It’s late afternoon in Cannes, and heartthrob, Robert Pattinson, 28, appears to be having a good time at the world’s most glamorous film festival promoting the Rover, starring alongside Guy Pearce, 46. He will also star opposite Julianne Moore, 53, in Maps to the Stars, both slated for release this summer.
His hair is short, he has a little facial stubble and he’s wearing a turquoise jacket, black shirt and dark jeans and sneakers.
Pattinson is of course best known for his role as Edward, a vampire who falls in love with a human, Bella, played by on again off again girlfriend, Kristen Stewart, 24, in The Twilight Saga.
Since then, Pattinson has taken on more serious roles such as Remember Me (2010) and Water for Elephants (2011) in which he starred alongside Reese Witherspoon.
Famous for his good looks, Pattinson is often seen topping the ‘hottest’ lists in many publications such as People (2008 and 2009) and Glamour UK, yet he remains humble. He is also the face of Dior Homme, which he took on after Jude Law.
Q: Are you a fan of the Mad Max films?
PATTINSON: I have actually never seen them. I have been asked so many times this morning and I have never seen it. (laughter) I guess I have got to see it now.
Q: This whole genre, is it familiar to you?
PATTINSON: Yeah, but I think this one is kind of different. I mean, it’s not like everyone has gone crazy, and they are cannibals. There feels something more real about it, and also I think the world where the movie is set, it’s not that the entire world is like that, they are just in the middle of nowhere. The country has just become very unstable and anything could collapse at any second. It’s sort of like the new society is trying to be born again.
Q: Is the collapse of society a familiar fear to you that you can relate to?
PATTINSON: Not really. I think the world is quite resilient, but I don’t know I think it would be a bit of fun. But I am a bit of a nihilist. (laughter)
Q: Was it fun on the set with Guy Pearce? Was he intimidating?
PATTINSON: No, and he’s also really strong as well. So when you are being thrown around, it actually hurts quite a lot. (laughter) And he was really in it the whole time because he’s really not like that.
Q: So he’s a good actor like you. Is this something that’s really important to you when you work?
PATTINSON: Yeah, one hundred percent. I mean, I think, I always hear some actors saying they didn’t read reviews or care about it, and I just think they are making it up. (laughs) Everybody cares about it; whether people think it’s good.
Q: What was the most difficult thing for you to create this character, to make him special in a way?
PATTINSON: I mean a lot of it was just there in the script at the beginning and I just really connected to it. I mean the most difficult thing was getting the job. But I think once I was doing it, it was quite fun. It was an exciting part to play and David Cronenberg [David Michôd - the interviewer probably got the wrong David when he transcripted the interview] kind of let me sort of run with any idea as well.
Q: And the accent thing, was that your idea?
PATTINSON: He was supposed to be from the South, but literally only said he was from somewhere in the South, so I don’t know, that was the kind of voice I heard in my head when I was reading the script.
Q: And you said it was more difficult to get the job.
PATTINSON: I mean, I just hate auditioning and I am really, really bad at it. I get so nervous and mess it up for myself and so I have basically tried to avoid doing auditions at all costs. I read the script and I was like, I really, really, really have got to get this part. It’s weird though, preparing for a part that you are already cast and just actually doing it for real and just kind of hoping that your anxiety doesn’t get the better of you in the room.
Q: And you got a phone call? What happened?
PATTINSON: I got a second audition afterwards and then they told me at the end of it, and it was a kind of amazing feeling.
Q: And so was it the first time you went to Australia shooting?
PATTINSON: I have been to Sydney just a couple of times to work, but yeah, in that area definitely.
Q: Are you done with the blockbuster thing or are you possibly returning to that at some point in your career?
PATTINSON: Yeah, it’s waiting for the right director. Nothing has come up and I mean, that’s not saying I don’t want to do it, but blockbusters, big movies just take a really long time to shoot as well. So I think you have to really, really, really want to do it. There’s a lot of pressure and you just don’t get that many interesting parts in big movies, especially for young guys. It’s just the same thing every time.
Q: Lots of comic book adaptations. Is there some character that you would say, yeah, I would do it?
PATTINSON: Yeah maybe, I was never really that into comic books when I was a kid and stuff so I don’t really have that connection. You also have to work out like tons, (laughter) in potentially a movie you might not like. It’s just a big hassle. (laughs)
Q: Maps to the Stars was excellent. So when you first read the script, what did you make of it?
PATTINSON: I thought it was hilarious and I liked some of the lines (laughter) I am excited about seeing it with an audience. But that’s Cronenberg; he’s quite into being subversive and quite combative and stuff. It’s kind of amazing that he’s still doing that, he’s 72.
