British actor Robert Pattinson can not complain about his succes. Especially because of his role in the vampire series Twilight Saga, Part 1 – which will be broadcast wednesday (on Dutch tv), he grew into a world star. Nevertheless, he still considers his fame as strange. ”Many people go insane when they become famous,” he told us in an exclusive interview.
There is a long line of fences around the luxurious L’hotel Amigo in the heart of Brussels, heavily guarded by soldiers and men with earpieces. The group of young people in front of the fences is growing rapidly. They’re all looking forward to meeting Robert Pattinson (25), who is doing a European promotional tour in honor of his latest Twilight Saga movie: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (in Dutch cinemas next Wednesday). Unfortunately for them, the actor is kept pretty occupied inside. He will only meet his Belgian fans that same evening at a special fan event. ‘Who knows, maybe they all look like Tintin’, the actor says laughing.
Fans – the young world star has had to deal with them a lot. And in Europe they’re not too bad, he says knowingly. ”The further south you go on the globe, the more intense it becomes. In Brazil, everyone wants to touch and hug you, and so they’re all storming at you by the hundreds, without realizing how frightening that is. Especially if you’re a loner by nature, like me.”
Pattinson – just finished with filming Cosmopolis, directed by David Cronenberg – looks more bearded then in his Twilight films, but also relaxed and cheerful. The word “brooding” is used frequently in the press to describe his looks, which is certainly not applicable. Even though demonstrating a hefty dose of typically British self-mockery, he does hide a brooding nature underneath. ”In public, I hardly ever show feelings,” he explains. ”That’s what happens when everything you do is put under a magnifying glass. But if you’ve spent some time hiding behind your public mask, and you’re back in your own environment, then all that suppressed emotions still has to be set loose. As a result you are going to behave like a nutcase. I think thats why so many people who are famous go nuts, haha. “
That won’t take flight with him, but Pattinson does remarkably little effort to disguise his inner abyss. ”People often ask me if I recognize myself in Edward Cullen (Twilight protagonist of the series), they’re referring to” Edward who is so perfect,” he notes.” While all I see is a guy who has become prey of doubt and loathing. He hates himself. But then I think maybe that’s just all my own negative projection… “
So much success should come with a little more confidence, you might think. Pattinson sighs deeply. ”That’s what my parents get mad about as well. In their eyes I should be happy with what I have accomplished. But I will never think that my success has something to do with my personal accomplishments. It was pure luck, and it just happened to me. In fact, I am still trying to find out what exactly happened to me, and what to do with it all. In any case I am not going to hang out and relax on the beach because I have enough money now. Quite the contrary. My ambition has only grown.”
His image as a modern romantic hero doesn’t mean anything to him. Pattinson wants to prove himself as an actor. ”But only to myself and my friends,” he warns. ”If you derive from the security view of the general public, you;re digging your own grave. Online numerous people are already do their best to bring me down. “
When asked if Breaking Dawn Part 1 has given him enough opportunity to show off his acting talent, he replies grinning: “That remains to be seen. After the first part of the series it has become mostly Bella’s story. In the book Edward is mainly worried and on the sidelines. So I added a few things to keep it interesting for the audience. With that I’m not saying that the film isn’t exciting, because it most certainly is. Author Stephenie Meyer gone all out in this last part. It’s one big nightmare, more violent and extreme than I ever thought possible. “
The fans probably already know: In Breaking Dawn Part 1 Edward and Bella get married, and during the honeymoon Bella becomes pregnant. A disaster is about to unfold, as she is human and he is a vampire. Meanwhile, we may conclude that the subject of the series has become more mature. Pattinson nods. ”In the previous movies, sex was avoided, and that’s no longer the case” No, he did not invent the sex scene by himself. ”Don’t be ridiculous. Sex on a film set is by definition stupid. And on top of that you just know that in this case all the fans have formed their own idea about that scene. So you need to live up to it somewhat. But meanwhile everyone is on all over it, because it cannot be too realistic in relation to the low age of the cinema audience. I’ve never been on a filmset and been told by so many people how to behave in bed ‘
Looking pale but awake, Rob apologizes, “I drank so much coffee this morning I might have vomited”. He’s sporting a new haircut, “It’s for my next movie. I had to cut it randomly. I thought about shaving it off, but I thought of only cutting one part, and I liked it so much in the end, that I kept it.” Always with a big smile on his face, and laughing through most of the interview, the superstar shares his thoughts on the finale of the saga that catapulted him to fame.
