Robert is no fool. Wherever you are, the English actor, 24 years old invests on the role of romantic hero. It's like that with Jacob Jankowski, the protagonist of Francis Lawrence's film, based on the book by the Canadian Sara Gruen. In this drama, which takes place at a circus in the times of the Great Depression Era (1929-1939), Robert works with two Oscar winners actors Reese Witherspoon (best actress, Walk The Line) and Christoph Waltz (supporting actor for Inglorious Basterds). In this interview, the actor talks about his first love, the hatred that he has for paparazzi and a certain discomfort caused by the hysteria of fans.
How was working with so many wild animals? Did your conception of the circus changed after Water for Elephants, with regard to the way animals are treated?
I know many circus have a bad reputation because of this, but none of the animals we work with were circus animals, they were all actors. I know it must be very difficult because of the amount of injuries that the animals suffer. To teach horses tricks that they needed to know, it took months and months. If one got hurt, there was no substitute. Manage a circus is a precarious thing.
Was there a moment when you were scared of animals?
Once, with the zebras. They are impossible to tame. If they are tied, the simply pull the rope until they're free and if they can't get away, they start kicking. One ran towards me. It was part of a scene, and I got out of the way. Then everyone thought I was a pussy for running.
Francis Lawrence, the film's director, said it was difficult to find a 23-24 year old man who was not too young for the role. And he said that you was already man - thoughtful, intelligent, caring, strong and confident. What makes a man a man?
I don't know. I think that if you feel comfortable with who you are, then you're good. I don't know whether anyone ever gets to be a man.
Do you feel like an adult?
More or less and no way. It's weird when people do a movie. It seems that you're trapped in time bubbles. I feel that way, especially with the fame thing. You stop meeting new people. I never know anyone. You have the same conversations all the time, so you never change the same way that most people grow up. You know, you hear the various perspectives that people have about things, but you go through the same kind of banal things every time you talks with them.
In the end, this ends up affecting your mind. You actually don't know how to have a conversation with anyone about anything. If the person is not talking about you, you're like, "Huh?" (Laughs).
Where do you go when you want to have a bit of normal life?
When you're part of a movie, not only as an actor, you force yourself to attend meetings. People are forced to treat you like a true coach, then that's what I do. If you're just an actor, it's very funny because people think they need to hide everything from you, all the time. It's like, "Oh, he can't be bothered with anything," and this is bizarre. You're like a little bird. Have security around all the time.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe, completely.
Has this happened to you?
A lot ... I think with most people you think you're in love, it happens the first time you see the person. I mean, the first time you really see the person. I think.
How do you know you’re in love? What kind of feeling is that to you?
I don't know. It'ss impossible to answer.
I think so. You don't know.
If you had the opportunity, as your character, to tell the story of your life, what would be like?
I hope to be able to remember a part of it. It’s funny, it’s like being tired all the time. I’m terrified at the prospect of not remembering anything of my life. It’s been six months that I’m doing a job and I can not remember a single day of filming.
What would it mean for you to have a beautiful life?
Just doing the things you are proud. The other day I got a dog to create, I’m pretty happy with that. I don't really need much.
Your love life is a big secret. Sometimes, doesn't it feel like going out and telling the world?
I never feel like telling anything to the world (laughs). I was in school when I had my first girlfriend... She wasn't even girlfriend, I asked her to go out when I was about 12 years. The next day the entire school was: “You're going on a date with. ..?”. And I was like, “Oh my God.” I think I never talked to the girl again. I was just feeling the greatest nuisance. It is like the stock market: more speculation, more disastrous things get.
Disastrous for whom and for what?
If you say "this is the truth" and people are already talking about whatever it is, at some point you just helps to add more gossip. Your truth is not truth but the truth is what's on the cover of the gossip magazine. You become the gossip.
Must be hard to maintain that kind of life so private, no?
I don't like to take picture of me, ever. Even before all of this, I didn't like when my mother took photos of me and then...
And then you chose to be an actor.
On the set, it doesn't bother me. It’s weird. But I avoid at all costs. I have done that since they started chasing me everywhere. The only thing that annoys me is people who follow me. If people can earn money just waiting in front of my house and following me, they will be there watching me, forever in surveillance 24 hours a day. We must make an effort to prevent this from happening.
What would you do to stop this from happening?
I'd shoot someone (laughs).
Why did you decide to work on this film?
I was finishing another Twilight movie. One of the difficulties of doing Twilight is never sweat, your face must be perfect everytime. If you make an exaggerated expression, you look like cabúqui (Japanese theatrical style). Then you are very restrained. I read the script and liked Water for Elephants. But it was also a very physical and dirty world . It’s funny when you can sweat without 5 makeup artists retouching your face. It’s a relief.
The film speaks about love in all forms. Talk about love, what do you learn from it, how do you define it?
I don't know. You should know all the tough questions
It’s the movie... How do you define love?
In this film, it’s not conventional. I don't think it is about him (Jacob) falling for her (Marlene, played by Reese Witherspoon) and want to be alone with her. The sweetest thing is to recognize that he doesn't want to just take her away and stay with her. That is not love, it’s just a pride. If you love someone, you believe she is the best person in the world. She doesn't see herself like that, and that’s the only thing he wants to show her. That’s love. He wants her to love herself the same way he loves her.
Do you have any plans to return to the theater? Still live in London or decided to settle in America?
I live everywhere, live in hotels. I love doing theater. But at this point it wouldn't be a good experience. I can't imagine that it would be more than people taking photos. It’s too much to bear. It's as if there's too much energy in a crowd. It isn't just an energy that is waiting for you to appear. It’s an energy that wants to grab. It wouldn't work.
Source | Via | I tried to fix some of Rob's quotes, still a very rough translation