IO DONNA ITALY: ROBERT PATTINSON IS IN A MOVIE ABOUT JAMES DEAN, BUT HE ISN'T THE STAR: "IT'S BETTER THIS WAY"
"To set myself free from the Twilight saga, I agreed to be the co-star in Life", says the actor who plays the star's photographer who died 60 years ago.
"Twilight? I am proud to have been a part of it. I am no longer forced to pursue a job as I did before Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The fame sprung after that still puts me at ease, also on the economic side, to select only the projects I believe in. And Life is the proof of that."
Robert Pattinson is working very hard. He wants to distance himself from the role of the teen idol in a saga that he certainly appreciates, but which still weighs on his credibility as an actor.
More than in the sense of that answer, this impatience is perceived in the way he stresses the words. The voice tone is low, he looks down to take time and he looks for an answer not too trivial. Sure, his fake-scruffy look helps (beard and long hair, but not kept in a random way, there's too much gel and the sideburns are well cared), but he seems genuine, especially when he speaks about Life, his latest movie. Pattinson plays the photographer Dennis Stock during 1955, the time of his turbulent friendship with the star, the same one that gave him the opportunity to exclusively portray him in New York (remember the famous shot of the actor with the cigarette in the rain with Trafalgar Square on the background?) and in his childhood home in Indiana.
The movie is focused on the previous history of this collaboration and it's directed by the Dutchman Anton Corbijn , who is not just the director (his was the biopic of Ian Curtis, Control), but he is also an appreciated music stars' photographer since the seventies. James Dean instead is played by Dane DeHaan, one of the emerging names in Hollywood (he was Harry Osborn in the last Spider-Man), while the only relevant female character is Pier Angeli, an Italian actress of the fifties who was played here by Alessandra Mastronardi.
Q: What effect did it have on you to be the photographer and not the subject of the pictures for once?
"I realized how much it may be difficult to deal with a star. When you're on the red carpet you actually don't even see the photographers, you move doing some poses, often studied, but you can't see the faces, you only see the flashes. Of course, it wasn't easy for a photographer of that time, as well as certainly it isn't today. However, Dean was able to keep his private life enough hidden. It was a different era, but there wasn't less greed to know the intimate details of his daily life than nowadays."
Q: Idol of the young generation, beautiful, certainly not a "bad boy", but still quite with a dark charm: when you got the script, did you think you would be the right one for the role of James Dean?
"I think one might think of it, but it wouldn't be the right choice for both the good of the character as well as for me. They would start the comparisons, I would be accused of presumption and then, perhaps, I would not be able to give that little extra that instead DeHaan managed to do. From my point of view, been able to play Stock and his way of relating to someone so elusive, but in his way charming, magnetic, posed a challenge is even more exciting than to impersonate Dean."
Q: At the time of that story Stock was 27, he was already a father and he had to struggle between work and family while pursuing his dream of becoming an accomplished photographer: you are almost the same age, 29, you are already famous and you don't have a family: it seems that there can't be a more distant character...
"At a first glance yes, but these aren't the characteristics which most define a person. Both the success and becoming a parent are variables that depend on you, or rather, not only on you. You need luck and find a person who, in addition to love, wants the same things that you want at the time you want them. Stock was like me in the determination to wanting to be an artist, and also in that bit of initial embarrassment that I often feel when I relate myself with someone for the first time."
Q: Are you a shy person?
"No, but I need some time to open up to anyone."
Q: Even romantically?
"With anyone, even in love."
Q: Did you ever fear that the label "the one from that Twilight movie" could negatively affect your future in acting?
"The success of Twilight is something special that I will never regret. Since I started this career I am trying to improve myself, to challenge myself with different roles compared to those I have already interpreted. If in 10 years they will speak of me still just as "the one from Twilight", the blame will be mine alone."
source/via and translation