Analyzing Edward, do you think he’s a week guy? Is he too passive at times, eventhough inside he feels this great passion and love? He’s very romantic too, how do you see him?
I think he’s helpless. I’ve always thought – and if you pay close attention to the character you can see it too – that he’s a guy that has been so lonely for so long that he goes crazy, and that’s why he is the way that he is. That’s all I can think of, whenever I think about him in the first three movies, and how he finds himself more in each movie. It was interesting reading the fourth book, because I didn’t agree with most of his actions. I didn’t like the way he behaved. In the previous books you could understand the reasons behind his actions, and even sympathize with him, but I was not getting him at all in this movie “Why are you doing this?! You’re a whimp!” I really didn’t understand him, and it was fun trying to legitimize those weird actions, and it was an interesting way to close the saga for me. I guess he becomes more of a hero in Part 2 for the first time, though it’s Bella who saves him all the time, for once. But it’s interesting how he’s more impulsive and selfish in Part 1, which makes him go crazy. And in the first movie he’s always orchestrating everything.
Can you talk about what happens in Part 1 and Part 2?
It’s a little unusual, because it’s almost as if this story is about getting married, and I’m playing the girl. I’m the woman obsessed with getting married, and the guy doesn’t want to and she wants everything to be perfect and everything ends up being crap, and she’s disappointed… I’m playing the disappointed bride! It’s so weird, it’s the same thing; in his mind he has a contingency plan for every situation, and he’s going to marry the love of his life and everything is all planned out. She will become a vampire after. But then they have a baby and everything is turned upside down, and he loses his mind. It’s weird playing that version of Edward. He’s so confused and crazy, because in previous movies he’s always collected and in control, he restricts himself, blah blah, and now he’s got nothing, and he goes crazy because he loses that control, he has sex and that shocks him so much to the point that he blames himself for everything, and it’s bigger than everything else that has happened in the saga.
Have you observed a lot of married people? Sounds like you’ve seen too many desperate brides and reluctant grooms.
I know the clichés! I’ve only been to one or two weddings in my life. I’ve been to so many funerals though.
Where were you swimming? They showed a clip at Comic-Con.
That was shot in the Caribbean. They wanted to shoot in Canada, in the middle of winter. I was like, “No way that is happening!” It was fun. A little ridiculous having to do this in the ocean, and trying to look like a statue, but I had to be far enough where it was already deep, so there were two people at the bottom holding a box. If you look closely, you can see that I’m kind of swining. I told Bill, “Please don’t use that take, I look like an inflatable sausage!”.
A girl at Comic-Con asked you about your pecs, did you work out for that?
Yes, I tried not to think about it. Because in the book Edward’s body is described as “chiseled”, blah blah, and I managed to not take my shirt off the entire series like Taylor. I thought it objectified the men or whatever, and I said “No way! I won’t take my shirt off and I will not work out!”, but then I thought “What the heck, it’s the final movie”.
Did you become addicted to it? Collin Farrel once told us that he replaces all his vices with excercise.
No, I didn’t trade my vices. I worked out until I had to take my shirt off, but the next day I stopped. Literally, I stopped. It’s too boring to me.
What did Bill Condon bring to the franchise? You’ve had a different director for each movie. How was Bill like?
I think he understands the humor in the story, and how silly some of the situations are. He’s not afraid to get close to that stuff, unlike David Slade who wanted everything to be so serious like a traditional, scary vampire movie, and I think Chris Weitz would’ve looked for that humor too, but he had the most depressing sequel, where there was no humor at all. Only the first third of that movie is light.
What about filming two movies at once?
For me it was easy because my character doesn’t change so much. For Taylor and Kristen it was hard because they were working with 260 pages. It’s hard to know what you’re doing the next day, and there were days when we filmed scenes for the first movie and scenes for the second movie, and very different scenes they were.
Did you enjoy seeing Kristen getting her vampire make up done for once?
Yes! Because all this time she’s been wearing black contact lenses for Bella, and she said it was so easy. But that’s because ours were painted and they’re super uncomfortable. As soon as she put them on she was all, “You can’t see anything! You think you’re doing something and your face is not showing those emotions!”
