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"For the first time I realized how weird I will feel when the saga is over” - ROBERT PATTINSON.
Since you’re not Amish or a character from Lost (stop me right here if I’m wrong), we won’t bother presenting Robert Pattinson, 24, the vampire who sparkles in the sun; the actor unknown two years ago who conquered Hollywood and turn girls all over the world, very pale. You already know that. You must know,as well, that Eclipse,Twilight (put in the hands of David Slade, Hard Candy’s director) will open July 7th, only seven months after New Moon.
The vampire series weighs today more than a billion dollars in the worldwide box-office but this isn’t over since fourth installment, Breaking Dawn, is expectedon November 2011.
Pattinson is crawling under the new projects and is negociating now an important turn in his career: becoming the new Johnny Depp or joining Orlando Bloom and Hayden Christensen on the bench.
Just as he finished filming Bel Ami, based on Maupassant’s novel and as he was about to start on Water for Elephants, a drama by Francis Lawrence (I Am legend) with Reese Witherspoon and Christopher Waltz, we caught RPattz for an exclusive interview.
Première: The last time we talked, you were filming New Moon, the second Twilight movie. Here we are again, a year later for the opening of Eclipse. I’m having a hard time keeping up it’s going so fast …
Robert Pattinson: There were only two months between the filming of New Moon and Eclipse, during which I made Remember Me. Everything, went by so fast that I never felt like I quit twilight. But I was still sort of lost when I started Eclipse. I didn’t have the time to prepare myself so I needed a few weeks to accommodate myself.
P: What did you expect from a director like David Slade and did was he different on the set from what you imagined?
RP: I had no idea what I could expect from a director specialized in more mature films, who’s not afraid of explicit violence. Honestly, I was wondering how his universe would merge with the one of Twilight, which isn't known for its nerve-raking violence. David had a clear idea of what he wanted to do; he had a different work method than Catherine and Chris’.
P: Like what?
RP: Eclipse introduces a lot of new characters; the atmosphere is less stuffy than in the first two movies. Twilight was centered on Edward and Bella’s romance, New Moon on Jacob and Bella’s relationship with Edward at the the periphery. Eclipse allows each character to have its ‘moment’ the spectrum is wider. The movie is, also, more rhythmed by action, and less focused on everyone’s intimacy.
P: Knowing that there is a big fight scene between the wolves and the vampires at the end, did you ever think you were filming (in) a war movie?
RP: You have no idea. We had to go through a special training for almost a month before the filming of the first shoots, to learn how to fight and to organize the stunts. It was nothing like in the previous movies were the rehearsals were more standard. For this one, we needed an intense physical preparation. The funny thing was that the vampires and the wolves each had their own training camp.
P: Did you have a trainer who yelled at you and ordered you to do push-ups?
RP: Constantly. And here I thought that it would be just like the other movies: Kristen, Taylor and I in a room, going through the script. I was surprised.
P: Choosing David Slade to direct Eclipse was surprising and showed bravery from Summit’s part, which produces the saga …
RP: I don’t know if it was done on purpose but each director that worked on the movies was nothing like the previous one/were all different. Catherine and Chris had diametrically opposite styles, as artistes but as people, too. The same goes for David. They all practice a specific type of cinema. Which is good: I like going on the set and not knowing what’s in store for me. I’m actually impatient to see what Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) will do of the last movie. It will be different too.
P: All the juicy stuff is in Breaking Dawn: The sex scene, a birthing scene in which your character performs a C-section with his teeth…
RP: I know! I’m wondering how they will be able to translate this on screen. We’ll end up with a R rated movie … Can you imagine if we decided to go all in and turn Twilight into a raw saga for adults with sex scenes and everything? Summit would appear as the most progressive studio in the world. This would be funny.
P: I’m sure Stephenie Meyers would love that! Some fans made a petition to keep the movie adaptation of BD as faithful as possible, and to give the movie an R rating. Since the majority of the audience is young, they’re actually campaigning to get their access into theater denied.
RP: *laughs* I’m sure they would buy the dvd and appreciate it even more.
P: When you got the script for Eclipse, what were the scenes you were the most impatient to film?
RP: Until now, the majority of the scenes in Twilight were between me and Kristen. I was happy to play this role with other actors. In the first two volumes, I always felt like Edward was hidden and reserved. In Eclipse, he’s angry; he sort of flies off the handle. It looks simple said like this but he seems less taciturn in this movie, to the point where I thought I was playing someone else.
P: If I was playing someone as serious as Edward Cullen for months, I’d like to release the tension once the filming is over, probably by getting drunk all night.
RP: But I was already drinking on set. *laughs*But seriously, when I was done filming Twilight I shot another movie right away so I really didn’t have the time to stand back from all this. On the beginning of May, I went back to reshoot some scene for Eclipse just as I was done with Bel Ami, I was completely lost. I couldn't lose my accent, I couldn’t find my marks … but once the make-up was put on my face, and I wore my contacts, everything came back to me.
For the first time, I realized that I missed this character and how weird I would feel when the saga is over.
