Friday, October 9, 2015

New Rob Interview with Filmkrant (Netherlands)

“I always feel rather uncomfortable”
First Cronenberg, Michôd, Herzog, now Corbijn, very soon Gray, Korine and Denis: they all want Robert Pattinson. Why? What is the appeal of this teen idol?

By Kees Driessen

The penny dropped when I watched Cosmopolis (2012). The first time the film by David Cronenberg was disappointing to me. In ‘Vrij Nederland’ [dutch paper] I called him ‘bloodless – painful role for leading actor Robert Pattinson, who after his global success as a vampire in the insignificant Twilight series likes to sink his teeth into more serious material, but as autistic financial genius … he can hardly show a more emotional range [to the audience].

The second time I watched the movie I saw it. Then I understood that casting Pattinson was a great, even brilliant move. The hollow falsity of Cosmopolis is not only the reflection of the virtual financial system that is criticized in the film, but also of its leading character and, partly, its leading actor.

Robert Pattinson (London, 1986) plays in Cosmopolis a stunningly handsome stockbroker with huge financial success at a much too young an age, looking through the windows of his limousine with a detachment as if they were monitors, and fears that his inner self is rotting away (for which he gets daily anal examinations). You can almost call it typecasting, as a vampire with world fame.

Uncomfortable in his own skin

There are more great arthouse directors. David Michôd cast Pattinson in The Rover (not seen in 2014); just as Cronenberg, again, in Maps to the Stars (2014); Herzog, in a supporting role as T.E. Lawrence’s otherwise failed Queen of the Desert (2015); and soon James Gray in The Lost City of Z, Claire Denis in her yet untitled sci-fi movie and – very exciting – Harmony Korine, alongside James Franco, Idris Elba and Al Pacino in The Trap.

And now starring in Anton Corbijn’s Life, as a beginning photographer Dennis Stock, maker of the most famous photographs of James Dean. Where Cronenberg, as usual, in Cosmopolis magnified Pattinson’s character metaphorical and philosophical, the down to earth Corbijn uses [Rob] more realistic but nevertheless similar: as someone who feels uncomfortable in his skin, is keen to get recognition and feels a substantial distance to the world. “He’s an actor who wants to prove himself as an actor who plays a photographer who wants to prove himself as a photographer. Therefore the casting seemed like a great idea,” says a grinning Corbijn in Berlin.


Pattinson himself too is grinning a lot in Berlin. Many apologetic smiles too – like his character. Pattinson seems extremely nice, but is at the same time strikingly shy for someone of his fame and notoriety. Embarrassed BY his fame.

If he, as an actor often wanders outside his comfort zone? “I have no comfort zone at all haha! I always feel always rather uncomfortable.” He seems to mean it. “But so is my character.” And they {Rob and his character Dennis Stock] have more similarities. Like Stock Pattinson doesn’t like to be photographed. He really doesn’t. He mentions it three times. He feels like it’s making him ‘smaller’, “as if they are something away from you.”

Pattinson describes his character: “What I find fascinating is that he he couldn’t feel anything, not even love, as if he was handicapped.” And “Because he’s so restrained, he feels separated from the world, he lacks the experience of a normal person. That is quite tragic…” And: “I found it interesting that he finds solace in his art.”

Later, about all the media attention on himself: “Sometimes you feel just very separated from everything. That is a little worrisome..” And about acting: “You give quite a lot of yourself away, if you really

Is Stock is a mirror of self-portrait? The thought arises. If Pattinson, like Dennis Stock and James Dean, is a tortured soul himself, I do not know. But they share at least this: Pattinson feels an uncomfortable proximity to humans and is – something that’s not easy in the world of film or during a group interview – looking for a real connection.

That’s where there’s a blend in his role as Stock, in his roles for Cronenberg, and to some degree even with TE Lawrence and Twilight’s Edward.

When asked, via James Dean, what charisma is a movie star, Pattinson stumbles over his words a minute and then laughs nervously exclaiming: “I have no idea what the f*ck I’m saying haha!”

I want to make an attempt: charisma is the attraction of someone with a seductive look and an unattainable inner self. And that is Robert Pattinson has.

Read the original interview (and an interview with Anton Corbijn about LIFE) at the source (in Dutch) HERE | Translation and Via thanks to ToR


Tiredofit said...

Nice. good job!

Twi Girl said...

I find interesting what this journalist tells about his first perception of post-Twilight Rob in Cosmopolis, and how that's has changed. And how he sees Rob in a new way thanks to all the arthouses directors he is working lately. I love that the path that Rob has chosen these last years after finishing Twilight is gaining him lot of respect from critics, directors and people in the industry. It's not an easy path, and while it's frustrating the difficult in getting decent distribution etc with such small movies, is rewarding seeing how so many who before judged Rob bc he was in a huge franchise are now aware of his talent and his roles selection criteria. I still find unfair that he got to face so many prejudices just for being in Twilight. Other young actors who have starred in YA franchises haven't been in that situation