You were more tired back then. How does it compare to making movies where you’re friends with everybody, to making a new movie where you don’t know anyone? Is it refreshing?
Yes, sometimes nerves are the best part of doing a new movie, and the more comfortable and familiar you are with everything on a movie set, the easier it is to let go of those nerves, and that’s something that has worried me about working in Twilight. But I’m always doing a scene with Kristen and she will never take a scene lightly, een just for herself, for her own ego, she wil, always try to do the best job pssible, and that keeps me alert. Als, what happens when you’re about to film a scene with people you’ve known for years, you start talking and you don’t mind. I just did Cosmopolis, and there’s so many great actors involved, and the environment is so different. I’ve never been so nervous than when I did the first take, the first rehearsal.
Read more of the interview here.
Acting less shy than the first time we met her, Kristen cracks a joke when she sees someone’s old coffee mug on her place “Oh, that’s just not right! Who left that there? It probably has anthrax”. When they let her know she already has people who tastes her food before her, she makes fun of it by noting that if that was true, it would’ve been published somewhere by now “Great idea! Keep saying that!” The truth is, eventhough she’s still the same person, there’s a newfound confidence in her than when she first started Twilight. She may have a bodyguard now, but she’s far from a diva full of excentricities.
As an actress, do the choices that Bella made bother you, or did she do something you wouldn’t necessarily agree with?
There were a couple of things that took me a while to understand, moments where I asked myself What is she doing, because she’s very practical. Normally, she doesn’t have huge reactions, and if she does, they’ve all come from places where I can understand them, and I’ve always loved that about the story. You have your central character in a story that is very romantic and very far away from reality, and she just lets herself go, despite not being really the type of person who would, you know?
Can you explain the things she goes through in this movie?
In the beginning of a relationship, a couple can stay together and be perfectly happy. Here, they struggled so much to stay together from day 1, and to have a normal life, and for a moment they finally have that, you can feel it. You experience that with them for a good portion of the movie, until something comes between them again, and it feels strange because they thought their relationship was solid. It’s not like they’re breaking up, but for the first time you see them trying to solve couple problems, and not life and death siutations. These are things they can work through. But here she becomes a new person. She had always been focused on Edward. In that sense, the story has been simple, and then all of a sudden it changes tracks because of the child she wants to bring into the world but that nobody wants, and everybody is kind of against her. You see the story for the first time, through someone else’s eyes, and I thought that was interesting. She’s like a wild cat in a corner bearing her teeth at everyone “Back off!”.
Even if you need a boydguard all the time?
I love him too! He’s so big, look at him. I love what I do. I mean, you can sit here and think, but you never reach a good conclusion about why you do what you do. Sure, you do it to be other people for a while, but I don’t need to escape from my life. I love my life. Some people want to have experiences and learn from them, and have an imagination that helps you find your own way, and it’s something that looks real, but it’s not. It’s a strange way to live. Sometimes I find myself in situations when I just know this is what I want to do. That is acting. The moments when you’re living something through someone else, and you learn from it, and you meet other people. It’s surreal and fun. You can give that product to the world, or just have fun, sit back and watch.
I remember when you were just getting started. You had so many dreams and plans, and wanted to do other things besides acting. You wanted to live in Sydney and write, am I correct? What happened to that dream?
I’m still writing. I love it. I’ve been working so much, so I haven’t moved to Sydney. I had a huge desire to go to school but I lost it. I’m not a very disciplined person. They have to force me to do things. If there’s no production start day, I won’t even write notes on the script. I just don’t. But that’s ok. I’m happy, and I like challenges, and those were my aspirations when I was younger. But right now I’m fine where I am.
What about the wedding? Taylor said he wasn’t invited, so he missed it.
He wasn’t invited! But he’s in one of my favorite scenes in the movie, after the wedding. He missed the ceremony but he was at the party.
Did you choose the dress? How involved were you in the process of finding the perfect dress? Even if you weren’t the actual bride in real life.
