Twilight made Robert Pattinson one of the biggest stars on the planet, but according to the actor, he’s too busy working to notice how his life has changed. ComingSoon.net caught up with Pattinson at a recent press conference for The Twilight Saga: New Moon where he talked to us about the sequel and how he handles his newfound fame.
Q: What were your thoughts where you reveal yourself in the sunlight?
Robert Pattinson: My thoughts at the time or now? I just kind of came to a realization about that scene today. I guess one of the kind of closest moments that I’ve really felt to people’s emotional attachment to the character, there were so many extras there who were just “Twilight” fans that’d flown in to be in the Town Square and just taking that one step off, that one step into the light, it’s been the one moment since the first Comic-Con where I felt the whole weight of anticipation and I guess responsibility as well to all the people who were kind of so obsessed with the stories. It was a good moment. It was very nerve-racking. I felt probably the most in character that I’ve ever felt in the whole series at that moment.
Q: Can you talk about working with Chris Weitz this time around and if the syllabus he gave the actors worked with your acting style?
Pattinson: The syllabus which he gave at the beginning, yeah. When he gave that out, I mean I’ve never had that from any director. It was like forty or fifty pages long this thing and this is in addition to a bunch of letters and emails and everything, trying to show that he’s on the same page as us and that he’s completely with us in making the film. He kind of didn’t falter from that attitude during the whole movie. It probably sounds ridiculous how much praise this guy gets. I was just with his wife in Japan and she was kind of sick of… [laughs], but I mean he is like a saint. He’s one of the best people that I’ve ever met let alone directors. I think in a lot of ways it shows in the movie. There’s a lot of heart, especially for a sequel and a franchise. I think he’s just a great person to do it with.
Q: Appearing in these visions, did you feel apart from your cast mates this time and did you wish it was more or was it a nice to be by yourself a little more?
Pattinson: Those scenes were the hardest scenes. They weren’t really at the time but when I saw the first part of the movie, they changed it quite a bit in the edit and in ADR and stuff mainly because it’s so difficult. It’s not Edward. It’s a kind of manifestation of Bella’s loneliness and kind of desperation. It was always very difficult because I was trying to ask Kristen [Stewart], “How would you play it?” because it’s her opinion. So I guess that was hard, but as for being alone I think that I’ve always felt a little bit aloof as the character throughout the whole series. I think that’s how it kind of is. So I didn’t feel anything particularly different.
Q: What’s this last year been like for you? You came in with the first movie as a new face and it’s now a phenomenon. Are you more comfortable with it now, a year later?
Pattinson: I guess it’s inevitable that you become more comfortable. You’re still fighting against some things. The franchise itself, there’s nothing really scary about it. I like the people that I work with. I generally have very few disagreements about the script or
about anything when we’re doing it, especially on “New Moon.” It just seemed so relaxed and easy.
Q: That’s on set, but what about everything else?
Pattinson: That’s what I mean. I’ve been on sets, three different sets since January 14th. I’ve had like three days off. I always say the same thing, last year also, about how your life changes. I’m on set all the time and I’m still on set and I’m going to be on set all next
year. So I don’t really know. So I still don’t know how it’s changed. I still feel I’m pretty much exactly the same which is maybe not a good thing.
Q: Can you talk about the scene where you breakup with Bella, how it was to do that?
Pattinson: It’s a strange thing, something weird about it because one of the main things that I felt doing that, or what really helped was people’s anticipation of the movie and people’s, I guess fans of the series idea about what Edward and Bella’s relationship is and what it represents to them as some kind of ideal for a relationship. So just playing a scene where you’re breaking up the ideal relationship, I mean you feel or I felt a lot of the weight behind that. Also, it took away your fear of melodrama as well because it felt seismic if that’s the right word. Even when we were doing it, it was very much like the stepping out into the sunlight scene at the end. You could really feel the audience watching as you’re doing it. So it was a strange one, doing that.
Q: A fight between Edward and Jacob, who wins and the same with you and Taylor?
Pattinson: [laughs] I don’t know. I did hear the other day that Taylor had agreed to an interview where the interviewer was going to fight him. I don’t think that I’d ever agree to that and also looking at Taylor’s martial arts videos from when he was like nine I really
wouldn’t want to do anything. Maybe if I had some kind of weapon. Edward and Jacob? I don’t know. I think it’s actually a fact that Edward would win. I think. If I’ve read the books correctly. So I guess I can hold onto that for my ego.
Q: This movie has made you a bankable leading man. How does that change things for you and where do you want to be five years from now?
Pattinson: I’ve only done one movie outside of the series.
Q: And that was what?
Pattinson: “Remember Me” which is going to be out sometime next year. But even that I did with the same studio and I guess I’m still a little bit blind as to what my actual economic viability is outside of the series. I mean it’s definitely different. You get offered stuff that you would’ve never have dreamed of being offered before but that’s also scary as well. You don’t have to audition for anything and so you’re like, “Well, I don’t want to do a movie just because it gets made. I have no idea.” It’s a scary situation to be in, in a lot of ways. You really have to question yourself a lot more than before “Twilight.” I did any movie that I got and you try to make the best of it afterward. Now you’re expected to come into the movie and provide not only economic viability but also a performance as well because people are like, “You can’t just mess around. We’re employing you to be a star and an actor.” So it’s difficult and it’s scary.
