As the winner of several Olivier awards, British director Declan Donnellan is used to the odd coup de theatre, that moment when events on stage take a turn for the astonishing.
But what happened on the red carpet in Berlin for Bel Ami, his feature film debut, had even Donnellan thinking he had lost the plot.
"There was one moment when I thought I'd gone mad," says Donnellan, who was in Glasgow last month for the film festival premiere of Bel Ami with the movie's co-director, the theatre designer Nick Ormerod.
"I was convinced I heard some people scream 'Nick', 'Declan'. I thought this is really pathetic, you've gone mad. But we looked round and there was a group of about six people who had photos of us taken from the set, pulled from the internet. We were so grateful," he says, laughing. "We threw them in Rob's face."
The "Rob" to whom he refers, and the reason why Donnellan and Ormerod were amazed to receive any attention at all, is Robert Pattinson, one of the stars of Bel Ami but best known for playing Edward Cullen in the Twilight saga. For Twihards, as fans of the vampire films are known, Pattinson is a one-man Beatles, or a taller Daniel Radcliffe, take your pick. When he walks a red carpet it gets very noisy, very quickly.
It's possible to see a certain irony in Pattinson, a young actor largely known up to this point for his good looks, playing a character who has little else to offer but his handsomeness. Donnellan is having none of that. "I've worked with actors for 35 years and some very, very good ones. Rob is unbelievably talented. He is not Georges Duroy."
On set, Pattinson just got on with the work. "He's very much his own man," says Donnellan. "He's very quietly serious. All of that Rob hysteria you see is completely absent from the set. There's no sense of that at all, he's a nice guy from Barnes."