Robert Pattinson Dishes on Typecasting, Adele, Superheroes and Cosmopolis
Robert Pattinson has a lot riding these days. He traveled to Cannes for the world premiere of David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis in which he plays a multimillionaire on a 24-hour odyssey through New York City (mostly in his limo) and he stars in Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod's Bel Ami in which he portrays a man grabbing power by manipulating Paris' most wealthy women. And of course there was his most recent annual win for Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards last weekend (he and Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart have taken the "prize" for four years straight - those sexy things).
Pattinson spoke with CBC host George Stroumboulopoulos about his latest pursuits and more. The actor talks about Twilight type-casting, how Ryan Gosling inspired him, his feelings about Heath Ledger and his run-in with singer Adele. Cosmopolis opens in Cronenberg's native Canada in the next few days (it is slated for the U.S. this year) while Bel Ami will debut Stateside this weekend. (Video of the Robert Pattinson George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight interview is below and airs Thursday, June 7, at 11:05 pm on CBC television - Interview re-printed with permission by CBC).
You know, post-Twilight franchise , you were trying to go down different roads? Was this legitimately part of your planning?
Robert Pattinson: This was not part of the plan at all. I just thought I was totally oversaturated everywhere, I wanted to do little tiny parts or maybe no parts at all. I got this three weeks before I was finishing the last Twilight movie, and I was really, really determined to find ensemble pieces or anything small just so I didn’t have to be in everybody’s face and annoying everyone. And then this thing came up.
Is this a new experience for you though, to watch your film back and go, oh wait a minute, how do I promote this movie?
RP: Ah, completely. It reminded me, I watched this interview with Ryan Gosling once, and he said when he did The Believer a few years ago, and people were saying - cause he’d done Young Hercules for three or four seasons - and then he did The Believer and everybody was asking about his craft. And it’s the most, most confusing thing. I was in Cannes doing these interviews, and I was really fighting to not look pretentious for years, and someone gives you one inch of the possibility of being pretentious, and you’re like grabbing it so hard, going around being the biggest douchebag. And now I’ve kind of reined it in again.
The one thing I imagine that you’re dealing with is aside from your close circle of friends -- actual humanity, actual human conversations, the connections we all crave as a person, it’s harder and harder for you to find, isn’t it?
RP: Yeah, but I just remember, I think I was pretty similar before. Like I would be one of those people who was desperate to go to a party and then they go to the party and just stand in the corner with the people they came with and refuse to acknowledge that anyone else is there. So I don’t really miss anything. And you kind of, you have all these fantasies if I wasn’t famous I’d meet all these random people in the street all the time. But you don’t meet random people in the street. Most of the time you’re trying to avoid everybody even if you’re not famous.
Actually I had this argument with Adele, which is probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever said. I was saying, “you know, you can really just like reach for it,” and she was like, “you do realize I am like the biggest-selling female artist ever?” And I just for some reason just decided to get into an argument with her.
How does that happen, at two o’clock in the morning somewhere?
R.P. Yeah, and then waking up and kind of really, really regretting every word I said.
Do you think much about the fact that when this franchise goes away, that you need that second act to your career? Do you think about that?
RP: The only thing I ever thought about was thinking, I don’t want anyone to think that I somehow got trapped by something, you know. And I don’t know if anyone really does, the general public, about Twilight – but the amount of times you get asked, “oh, are you worried about being typecast?” I’m just worried about people saying, like, “What happened to that guy?” And also, you think, you want to do something at least a little bit worthwhile with what kind of power you’ve been given, through luck. And not just keep trying to extend the same thing for as long as possible.
I’m not very scared of it going away at all. If I could somehow maintain a career in which I keep making movies like Cosmopolis, than I think it would be amazing, because not very many of them are made. You know, I always thought after The Dark Knight, for instance, it makes tons and tons of money, and Heath is doing something just outside -- and people understand what he’s doing, it’s not like he’s not doing something totally crazy, but it’s just slightly outside the box of what people are used to seeing, and I really thought that was going to change everything as to how the big budget movies are made. But it didn’t, at all. If every single actor wasn’t afraid of trying to do something slightly abstract and not concerned about their movie making tons and tons of money, then eventually the industry would change.
But then you and other guys in your position, can you make these kinds of films, then? And not just as actors?
RP: I think you can once. I don’t know how many other times. I’m desperately trying to get a superhero movie now.