ETA: Translated the full interview of Rob with Elle Brazil.
He could have a huge ego. British actor Robert Pattnson is one of the highest paid in Hollywood – just in the last year, he earned $26,5M according to Forbes. The blue eyed guy has a legion of rabid fans, that follow him everywhere, and to add to that, he has been getting offers from acclaimed filmmakers. An example is the Canadian David Cronenberg, that directed him in Cosmopolis - the movie was in competition for the Palm D’Or in Cannes and will be released in Brazil in August. In person, however, Pattinson surprises for his humility and sense of humor. “All of a sudden, I left a ridiculous £500 paycheck and became a Hollywood star. And all of that happened without me proving anything.” jokes the actor, that became famous all over the world with the Twilight saga, which started in 2008 and has made since then $2.5 billions.
Even after beating more that 3000 candidates for the part of the vampire Edward Cullen, Pattinson is the first to admit that the character never “demanded much effort”. “The screenwriters did the best they could, but there isn’t a lot to do when the guy never changes” says the actor, a lot more excited about what the movies brought to his life than making them. “I know that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twilight. But from now on I want to overcome my insecurities as an actor, even if it means to take risks and make mistakes.”
The first part from this new phase is Eric Packer, the finance genius that he plays in Cosmopolis. Adaptated from Don DeLillo book, the futuristic drama follows the day of the ruthless billionaire that faces an existential crisis by putting his fortune in danger. With all the classic weirdness of a Cronenberg movie, most of the scenes are set inside a limousine, in which Pattinson’s character gets many visits – including prostitutes, doctors and financial analysts. “I confess that, when I read the script, I thought about saying no to the offer. I didn’t want to look like a coward, but I couldn’t understand anything. I felt an enormous potential for failure, especially because my character talks nonstop”, he says laughing. Fortunately, Cronenberg didn’t care about the fact that the finance world didn’t mean anything to Pattinson. The way that he felt alienated would work on his side – since his character isolates himself. “Only after, during filming, is when I understood that the script is about an absurd contention in the struggle for power. It’s an apocalyptic story about capitalism.”
During the movie, the protagonist reveals that deep down he’s just trying to escape from himself – something that Pattinson can relate to. Since he became famous, the actor is chased by the media and fans. “I try not to think a lot about that and just do my job. My life is really weird. It’s not as strange as my character’s in Cosmopolis, but I feel just as claustrophobic as him sometimes.”. Eric Packer even goes through a prostate exam in the limo. But the actor doesn’t complain. At least Packer and his next roles go beyond the “good guy” of the story. “It’s not easy to get around as the heartthrob for a long time. You need to be extremely self-confident, that’s not my case. I don’t think I’m attractive. I’m weird.”, says Pattinson, that started acting when he was 15 at the Barnes Theatre Company to “meet girls”.
In his current phase of acting in more cult projects, the actor plays in Bel Ami, based on the book by Guy de Maupassant, that will be released in Brazil in August, in the role of a seductive man with an obscure soul, that sleeps with women like Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Kristin Scott Thomas for money and power. In Mission: Blacklist, currently in pre-production, he’s going to play Eric Maddox, who spearheaded the capture of Saddam Hussein. And in The Rover, also in pre-production, his character will be a mentally disturbed guy, that helps his brother in getting back a stolen car. “They are interesting parts for an actor like me, that still has a lot to learn.”
Pattinson is also writing a script with his girlfriend, the actress Kristen Stewart, that he met during Twilight. “It’s not for now. We’re not going to hurry to work together again. We know it has to be a really great movie to explain a new partnership on screen. If not, they’re going to crush us”, he explains. He says he couldn’t have found a “more perfect” girl than Kristen. ”She understands exactly how I feel. She is an ambitious woman who wants to grow as an actress. She has an excellent radar for what is good and challenges me constantly.”
Named Robsten by the media – like Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) – , the couple went through the emotion and the craziness of having a movie competing for the Palm D’Or at the latest Cannes Festival. He was competing with Cosmopolis, and she with Walter Salles’ On The Road. ”Someone made a joke about us being adversaries, which would be insane.” Pattinson admits that he got ”a little jealous“ when Kristen told him about being at the French event – Cosmopolis‘ selection wasn’t confirmed yet. ”In the end, it was amazing to have each other’s support. Her presence at the gala screening of the movie made me really nervous. She was sitting in front of me. I kept looking at the back of her neck, trying to find out if she was liking the movie or not. (laughs). I relaxed when, at the end, Kristen told me she loved it.”
–ELLE Brasil July 2012