At times I did feel like that. It was a huge deal, and it’s weird what happens to bride on her wedding day. There’s so much pressure. My dress was… I loved my dress. There were so many people involved in the design. Everybody gave their opinion, especially me,Bill, Stephenie, Wyck. It was our thing, we made sure of it. Other people made the final call, but we were happy. It wa great. We had it covered the entire time, so between takes I couldn’t feel pretty and elegant. I had a Volturi cape covering me up the entire time. We filmed the wedding in two days, and there was a helicopter trying to snap pictures. It felt like a real wedding.
Was that emotional for you?
Oh, yes! Especially when I arrived on set, before I put the dress on. Everybody was waiting for me. Since the dress is a huge deal, we waited for everybody to be ready, and when I was given the OK, I put it on and went to the set. It was weird having all the people I know sitting there. It felt like we were all finishing something together.
Was Rob laughing the whole time? You all seem to have a great relationship.
He’s ridiculous. He’s a dork. It was weird. He couldn’t stop laughing during my takes, or me during his. We couldn’t pretend to look somewhere else. The first shot was his, which sucked because I thought I was going first. I had to go first! But I didn’t, it was dreadful, because I wanted to have that experience, and I knew it wasn’t the same if we did it twice. I didn’t want to have to go back and do everything again, everything I was going through. He asked me why I kept covering my face, and that was good because he kept trying to sneak a peek. The pressure made the scene look good in the end.
Do you think she had to become a vampire in order to keep him?
No, in fact he wants her to stay human and tries to leave her. I mean, you need to be very strong to tell the person that you love that they’re being weak. She’s the one who realizes it must be done.
Is there anything you love about playing the strong girl?
Yes, I’m excited about finding a proactive woman who doesn’t just sit there waiting for help. Typically, a female role is either a chick-flick role, or all men are helping her in the way. I think there’s certain archetypes to build female characters, and you’re always seeing her sitting around, and in this movie [Snow White] we have a girl who is broken, and she builds herself up, she finds her own identity. For her that’s intimidating, because she’s a noble. She’s been taught leadership her whole life, and she can’t get away from that. She’s not afraid of things that other people are afraid of. She channels that fear and moves on, she takes advantage of the situations she’s in, and the way she’s been put down, and she shows everybody that she’s leader, and she can make it.
You’ve matured a lot during the making of this saga…
Sure! Every project shapes you in a way. I don’t want to be too specific, but I’m always very connected to every movie I make. I feel like I ca come back and do every single one of them better, and I’m so connected to this environment, and it’s a dangerous situation when you go crazy for a movie because you want it to be good and people to go see it. It’s a long process and you’re under a microscope, and to me that’s always new. passion is not bigger or smaller, it’s the same, but then all of sudden everybody is looking at you, so I feel like I’ve become more focused and down to earth. It’s easy to realize what you should be focusing on.
What was it like to be pregnant on film?
It was weird. Technically, the belly was so big, too big, and light, so I complained because I could move easily and that’s not right. You can’t prepare because what happens with this pregnancy is very unnatural. But Stephenie wrote everything with great detail.
Read the rest of the interview here.
Where would Rob be w/o Twilight?
Rob Talks Filming Emotional Scene
Rob Talks Honeymoon Expectations
Rob Talks Bel Ami and Unbound Captives
Josh: Mr. Pattinson, how are you?
Rob: I’m good yeah, how are you?
Josh: Good, I’m good. Ok we’re not finished, there’s still a ways to go, but we came back a little bit. Where the hell would you be without Twilight?
Rob: Would I be dead? *laughs*
Josh: *laughs* No, would it be that bad?
Rob: Um, I don’t know. I have no idea.
Josh: Do you think you would’ve stuck with acting? It’s kind of well known you were kind of on the fence at a certain point about whether to keep going with this thing or not.
Rob: I don’t know. I always, I think a lot of actors think about that all the time because you just kind of have to confront your insecurities quite a lot and I have plenty..*laughs* ..plenty of insecurities!
Josh: Even now, with the whole world loving you?
Rob: Even more! Before you can kind of bullshit yourself all the time. Like if no one cares about you can be like, “I’m the greatest person in the world”, and just be completely delusional.
Josh: Are there moments though when you buy into it a little bit where you’re like “you know what I look good there” or “I’m pretty awesome”?
Rob: Like not for a while. Yeah, I almost get sick to side with myself. *laughs* Plus, I’m getting older as well.
Josh: Yeah, look at you..(jokingly)
Rob: I’m almost 50!! *laughs*