Some of these questions we've read it before, but there are a lot of new ones. SPOILERS!
In his new film, the romantic drama “Remember Me,” Robert Pattinson plays Tyler, a rebellious young man in New York City who has had a strained relationship with his father (Pierce Brosnan) ever since tragedy separated their family.
Tyler didn’t think anyone could possibly understand what he was going through until the day he met Ally (Emilie de Ravin) through an unusual twist of fate. Love was the last thing on his mind, but as her spirit unexpectedly heals and inspires him, he begins to fall for her. Through their love, he begins to find happiness and meaning in his life. But soon, hidden secrets are revealed, and the circumstances that brought them together slowly threaten to tear them apart.
“Remember Me” is an unforgettable story about the power of love, the strength of family, and the importance of living passionately and treasuring every day of one’s life. The film also stars Academy Award winner Chris Cooper (“Adaptation”) and Academy Award nominee Lena Olin (“Chocolat”).
Robert Pattinson talked about his role as executive producer on “Remember Me,” what it was like working with Pierce Brosnan, and his upcoming film “Bel Ami” which he is currently shooting in England. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: What was it like to be an executive producer on this?
RP: I’m glad Nick’s (Nick Osborne) not in the room anywhere. I mean, I can’t really claim to be a proper producer. I only really came on towards the end of the movie. I was always completely on the same page with Allen (Coulter) and Nick about how they wanted to make it, and then I just wanted to make sure, as much as I could help, to protect the process. I consulted and I talked to them and stuff but I don’t want to claim any kind of creative input.
Q: Is that something you’re looking to do to control your career down the line?
RP: Yes. I was never there. Allen and Nick were there right at the nexus along with Will (Fetters) and they really championed the whole script the whole time. But yeah, I’d love to do it. I’d love to be involved in the whole process. Inevitably things become out of your hands so that the more input you can have when you can have input, the better.
Q: Did you learn a lot on this by coming in later on?
RP: Definitely, yeah. Also, at the beginning, when we were doing the rewrites of the script, it’s so nice being able to talk to everyone involved. You just don’t get that. Never. So, it was really great.
Q: This is a story about love and loss. Have you ever felt confused or lost in what you want to do in life and your career? Have you ever lost anyone dear to you or a pet?
RP: [Laughs] Yeah, I mean, to an extent. It’s terrible. I keep talking about my dog all the time. It’s an incredible dog, which I said in this interview the other day, like the dog was the most important part of my life. My family went crazy with me for saying that. But, however ridiculous it may seem to some people, it was one of the defining moments of my life. It was the worst day of my life. I mean, the dog died. I’ve lost a lot of family members as well. Strangely, that’s one of the things. At the same time, I’m talking to people, you know, when they’re talking about acting, they’re like “Picture your dog dying if you want to cry.” I would never do that. It cheapens the memory so much. [Laughs] I don’t know if that really answers the question.
Q: Did you always know what you wanted to do?
RP: No, not really. I still don’t. You try to make every little thing, you try to add something to it. I don’t know. I try to do film projects, I try to choose things which I think I can give something more to or help to elevate it to something.
Q: Allen mentioned that you had to act when you’re surrounded by fans. How do you concentrate and focus on your performance?
RP: It is really just like blanking out. At the beginning, I was having loads of problems with it because it was really crazy when we were filming around Washington Square Park. It was just complete mayhem. There was this moment when one of the security guys saw me getting more and more angry with these paparazzi guys and he just said, “Okay, imagine going over and trying to hit someone and missing in front of 40 cameras,” and that was enough to break my whole thing. It didn’t really bother me afterwards. It’s weird. It’s strange. I did a film where I hardly knew anyone on the crew or anything, because I couldn’t get out of my trailer when we were shooting, especially for the first month. I mean, I didn’t know any of them. It was really odd. But, at the same time, it’s quite a good lesson in life – discipline -- because you literally have to do it. At the end of the day, you can’t just say “I’m not doing it until these people go away.” It was way more intense than any of the Twilight films. There’s never even that many people who turn up for that. It was definitely an experience.
Q: Do you think it impacts the performance though? Does it distract you enough to actually detract from your performance?
RP: It makes you a little more self conscious. Yeah, I think there are some bits. If you wanted to really, you know, you can’t experiment with things. In the rehearsal period, you’ve got these people videoing it and so you can’t do silly things to get yourself comfortable. So, it did in a way. I’m doing a thing now where there’s no one around and I feel a million times more comfortable, so it must have had some effect. But, at the same time, there are certain qualities about Tyler, like being a little bit clenched and hiding and suppressing a lot of his emotions, so maybe it helped.
Q: What are you doing now where no one’s around? Are you shooting in Siberia?
RP: [Laughs] It’s in England for one thing which is very different to the States. The hysteria around the Twilight stuff, I mean, it’s growing a little bit, but it’s completely different. But, it’s a period thing so we’re in all these stately homes in the middle of nowhere and people just can’t find the places. Half the crew can’t find the places.
Q: What is the title?
RP: It’s called “Bel Ami.”
Q: How is it playing an American and adopting an American accent and behaviors?
RP: It is really odd how that’s happened. But then again, in the last 5 years, in L.A. you see every single actor who’s going to auditions and stuff, everybody’s Australian or English or something, everyone. I mean, in the last 5 years, I used to be like that. I mean, a guy from England, and you could really use it to your advantage as well. You can’t use it anymore. It’s more of an advantage being an American. [Laughs] But yeah, it’s odd. I grew up watching tons of American films. That’s kind of why I wanted to be an actor from watching Americans. No one’s really influenced me as much, who’s English or from some part of Britain, as American actors [have]. In other words, I feel more comfortable speaking an American accent in films. I think it feels more of a film to me. I feel like I’m kind of pretending when I’m using my own accent.