Q: Isn’t that what you dream about when you start in this business?
Pattinson: You do. You always think, “Oh, when I’ve done a big movie…” because when you haven’t got a big movie behind you and you’re not bankable everyone is like, “He’s not bankable enough,” and so you can’t get the kinds of roles you want to get. Then when you do you have to, especially with a movie like this where there’s a perceived specific audience which I think that people are quite confused about as well, but people start thinking, “You need to get this audience and you need to do this and that and you need to look a certain way,” and so on. There are limitations to it as well. Whereas when no one is watching your movies and you get a part you can do whatever the hell you want because that’s just the way that it is. So there are good and bad points either way.
Q: What personality traits do you share with Edward?
Pattinson: I guess stubbornness in some ways about some things. I guess he’s pretty self-righteous. I guess I am. I guess I get quite obsessive about things and possessive as well, I think. I don’t know.
Q: Like what?
Pattinson: Obsessive about what?
Q: And possessive of what, your privacy?
Pattinson: In some ways. What am I obsessive about? I have very, very specific ideas about how I want to do my work and how I want to be perceived and to the point of ridiculousness sometimes. I don’t listen to anyone else. That’s why I don’t have a publicist or something like that. I can’t stand it if someone’s trying to tell me to do something which might be a mistake sometimes. I guess about that. I like being meticulous and it’s quite difficult as an actor to have that much control. That’s actually an answer to the other questions as well. That’s the good thing about the “Twilight” series as well because in a lot of ways when you agree to the job it gives you a lot more control over the little things which I want to have. I’m like a control freak about it.
Q: Do you appreciate Edward more with each movie and what are your favorite parts about him?
Pattinson: It’s funny about “New Moon.” When I read “New Moon” it gave me ideas about how to play the first one and it’s the one that I connected to the most and the one that humanized Edward the most for me as well. In the first one he still does remain from beginning to end an idealistic character but in the second one he makes a mistake that’s acknowledged by everybody including himself. Also he’s totally undermined by more powerful creatures and he’s undermined emotionally by people as well. I think that’s what humanized it. Since I’ve read that book I’ve always kind of liked him as a character. I try to play that same feeling throughout the first one and after the third one, as well, trying to get some kind of element of an all powerful person or almost all powerful person, the kind of hero of a story who just refuses to accept that he’s the hero. I think there’s something admirable there. I don’t know if I really made any sense.
Q: How do you separate falling in love in real life and then the woman that you’re cast against?
Pattinson: You’ve always got to remember that you’re being paid and then there’s a lot of connotations that come with that [laughs]. I think that’s one of the major separations.
Q: Did you agree with the decision to make Edward a vision and how do you avoid letting your life become just one big blur?
Pattinson: There are random moments which sound out but generally you’re working so much, this year I’ve been working so much that you do your living in an almost alternative reality. Also, the hours on a film set are so long that you’re doing like doctor hours and every doctor that I’ve ever spoken to says the same thing which is you have no idea what’s going on other than working. You’re away from your family and friends and all of that stuff. The apparitions thing. I was always very worried about that because even before we started shooting people were asking questions, like, “Do you think people are going to be worried about not having enough Edward in it?” He’s not in the book. I was so worried that it was just going to be random scenes. There was talk at the beginning of showing his back story in South America, going around moping or something. That would’ve been terrifying for me and I think that it would’ve been catastrophic for the film as well. But I fought as far as I could to keep it as limited as possible, mainly because it just doesn’t happen in the book. But then at the same time it’s scary just to do voice over because it could well end up being very cheesy. I guess there’s a kind of medium. Also, it was interesting because you’re not just there. You’re supposed to be playing something, whether I achieved it or not. You’re just playing a vision and if you play it as realistically as possible it becomes an interesting thing to try and figure out. So it was interesting for me at the time.
Q: How do you fight?
Pattinson: In reality?
Q: No. You said you fought as much as you could.
Pattinson: Oh! I guess I just talked to Chris. He wasn’t ever going to just do things for the sake of doing it. He was always on the side of the story and even since it’s been edited there’s been loads and loads of the apparition sequences cut out and a lot of them Chris cut out without me saying but when I was doing ADR I was saying, “Things looked more interesting. Things looked more kind of mystical if you cut out more of these shots.” It becomes more eerie and more realistic the less of these visions that you have and the less
visible. Just having these head-on shots doesn’t make it a vision. It just becomes a superimposed image which is not interesting.
Q: Have you ever had your heartbroken like Edward when he left Bella?
Pattinson: I’m just trying to think of a really stupid answer and I can’t think of one [laughs]. No, I don’t think so.
Q: You seem to have gotten the brunt of the crazy fan. Has there been anything that’s cracked you up during all of this?
Pattinson: Yeah, a lot of the time. There’s been so many things. Recently I have less direct interaction with people because there’s way more security on the sets and stuff, but I always find it funny when older people come up. There was a woman who came up to me the other day who must’ve been in her nineties and was saying this stuff. It’s very unusual and they say the exact same things as twelve-year-old girls [laughs]. That is kind of bizarre.
