Mr. Pattinson usually you are hunted by photographers. How does it feel to play a photographer hunting stars in your new movie 'Life'?
I'm playing the young Magnum photographer Dennis Stock, who gets to know James Dean before he became an Icon- no least because of the picture of a moody James Dean in Times Square with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Stock would have hated it if you called him a papparazzi. He thought of himself as an artist and did everything to be seen as one. That is how I see him.
Okay the times were a little more calm in the 50's. How would you react if someone approached you today and said ‘Hey Rob I want to take a couple of pictures of you’ like Stock did with Dean?
That would be impossible. l would feel like a psychopath would be after me. But it was different back then. There were no cell phones and not amateur photographers, only professionals and they had to find a magazine to publish their pictures. Today the Internet is flooded with cell phone pictures.
How do you deal with the omnipresent cell phone pictures?
A lot of it depends on my mood. lf l’m in a good mood, everything is okay. When l’m not, I do feel bothered. You have to watch out to not get strange and feel persecuted: Then you start to believe that people take pictures of you, who actually have better things to do with their day than do that.
Did you cope well with the media hype of Twilight in your early 20's?
Most of the time I was busy hiding. You are in shock. You don't really understand what is happening. My personal growth was stopped in a way. It was weird: There I was 22 and suddenly I aged 2-3 years. I was working and did a lot of movies during that time. It was madness. My first real break I had after the last Twilight movie.
Is it quieter now? No one recognizes you with your huge beard anyway.
That's true. Now! go to the grocery store without looking around. Fortunately I gained a lot of self-confidence. But l’m still cautious: you don't want drunken pictures of yourself out there.
Meanwhile do you think you were able to shake off the teen heartthrob image?
The real problem was: You are measured according to a weird criteria when you are part of gigantic expensive movies, which are so under pressure to perform. The question always is: How many millions will that movie make? it's ridiculous! You have to watch out not to get stuck in that world.
lt’s not that much money. You don't really think about it though. Money is not the primary objective of a young actor. And having enough money is no reason to quit.
What is your goal?
Diﬁicult to say, but a road is appearing slowly, also with my movie choices. During Twilight l basically pushed the reset button every time and then the next movie would come out.
I took careful steps into reality. I always strictly distinguished: There was the character that I played in the movies and on the other side my real life.
Now I try to make more personal movies that have more to do with me and where I have more
control. I'm making movies with authors like David Cronenberg and now Anton Corbijn.
How is it different with them?
They protect you. They don’t let themselves be inﬂuenced by others- not like a director who works for a big studio. It may happen that there is a call from above and it's not the directors ﬁlm anymore but the studios.
And now you open the doors for those authors: Cronenberg said that your name on the Cosmopolis poster brought financing.
Well, l hope the directors do not only pick me just to get ﬁnancing. I'm also doing very small roles, like in Herzog’s ‘Queen of the Desert’ as Lawrence of Arabia. I don’t believe that an actor is able to guarantee success on his name alone. Those times are over, with a few exceptions though: one of those exceptions is Brad Pitt.
A lot of what you say does sound bitter. Would you wish your success with Twilight on younger people/actors?
Hold on, it was also a great time. Twilight is something very special, if only because of the
enthusiastic fans. My advice for young actors would be to not get overwhelmed and they should
watch out and keep a healthy relationship with reality. If not you can drift easily and are not even
aware of it. So take good care of yourself.