Q: Have you seen people who actually almost act like that?
PATTINSON: A lot of the young kids in it, I have seen a lot of them. I think they are the most honest. And Havana, there are lots of actresses who kind of go a little bit crazy. But the kids, that’s like quite a mainstream thing, this kind of hatred. There’s a lot of negative energy, I don’t know why, it’s just really odd.
Q: You played music on Twilight – will you release a record one day?
PATTINSON: I want to make one, I just don’t really know about releasing one. (laughs) I don’t know, I can’t really deal with criticism very well and I have already got criticism coming from one angle (laughs) and I don’t feel the need to get it from somewhere else.
Q: What would it sound like? What music would you make?
PATTINSON: I don’t know yet. I mean I always used to record kind of singer-songwriters stuff and I don’t really want to do that. I was trying to figure out something else, but yeah, I don’t know yet. Trying to figure out my new sound.
Q: Back in The Rover, you were singing, Don’t hate me because I am beautiful, and do you think it’s biographical in this?
PATTINSON: No. I thought it was really funny that Rey would know the lyrics of that song. (laughter)
Q: For Cronenberg you don’t have to do auditions anymore. Are you and he a good team? What is it like?
PATTINSON: Yeah, I didn’t audition for Cosmopolis either. I don’t know how that happened. But I mean, yeah, I would do anything with him. I said yes before I read the script, and I would do anything.
Q: Can you tell us anything about the new project with Olivier Assayas? I read somewhere that you were in it.
PATTINSON: It’s a gangster movie. It’s a true story about a bunch of thieves who rob a porn shop [pawn shop - probably another small mistake when the interviewer transcripted the interview] in Chicago without realising that it’s a front for the mafia. I mean it’s quite a simple story but it’s so densely written and it follows the real story incredibly well and that’s thing that Assayas can do really well. It’s late 70s, he gets the environment. It’s incredibly realistic and a real ensemble thing, like twelve amazing parts in it. It’s really cool, it’s really, really cool. (laughter)
Q: Are you hoping with that to be back here in Cannes? You come here every year, is it a goal for you?
PATTINSON: (laughs) Yeah hopefully. It kind of seems like a bit of a Cannes movie, but it’s cool though. It’s really brutal, but it feels like a totally un-cliché gangster movie, which is totally difficult to do.
Q: Do you also like the pressure that you feel in Cannes?
PATTINSON: Yeah definitely. Definitely at a screening, it’s definitely a different energy and not like a normal premiere where it’s just like friends of the studio or whatever. It’s kind of like there’s a very real chance people are going to be vocal about if they like it or not. It’s exciting. But I think people are more interested, and people talk about the movies afterwards and they are not just going to the screening so they can go to the party afterwards, they actually want to see it. (laughs)
Q: Can you watch yourself objectively on the screen?
PATTINSON: Yeah, I am quite good at doing that. I used to not be, and I only really watch anything I do once or twice, but it’s not like I hate everything, and I learn stuff afterwards. Like, I watch playback when I am doing a movie. I think it’s quite good, the technical things.
Q: For The Rover, your character learns shooting and defending himself, so what are your feelings about weapons? Is it something you were familiar with?
PATTINSON: Not really, I am not that big of a fan. (laughs) I don’t know, I grew up in England and I just think it’s weird, people having guns, it’s kind of silly. (laughs)
Q: But it’s an American thing too. They think they need guns?
PATTINSON: I mean, I think people should just get rid of them all together. (laughs)
Q: What are the personality traits that you have that would work in that world?
PATTINSON: I am quite good at being by myself, I would probably just go hide in the woods and stay there forever. (laughs)
Q: What about violence? Do you ever read the script and wonder that there might be too much violence or it might be too gory?
PATTINSON: Yeah, I have never really liked films that have kind of revelled in violence. I just think it’s kind of gross. I don’t know; I am just like, look how he cut his head off and things like the Saw movies and stuff like that. I thought the first one was pretty good, but sometimes I feel that you watch and it’s like, why are people liking this? I don’t want to see somebody being tortured. But it’s f**king weird. I don’t know, I guess you want to be scared or whatever. Maybe I am just a bit of a p*ssy. (laughs)
Q: Did you like the Australian landscape?
PATTINSON: Yeah, I loved it. It’s so strange and there’s nothing for miles and miles and it’s peaceful.
Q: Do you like loneliness and open spaces?
PATTINSON: Yeah, I like open spaces. And also incredible stars as well.
Q: Do you get to be alone as much as you want these days?
PATTINSON: Yeah. Well, yeah, but not like that, where it’s you are really alone. (laughter) Like, there’s no one.
Q: Thank you.