it goes right,” he adds. “It could be the worst thing ever.”

Source: Detroit News

Rob & Guy interview with Flicks and Bits

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‘The Rover,’ David Michod’s highly anticipated follow-up to ‘Animal Kingdom,’ is set in a world ten years following the collapse of the western economic system, where Australia’s mineral resources have drawn the desperados and dangerous to its shores. With society in decline, the rule of law has disintegrated and life is cheap. The film follows hardened loner Eric (Guy Pearce), who travels the desolate towns and roads of the Australian outback. When a gang of thieves steals his car they leave behind the wounded Rey (Robert Pattinson) in their wake. Forcing Rey to help track the gang, Eric will go to any lengths to take back the one thing that matters to him. ’The Rover’ opens in the US on June 20th and in the UK on August 15th.

You really get a sense of the heat in the film, and the exhaustion that the characters are likely feeling. How was it immersing yourself in in the true environment of ‘The Rover’? I imagine that allowed you to slip into character more efficiently?

Guy Pearce: It was great being out on location, and the heat obviously was a big part of what it was we were experiencing in the story anyway. So it was grueling and it was hot, but it was mixed with those incredible locations we were in. So it was all a part of the experience we were in. It’s kind of amazing being out there. It always helps to be in real locations. That extreme heat, those flies, and that vast expanse of desert – it just adds to it, like you’re putting on a costume. It takes you there.

Robert Pattinson: I genuinely couldn’t have answered that better (laughs). But I’d never shot like this anywhere before, there’s nothing for miles and miles. It’s fun to work with a crew in a tiny little town where everybody’s hanging out with each other all the time. You develop a great bond, and I haven’t had that for a while. You don’t get that with big studio movies.

So much of the film is within a precise balance of mood and atmosphere. How do you stay on top of that while shooting?

Guy Pearce: I’d worked with David before, but that aside, I’d seen David’s work as well and I know Rob had. Obviously I’ve seen ‘Animal Kingdom,’ I’m in it, but I’d seen David short films as well. So…. not to suggest he has a tone that he sets and it’s gonna be the same on every film, but in looking at the script and seeing those films and talking with David before we start, I really got that sense. One of the things I really respond to is the tone of a movie, whether it’s a comedy or whatever it happens to be – not that I do too many comedies (laughs). I think it’s one of those things you really absorb and you feel through your skin. So in a sense that enables you to understand the rhythm of the character. It’s the kind of stuff you are aware of to a certain degree even if you don’t necessarily talk about it everyday.

How do you see this relationship you have with Guy’s character in the movie? How does it relate to your own life experience?

Robert Pattinson: I think loyalty is probably the most important trait in a friendship. And I was really lucky to have pretty great friends growing up. All of my closest friends I’ve known them for at least 10 years. And it’s an interesting relationship in ‘The Rover,’ as Rey’s loyalty is so easily swayed. By the time he gets back to his real brother at the end of the movie, I kept thinking how to play it when he first sees him again. It’s almost like he’s forgotten who he is, he’s forgotten what that relationship was. That’s why he’s so conflicted at the end.

Simple and naive, Rey’s too young to remember a time when things were anything other than what they are in ‘The Rover.’ And although he’s described as halfwit during the film, your character seems pretty self-sufficient to a point. How did you prepare for your role?

Robert Pattinson: I’m not entirely sure he can really get around by himself particularly well (laughs.) As soon as he’s on his own for one second – that one moment he’s sitting under that tree at the beginning – he has absolutely no idea what to do. It’s just a fluke that he sees the car there. I think if his brother’s car didn’t end up being there, he’d just sit under that tree and die (laughs). But I think he responds to things out of instinct. In a lot of ways, he’s basically been kidnapped by this guy. It’s not like he’s done anything for him. He could easily get another car (laughs). But how did I prepare for it? It was the script. It was all in the script. When I first read the script, it was quite instinctive I think.

the rover guy pearce robertpattinson Guy Pearce & Robert Pattinson Interview For David Michôd’s ‘The Rover’

The film is set in a world of survival pure and simple, where it’s kind of shoot-first-or-die. How familiar were you with firearms, and was it awkward for you?

Robert Pattinson: I’ve done a couple of gun things. I’m quite anti-gun, especially for idiots like me to have them. I was actually supposed to do another film, playing a soldier where I did some stuff with guns. But I’m not particularly familiar. I don’t think I did any particular training either. Rey’s supposed to be pretty rubbish, but he ends up being incredibly accurate (laughs). The training, I didn’t like it at all. I don’t like the feeling of it. Obviously, you get a little thrill, the power trip of it. I felt a little silly holding a gun, though. Especially while shooting targets. You just have this bang-making machine (laughs)… after a while, it just loses its luster.

Guy Pearce: For me, I’ve done tonnes of movies with guns and I’ve shot a lot of people, and I’ve been shot a few times. I too have a real issue with guns. I find… they should be banished from the earth. They’re awful things. I feel really comfortable with them now, as a prop, because I’ve done so many things with guns. They’re fascinating as well. There’s this incredible thrill and power you feel as you have one in your hands because of that understanding of what you’re capable of doing with this thing is off the charts. It’s ridiculous, and it’s enticing, and it’s awful all at the same time. It just astounds me that so many people own guns in the world.

I imagine you were intrigued by the violent but complex nature of your role…?

Guy Pearce: Definitely. Strangely with this character and this movie, he’s cut off emotionally from a lot of things. I kill a number of people in the film, and there is a certain level of difficulty and regret that he feels, but at the same time there’s an ability to just kill another one, if he has to. It’s kind of a horrendous line that he treads, I think.

Eric’s really a shell of a man when we meet him in the film. He’s experienced harrowing personal events along with the evident demise of humanity. He’s a man questioning his own moral standing but feels he can’t answer that. Society has proven to be questionable itself, so he has no real marker to be able to gauge this anymore. On some level Eric has reached a very calm state. But it’s also clear that he’s lost and has come to the end of his metaphorical road. He has one last thing to do before possibly ending his life, and that task has been stifled by the theft of his car.

This is an abandoned world and there’s a lot of silent moments, but what were you thinking of during those moments… so much isn’t said? Did you come into it thinking a lot about your character’s backstory…?

Guy Pearce: For me, if there’s any backstory that’s not necessarily what I’m thinking about. That’s stuff I know that works for my character and gets you into a place of confidence to be able to go and play the character. It’s interesting as an actor, because you’re half thinking about what your character should be thinking about, and you’re half thinking about the technical stuff… I do sometimes. The camera position, and which way is going to evoke more of the appropriate emotion – if your heads down or across. I like not to think about that stuff too much, but sometimes you can’t help it. And whether or not you’re thinking of that or whether or not you’re just kind of conscious of that on some sort of level… and it changes all the time. But I think, particularly with a movie like this – it’s so subtle, but heavily laden with deeply rooted emotional stuff. You’re just trying to be in that stuff and sit in that emotional place, because that’s what’s going to translate the most honestly I suppose.

Robert Pattinson: That first moment, looking at you when you’re asleep in the chair. I suddenly remember that because I kept trying to play being stuck between two channels. It was interesting being in those moments, because it’s about not trying to think about anything at all (laughs) – being stuck between channels.

Source: Flicks and Bits