Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Robert Pattinson, who soared to global stardom in "Twilight" and has just committed to a screen adaptation of the fourth installment in Stephenie Meyer's best-selling series, is more than just a pretty face. The actor, who didn't go to acting school, talks to The Hollywood Reporter U.K. Bureau Chief Stuart Kemp in Cannes about how long it might take to fall in love, why he doesn't care who directs him as long as it's a good script and losing his car.
THR: Have you been to Cannes before?
Pattinson: I came here on holiday once when I was 12 but not since. I wouldn't appreciate it (here) as a holiday now.
THR: Let's talk about "Twilight." There are four books. Is the plan for you to do them all?
Pattinson: I have committed to the fourth one, "Breaking Dawn." But I don't know quite when Summit is going to shoot it because of my schedule.
THR: How is the script for "New Moon" different from the second book?
Pattinson: It kind of plays relatively close to it. I would still describe it as being a sort of supporting role (to Bella's story). I think it would have been a bit cheesy if it had just stayed as a voiceover part as my character is a voice in her head in the second book. They've shot these hallucination bits of the film. You're playing a figment of Bella's imagination and I was trying to do it in a really 2-D kind of way. I hope it doesn't come out flat and boring (laughs).
THR: What's the schedule for "New Moon"?
Pattinson: We've got four days left on the shoot for this. I'm going to Italy for the remaining days of the shoot.
THR: And then?
Pattinson: Then I'm going straight into filming (the relationship drama) "Remember Me," then have just three days off before going back to finishing up the third instalment in the "Twilight" series, "Eclipse." After that I am doing a film "Unbound Captives." I can't say much about that but I know the script needs me to learn Comanche! Maybe it'll be like in "Dances With Wolves!" My part is entirely in Comanche, ha ha.
THR: You've been shooting sequences from the second and third in the "Twilight" franchise at the same time. Is that harder for an actor than doing separate films?
Pattinson: Not really. We will just shoot the Vancouver bits (for 'Eclipse`') and then "Moon" is out later this year.
THR: How did "Remember Me" come about?
Pattinson: I read the script last summer and then met with (director) Allen Coulter and really liked it. It's quite a simple story but there was something about the character and way he spoke that was very similar to the way I speak. There is a naturalism to the writing and I really felt a connection to it.
THR: What's the script about?
Pattinson: I read somewhere it was being described as the modern day "Love Story." It isn't anything like "Love Story." It ("Remember Me") is really hard to describe. It about a 23-year-old guy and knowing someone for six weeks. You don't just fall in love and say, I'm in love, after six weeks. It's really a relationship story. It's very natural and the characters are incredibly real and well scripted. It's one of the few scripts I've read where you finish and realize you didn't really want it to end. I have no qualms in saying that (writer) Jenny (Lumet) is a genius.
THR: How so?
Pattinson: I went up to her house one weekend and we all hung out there and just chatted about the script and asked me what I wanted from it. She worked on the draft and about a week later she delivered this script. She'd captured little bits of my voice and all the inflections and mannerisms I have. The character in the script is quite similar to me.
THR: Playing yourself?
Pattinson: You can only really play yourself in a role once every 15 years I think (laughs). And you can only do it if its a good script and captures you properly. It is very therapeutic actually.
THR: Where and when?
Pattinson: It is set in NYC and will shoot there for eight weeks.
THR: You sound like you enjoyed helping with the writing of "Remember Me." A frustrated writer?
Pattinson: No, it's great when someone else is doing the writing for you.
THR: How do you see your career to date?
Pattinson: I didn't go to acting school, I fell into it. I don't really have conventional taste, and I want to only do films that I feel will be beneficial to my life. What we've molded with "Remember Me" is a very exciting and subtle work. I don't really understand acting as acting. I'm definitely not one of those people who can just look scared when they're told to by a director.
THR: How do you select projects?
Pattinson: If there's a good script I don't care who the director is that is attached. I like the most random scripts and I am really close friends with my agent. She really gets me and knows my taste. Occasionally she'll say, "I've got this really awful script but maybe you should read it anyway," and I look at a page and agree with her. I barely ever like scripts actually. After I did "Twilight," I really wanted to work but just didn't see a script I liked. I ended up doing nothing for a whole year. It was frustrating.
THR: Did the huge global success of "Twilight" affect you as an actor?
Pattinson: I prefer to do nothing than something stupid. I feel there's so much pressure because of this idea of career. It's a little worrying. It made so much money that now you get judged not by how good the film is but how much money the film your in is making. That's the scary thing now.
THR: Presumably there will is the hope that people who like you from "Twilight" will go and see "Remember Me"?
Pattinson: It's going to be helped by that. I just hope when people go and see it, they don't say, "Edward wouldn't do that." That's not going to be good!
THR: Do you still have a place in London?
Pattinson: I gave up my flat a year ago. I'm not really living anywhere at the moment because basically I am constantly working and on the road.
THR: Nothing to ground you?
Pattinson: I don't even remember where I left my car (in Los Angeles). It's probably been towed away by now. that's my only immovable possession and now I don't know where it is! (Laughs.) It was important to me because it was the first car I ever bought. Made me feel like a man, buying a car.