Q: When you’re shooting the romantic scenes what’s going on in your head and are you a romantic person in your life? What’s the most romantic thing that you have done?
Pattinson: I haven’t done that many romantic things. What was going through my head, it’s weird, I keep being told by people that I need to pump up all the stuff about the action and all this stuff for the guys to go and see it. It’s ridiculous. It’s like saying guys can’t appreciate romance. I don’t think that you can say that about “Gone with the Wind” or something. I’ve watched “Titanic” and I didn’t think, “Oh, this is a girl’s film.” Unless you’re a complete idiot of a guy, I don’t really think… and especially in “New Moon” and in the whole series I’ve never played it as if I’m playing a series of girl’s films, doing something just for girls. I don’t feel like I’m doing “Tiger Beat” every week, a kind of animated “Tiger Beat.” I like doing the romantic scenes. I felt like the storyline in “New Moon” is very heartbreaking and true. I didn’t think that I was doing something just for the sake of romance. In a lot of ways it’s a really sad story. The most romantic thing I’ve ever done?
Q: Have you serenaded somebody?
Pattinson: Oh, no. I don’t think that I would ever do that to be romantic. You have to have so much balls to do that. Jesus Christ. I can’t think of a single romantic thing that I’ve ever done. That’s terrible. I put a flower in someone’s locker when I was 15-years-old, this girl called Maria. Maybe I was fourteen. She thought that it was someone else and the other guy claimed it as well which is great.
Q: Can you talk about growing this romantic triangle in the series and also what it was like watching Taylor transform himself?
Pattinson: I didn’t see Taylor until just a little before we started shooting. So when he came back I had the same reaction as everyone else, like, “Jesus. Now I have to go to the gym.” It was strange. This one was weird because I hardly did any scenes with Taylor. We did just the scenes at the beginning and the scenes at the end and that’s it. He had his entire storyline developed without me being around which is interesting because I had no idea where his performance was going and so it wasn’t really a competition or anything. It was all sort of independent. Whereas in “Eclipse” we’re doing scenes together all the time with Bella and so it really shows the dynamic in that one.
Q: What’s the weirdest or funniest thing you’ve ever read about yourself, and how do you maintain a balance with letting fans know who are and keeping your private life private?
Pattinson: The weirdest was something recently, some magazine had on the cover that I was pregnant. I was like, “Wow,” but it was without a hint of irony or anything. I didn’t really know what to make of that one. I don’t know if that even qualifies as libelous because they can just say, “Well, it’s obviously fiction,” but it’s printed in a non-fiction magazine.
Q: When are you due?
Pattinson: I did see a couple of comments under the article, saying, “That’s why he always wears a jacket. He always wears layers to hide it.” [laughs] And how do you keep your private life private?
Q: But also showing your fans and the public that there’s more to you than just Edward.
Pattinson: I think you just do it through doing jobs. I think it’s such a risky thing doing interviews. I try to limit the amount of interviews that I do because no one is that interesting especially when you’re not really saying anything. And I don’t particularly want to be a character in society or whatever. So I guess the only thing that you can do is do jobs and see if people respond to that. I’m always holding onto the fact that I don’t really know who I am. Hopefully I won’t compartmentalize myself because of that, because I’m completely ignorant of the whole. I’ve never really struggled with anything up until recently. I’ve got to step being so self deprecating because people are starting to believe it. “That guy is an idiot.” So I’ve I tried to stop doing that.
Q: What movies have you committed to in 2010 and have you been told about a start date on “Breaking Dawn”?
Pattinson: I think the tentative time for “Breaking Dawn” is fall of next year. I think. They may well change that. And depending on how things go I’m doing a movie called “Bel Ami” in February which is an adaptation of this Guy de Maupassant novel. I’m doing, I hope, a western with Rachel Weiss and Hugh Jackman called “Unbound Captives” at sometime around there as well. They have to try and model everything around everyone’s schedules and stuff.
Q: Will you be a gunfighter?
Pattinson: No, actually. I’m playing a kid who’s kidnapped by the Comanches when he was four years old and he’s brought up by them. Then his mother spends her entire life trying to find me and my sister. When she finds us we can’t remember who she is and can’t remember anything about the western culture that she grew up in and Ispeak Comanche in the whole movie. So you can’t really get more different from Edward.
Q: Is that the reason you wanted to do it, because it is so different from Edward?
Pattinson: I actually signed onto that after I’d done “Twilight” but in the summer, just a couple of months after I finished. It was really before anything had happened. I wasn’t really even thinking about that. It’s just a cool script. It reminded me of…
Q: “The Searchers”?
Pattinson: It is kind of similar to “The Searchers.” I mean, that’s the scary thing, yeah, but I mean actually it’s nothing like “The Searchers.” Only in general terms. It reminds in a lot of ways of “Giant” which is one of my favorite movies. I think that’s why I responded to it.
Q: Is James Dean one of your favorite actors?
Pattinson: One of them, yeah.