Translation - thanks to anna soeuriste at IMDb via Robstenation
At 25, the most famous vampire of the world drifts away from the "twilight" zone for other horizons. In Water for Elephants, he plays an elephant healer caught in a tumultuous love story. Private chat in Hollywood with a broad-minded idol whose teeth are not so/too long (EDIT: don't know if that phrase exists in english: having long teeth = being very ambitious, in a bad sense; IMO, it means: Rob is humble).
We meet a peculiar person in his suite at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles. A long skinny figure, a pale complexion, blue melancolic eyes, running his right hand through his disheveled hair, Robert Pattinson always seems caught in some silent reverie that gets interrupdted by his interlocutors.
Well behaved, British with expertly unlaced Dr. Martens, he then resumes the course of his earthly life.
A life which the tabloids love to talk about in details: a kiss with Kristen Stewart on the set of Twilight in Rio de Janeiro, a birthday party at a friend's place, his arrival at Vancouver Airport, the news of him getting a dog that Twitter spreads... His life is chronicled in real time, you almost forget he is an actor.
But at 25, the dandy vampire tries to become more. He is about to shoot a movie with David Cronenberg, Cosmopolis, the adaptation of the cult novel by Don DeLillo, and can be seen in May in Water for Elephants, along with Reese Witherspoon and the disturbing Christoph Waltz (reknowned thanks to Quentin Tarantino in Inglourious Basterds), in the role of an animal healer crazy in love with a beautiful married woman. An encounter with an enigmatic icon, a young man both trendy and old school, rebel and conformist, a beautiful punk aristocrat for young girls.
Madame Figaro. - You work a lot. Besides the last two episodes of the Twilight series, we'll see you in June in Bel Ami, directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, and soon in Water for Elephants, by Francis Lawrence. What attracted you in the role of Jacob Jankowski, animal trainer in a circus?
Robert Pattinson. - First, the book of the young novelist Sara Gruen, a huge success in the United States, whose action is in the 20s in a traveling circus. Suddenly, with this role, I had the opportunity to leave the modern fantasy of Twilight, to live among the animals, to touch real things.
You seem drawn to the romantic/novelistic past ...
Yes, I like among others the american history, I find it interesting. While reading the script, I got hooked right away. It seemed obvious and easy to me. Jacob is a tormented and mysterious being. He lost his parents, he does not want others to dig into his past, and if he joins a traveling circus, it is to prove himself as a veterinarian. He doesn't know that he will experience a violent and forbidden love.
Your profile is becoming more precise: a lonely, misunderstood and very attractive being. It is a common point to all your characters.
That's true. As if Edward, the hero of twilight, was the common thread for all these roles. Jacob sees things in black and white. As for Edward, he always distinguishes good from evil. In a sense, my characters are Manichaean. That's why I try to bring them inner complexity.
And for Bel Ami, how did you work? Georges Duroy, the hero of the novel, is older than you.
It made me hesitate. And then I just went ahead because Maupassant is my favorite French writer. Bel Ami is an unforgettable classic novel. With my partners Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci, we had fun. I concentrated my interpretation of the character on his great freedom to act.
Bel Ami is an animal, he is my first character who is completely cynical and ironically honest enough. But he is a destroyer. He plays a sort of game where nobody respects the rules, where everyone has affairs, a great social sham where the key is to pretend. He doesn't care about that, he does what he pleases, and that is precisely that attracts women.
A bit like you after all ...
Oh no! I'm no Don Juan. This is something that is beyond me and is actually quite cool, all those fans who take pictures of me, these blogs, this buzz. Frankly, I have no sex appeal. Just stroll around in Los Angeles, London or Paris and you can find a bunch of young guys like me. I am not James Dean.
You seem to have a rebel side, a dark side. Who are your role models, your favorite actors in movies?
From the only three movies with James Dean, I like Giant, with Elizabeth Taylor. But for me, the great icon of the 60s is Marlon Brando, with this kind of internalized rage, this duality between masculinity and hidden tenderness. I'm also a fan of gangster films with James Cagney and Paul Newman, especially Cool Hand Luke. And among actresses, I love Isabelle Huppert, and from the golden age of Hollywood the passionate/firy Ava Gardner, and the so classy, rought and funny Katharine Hepburn. Kristen Stewart, whose acting I admire, has something Hepburn-like.
Audrey or Katharine?
No, Katharine. I'm not a fan of Audrey. I know girls of my generation like her, but I find it a bit too girly.
What kind of women do you like?
I do not hate nerds. For a girl to attract me, she must be somewhat determined, have an idea about the meaning of life, and read a lot. But I can not say I prefer blondes, brunettes or redheads. I like emotional girls, elegant girls- meaning knowing what does and doesn't suit you. The brand clothes, just because they are expensive, do not guarantee a good look. I think you must above all be yourself. That said, I love the Chanel look, even on very young women!
And you, are you a fashion victim?
You see the anthracite jacket I wear today? Well, I found it at home in an old suitcase. I had it when I was 15. This is an Agnes b., vintage 90, and it still fits me. Otherwise, I'm a fan of Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler for both girls and boys, and I buy lots of pants at Dries Van Noten. Fashion is very important even in movies. I think about what Jean Paul Gaultier did on the Fifth Element for example: his Designs defined the film.
You wear a fragrance?
Mine, my body odor. (Laughter.)
What is the project that you currently very happy about?
Well, one morning the phone rang and it was David Cronenberg on the line. He was offering me to play in his next film, Cosmopolis. It was almost as if Hitchcock sought me out. Cronenberg is an incredible director. The good news didn't stop there: Juliette Binoche would be working on this project too, and also the very talented french director-actor Mathieu Amalric. The icing on the cake is that it is an adaptation from a novel by Don DeLillo, one of my favorite authors. The role is very hard, a crazy day in the life of a millionaire whose life is turned upside down in twenty-four hours. I'm shooting it now***, it's really exciting.
What do you do with your days when you are in idleness?
Well, the problem is that there is no more idleness in my life. I shoot movies all the time. My life is reduced to work, and besides, I don't have a home anymore. My home is the hotel. Obviously, your room gets cleaned every day, there are advantages, but I'm starting to feel a little rootless. I could even list the hotels that I prefer over the world: Rome is the Bernini Bristol, a charming palazzo, and Paris, Le Crillon. When I have an hour for myself, I play the guitar but mostly I read, I devour books.
A bit of everything. I have started Underworld by Don DeLillo and I have a predilection for the French novelist Michel Houellebecq. In the Meaning of fight, he wrote this sentence that resounds withinr me: "We've been through tiredness and desires without finding back the taste of childhood dreams. "I feel close to the hero of Houellebecq
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