Q: What was it like working with Pierce Brosnan? You had to keep that tension on the screen. Did that bleed over?
RP: Yeah, I mean, no, we weren’t…there was no tension at all. He’s like the nicest guy. He’s really nice. I had no idea what to expect from him at all. He’s incredibly hard working. There’s not a hint of pretense or anything about him. And also, if I wanted to go rehearse or I wanted to talk about something with Allen, he’d always be willing to come across. He’d cancel things to go and talk about it. Considering we didn’t have that many scenes together as well, he would always come and I’d want to talk about it all the time. So yeah, he was great in that respect.
Q: Did he give you any advice on how to handle being a celebrity?
RP: He did one thing the first night I went out to dinner with him, just before we started shooting. We were in this place. It was an old-fashioned type of French restaurant with all these banker-looking guys. They didn’t recognize me but they recognized him obviously. He’s probably their idol in a lot of ways. He noticed these people looking over and I’m sitting there and getting more and more self-conscious. I need to leave. You know, I didn’t even realize they weren’t looking at me. And he goes up to them and introduces himself to everybody in the restaurant. At first, I was saying “What are you doing? You’re completely insane.” But it worked so well and he talked to them for a minute, and people do not look around afterwards and you can tell they’re going to go home and say “That was such a nice guy.” And there’s nothing weird about it, being in the restaurant with him afterwards. You’re no longer a kind of freak. But he’s got phenomenal confidence and so he can do that type of stuff. If I went up, it would look like I was trying to start a fire or something. [Laughs] “Hey, how ya doin’, huh?” I mean, it would look really stupid.
Q: Do you ask advice from people who have been where you are now? Are there tricks for dealing with all of this?
RP: I think it’s all really simple. From what I’ve seen, you look at how people are judged in the public arena. I think the majority of people who get beaten by it are just the people who are seen all the time, and so the less you’re seen, then you’re alright. As long as you keep attempting to make quality films, then eventually your name stands for something other than just meaningless celebrity. It’s a kind of difficult battle. You’ve got to make the work mean more than your celebrity. I think people like Johnny Depp have done that. He’s not judged at all for his public image. It’s just his work that’s judged. It’s a really, really difficult thing. It’s a lot of discipline and a lot of hiding which you have to get used to.
Q: I liked the relationship between your character and his little sister. How did you develop such a nice chemistry?
RP: I don’t know. She was just really cool. I always liked the idea of having a younger sibling. My family tricked me about 5 years ago that my mom was pregnant and I didn’t realize it was April Fools’ Day. They spent the entire day saying I was going to have a little brother, which I told all my friends it was the best day of my entire life. [Laughs] I carried on for 3 days believing it. It’s weird because now, after working with Ruby (Jerins), I liked it a lot. Whenever I see a part now, like a younger brother or I’m looking at parts where I’ve got a kid, I just love the idea of it. I’m getting like broody. [Laughs] It’s weird. It’s so bizarre. She was great to work with. She’s an amazing actress and a really interesting girl. She was really fantastic.
Q: This took place around September 11th, 2001. Do you remember what you were doing then?
RP: Yeah, I was still at school. I was doing my mock exams and my teacher came in and said “You need to stop doing what you’re doing and everyone needs to go watch.” And the whole school was brought down to watch the television. They were saying your entire generation’s lives are going to be completely different from this point on. And I guess it has been as well and I think will be for maybe the generation after us as well. I mean, it ended up being a massive event in my life.
Q: Was bicycling in Manhattan a fun experience?
RP: Yeah. It was fun. That bike broke every single time I was riding it so I have no idea. It was sort of cheap and I hadn’t ridden a bike for like 5 years before that as well, so I couldn’t really remember how to do it. That was the other thing as well about shooting. That was the one scene where they didn’t have any crowds around. It’s funny. I realize there are ways to sneakily start filming when no one can be around and I wished we’d figured that out in the beginning, because we’d done all the permits and false names and all these things which I shouldn’t probably say. But yeah, it was fun doing it.
Q: What was your favorite scene in this film?
RP: I think the scene where I confront Caroline’s Billy. That was the most fun to do. I mean, a lot of the scenes with Caroline. I really liked working with her, mainly because you don’t have to do anything. You could just look at her. It’s one of the only times I haven’t been self-conscious at all when I’ve been filming. It’s just so easy to do things with her. Whatever she did, I could completely go off of that. She was always leading the scene, so yeah, probably the scenes with her.
Q: Are you looking forward to pursuing music more?
RP: Yeah, I want to do it at the end of the year. All my friends are recording albums now so I’m very annoyed about it. But I can’t do the two things at the same time. I don’t know how people do it. All these people like Jennifer Lopez and they do everything all at once. My mind is in a completely differently place. I don’t even listen to music when I’m working.
Q: Do you have a company or are you thinking of establishing a company because it seems like you can do whatever movie you want?
RP: I want to. Yeah. I want to start a thing which encompasses music and writing as well. But, it’s just time. I don’t think I’ve established myself enough in film and definitely not in music. I haven’t done anything in music. I think you need to have a lot of good will towards you to be able to get one really going. You look at George Clooney’s company. They make great movies which wouldn’t be made otherwise. And Leonardo DiCaprio’s company as well. He’s got great people working there. They all have really good taste and they’ve made a lot of people a lot of money. I think it takes time. I want everything all at once and it’s difficult to think like that, so I’m trying to slow down a little bit.
Q: Are you filming your new movie right now?
RP: Yeah, I’ve done two weeks and I go back on Thursday. That’s why I’m kind of spaced out. [Laughs]