P: Really? We’d think that the end of Twilight would be more of a relief to you …
RP: I got the part of Edward Cullen at 20 and I’ll be 26 when the last one movie comes out. I just realized that Twilight is a really important part of my life. Whats’ funny is that I played a 17 years old all this time.
P: Breaking Dawn is shooting at the end of the year. Are you excited or do you see this movie as an obligation, a close of your contract you should honor?
RP: I think it will be interesting. The story goes in so many different directions I’m curious to see what it’ll look like. We don’t procrastinate any longer: Bella telling me ‘I want you to turn me’ and me going ‘No, no, no’. She becomes a vampire in this movie. We get married and sleep together. All the tension from the previous movies is gone in Breaking Dawn. I haven’t read the script yet but I’m sure it’ll be good.
P: Rob, we know each other well enough now so you can tell me: do you lose all your powers if you cut your hair?
RP: Well, we’re going to be fixed soon since I’m having them cut this afternoon.
P: You know how to keep the suspense. I’d like us to go back on the topic of Remember Me which shocked me with its maturity and seriousness. Do you think this darkness played a role in the shy number it got at the box office?
RP: Remember Me wasn’t made to be a blockbuster on the scale of Twilight, it was an indie movie with a tiny budget meaning that the promotion would be minimal. In the end, it made 60 millions of dollars all over the world: not bad for a movie which cost 16. I’m happy it wasn’t a big flop but never was I worried about the box office.
P: Many people said that this movie was your test about your movie star statut, it seemed a little early to me…
RP: I know! I read all the articles about Leo Dicaprio and the fact that his fans followed him after Titanic. But for me, Twilight has nothing to do with it. The fans will see the movies because they love the story. I never felt like I had a role in the success of it all. Like I’ve always said, it’s the character that people love, not me. I hope to be able to reach out to people due to the quality of the films that I make and not because people will hope to see a new Twilight as soon as my name is in the end credits.
P: We heard all types of stories surrounding the filming of Remember Me, like those of paparazzi that came out of the water while you were filming a beach sequence. You’re changing their entire profession.
RP: Nobody really understands this situation unless they went through it. The staff of Remember Me was in shock when they saw forty cameramen who tried to steal pictures on the set. Most of the actors of the movie didn’t see any of the Twilight movies and didn’t understand what was going on.
P: Did they ask you why you payed all these photographers who showed up on set?
RP: Exactly! “Well, Rob I didn’t know you needed such an ego boost!” *laughs*
P: You say that celebrity opens some doors and closes others. Which ones would you have liked to stay open?
RP: I’d like not to be so paranoid when I meet new people. When I walk on the street, I’m scared of meeting anyone’s eyes in case they recognize me. I have to hide constantly, it’s unsettling. So, I live a strange life, I can’t be as open as I’d like. In fact, you learn as you go. Over the years, I managed this situation better and better, I’m more at ease than before the Twilight madness. I think you reach a point after a while: you lose it, become a recluse and turn your back on the whole humanity or you learn to accept it.
P: You look more relaxed than last year…
RP: I am. I’m starting this new movie that excites me and I just finished another one that I like. I know that nothing would have gone so fats without the fans who follow me everywhere and the people who recognize me on the street, to be honest.
P: Do you think you saw everything when it comes to the craziness of the press or do you think they are more surrealistic experiences to live?
RP: I don’t know. On the plus side, you can’t stay the object of stares forever. New actors will come and grab their attention. It only last for a while. The craziness reached its point during the shooting of Remember Me but it died down since. When I was filming Bel Ami in London, things were calmer. I could even walk around freely.
P: Speaking of Bel Ami, you know French people will be waiting for this movie with a knife in between their teeth?
RP: I’m well aware of that, believe me. I would never have the courage to come promote the movie in Paris, I’m nervous. I met Marion Cotillard at a party before filming began and I asked her if she’d like to read the script because one of the roles would be perfect for her: “Why make Bel Ami in English? It’s weird, isn’t it?” At that moment I realized how the movie would be received in your country. I hope it will succeed and that you will be open minded about it. What impresses me is that the book is unknown everywhere else. I only read it after I got the script and it became one of my favorite books.
P: Right now, you’re preparing yourself for Water for Elephants from Francis Lawrence…
RP: Yes, with Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz. It’s both exciting and terrifying to be facing these actors.
P: If Christoph Waltz asked you a glass of milk, ask yourself question.
RP: For sure! He has an amazing role in this movie. He plays the Mr. Loyal of the circus, a man who’s a totally cyclothymic and a bit scary. I’m try¬ing to steal his wife.
P: I admire your bravery!
P: How would you react if everything stopped tomorrow?
RP: The end of the world, you mean? I think I could survive. *laughs* To be honest, I have no idea. I’d find something else to do. The path I’m on right now helps me a lot but I haven’t achieve yet everything I want.
P: I could see you play songs in bars in the nowheres of France.
RP: You couldn’t have said it better. When I was 19 I filmed a short movie in Brittany for two weeks. Every night, I would play music in bars, it was fantastic. One of my favorite memories.
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Translation by the lovely Sonia at Pattinsonlife