Honestly Robert Pattinson, do fame and success drive you crazy sometimes?
Robert Pattinson ate a ‘curry wurst’ for lunch. That is the first thing he tells me after our ‘hello’ during our interview in Berlin. He pronounces it adorably ‘Denglish Corrywuscht’. “I had French fries with it, but only five”, he tells me grinning. “I’m trying to eat more healthy.” He doesn’t need it though: slightly tanned, the biggest thing about him is his beard, which, like his messy gelled hair, is very groomed. Ever since he played vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga, he is the most sought after blood sucker in the world. The tabloids like to describe him as shy, but here he is smiling non stop, like a rascal planning his next prank. Maybe he is happy that the ‘blockbuster’ times are over. Ever since the fifth and last Twilight movie came out three years ago he wasn’t part of huge commercial Hollywood productions. Independent movies are now his thing. Like the ingenious biopic Life in which he plays the photographer Dennis Stock. He took pictures of James Dean for the US magazine Life in 1955, shortly before Dean died and made him immortal with his pictures. Fame and immortality are not strange concepts for Robert Pattinson, right?
Mr. Pattinson when was the first time you felt you were famous?
That was six months before the second Twilight movie came out. A PR guy invites me to a hip party in a club in LA. I forgot the name of the guy standing at the door waiting to be let in. The doorman just looked at me and said: “It’s okay, you can go in.” I was like “what?” Until then I never got into the clubs that easily. Shortly after that came the hot dog incident.
Tell me about that.
Well, I was eating a hot dog and dropped mustard on my shirt. Usually that would have made me uncomfortable, but everyone around me said “hey, that’s totally okay”, it was like I did something amazing . That’s when I knew: I can do whatever I want.
Being famous can be confusing then?
Yes, but only in one aspect: I don’t like to draw attention to myself, but I can’t walk around without being recognized. If people would say a quick “hello”, it would be fine, but every second person wants to do a selfie. That means I always have to be in a good mood.
Is there a question apart from the picture question, you can’t hear anymore?
“I know you will hate it, but………. “
Who says something like that?
Everyone. Especially back then. During Twilight a lot of people were pulling me about and telling me who I am. I didn’t know who I was myself and honestly I still don’t know who I am. But I wanted to have the chance to find that out by myself.
How did you not go crazy with the huge hysteria that came with Twilight?
Maybe becauseI never wanted to become famous. I’m satisfied with small things. The more famous I got, the more I wanted to hide. I was irritated by the hype. The climax of that was in the Munich OlympiaHalle: 3000 fans were cheering when I was answering a question. It’s much better now. The Twilight fans got older and it’s a lot more relaxed now.
Does an ex vampire go into the sun?
Yes. But I’m one of those idiots that puts on sunscreen with SPF factor 50 on the first day and then on the second day wonders “hey, I didn’t get a tan. Let’s take SPF 5.” That means on every single holiday I get sunburn. It’s good that I stayed in London for a while. It can’t happen here.
Is London a save haven for you like Marion, Indiana was for James Dean?
London is home for me. I have been living in LA for six years and didn’t go to Great Britain for some time. During my last stay in London I realized how much I missed it. But it’s more the people that give me the feeling of home and not really the places.
In Life you play the photographer that made James Dean a legend. James Dean died when he was 24 years old so you survived him by five years….
You won’t believe how many of my friends wrote this message to me on my 28th birthday “happy birthday. You are still alive.” Me: “Did you think I would be dead by now?” Them: “Yes.” Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Hendrix and Amy Winehouse, they all died when they were 27.
Do you go to celebrity doctors for your check ups?
No. I went to a dentist in LA who was well know in celebrity circles. There was a techno music playing in the practice. He was telling me about all the people that come to him. The weirdest thing was: he wasn’t wearing gloves for the treatment. I was laying there shocked thinking “do you think you are so cool that you don’t need gloves?” Nasty, I didn’t go there again.
Did you become weird?
I always have been weird. As soon as I have to talk to more than one person, it gets difficult. Having to do small talk at an event is hell for me. The crazy thing is that most people think that the more famous you get the more confident you are. I learned something about that playing a photographer: a camera around your neck will give you security. With it you get a reason to go to certain places or talk to people. I think I will carry a camera around with me from now on.
This is a reader’s question: What is the best part about being a celebrity?
That I can choose my roles and that I can go around the queue at the airport. That is the best by far and I don’t want to miss it.
Translation Via Via