Robert Pattinson On GMA: 'Pretty Much Everything That Comes Out Of My Mouth Is Irrelevant'
Whether or not Robert Pattinson carries Cosmopolis to box-office glory this coming weekend, I hope he's around the movie business for a long time.
Unlike Kristen Stewart, who, I'm convinced, is Oscar material, Pattinson has yet to blow me away as an actor, but I do think he should win an award for the cheeky way in which he keeps showing us that contemporary celebrity journalism is a joke.
Pattinson's hysterical media tour for Cosmopolis has been underway since Monday when Jon Stewart — Mr. I-Schooled-Jim-Cramer-and-President-Obama-on-national-TV — served the actor melted ice cream and a bunch of runnier questions on The Daily Show.
And then on Wednesday, things got even sillier.
Pattinson appeared on Good Morning America, where host George Stephanopoulos informed the actor that the show's staff had done some research and come up with Pattinson's favorite breakfast food: Cinnamon Toast Crunch. (Good to see the ABC News budget going to good use.)
The interview that followed was a lot like that cereal: sickly sweet and full of empty calories, although the winning and witty Pattinson never went soggy in the milk bath of Stephanopoulos' aimless questioning.
I couldn't help but admire the actor's response when Stephanopoulos, attempting to get the "elephant in the room out of the way" asked Pattinson "How are you doing? And what do you want your fans to know about what's going on in your personal life?"
Behind the two men, a small horde of those fans stared hungrily at their Twilight idol through the glass walls of GMA's Times Square studio.
If Pattinson, who we keep being told has no publicist, was going to play the game, that was the moment where he was supposed to drop some morsel about his supposed relationship drama with Kristen Stewart. Instead, he used GMA's cereal shtick to his advantage.
"I'd like my fans to know that Cinnamon Toast Crunch has 30 calories per bowl," Pattinson said with a vampy grin, reducing the idiocy of contemporary celebrity journalism to a single line. Make that two: "Pretty much everything that comes out of my mouth is irrelevant," he added.
"I take it that you don't want to talk too much about it," replied Stephanopoulos, which made me spit my breakfast back into my bowl. Really?
"Is that the way you handle all of this craziness?" the former Clinton Administration adviser continued.
"You get into to it to do movies," said Pattinson. "I've never been interested in trying to sell my personal life. And that's really the only reason people try to bring it up. The reason why you go on TV is to promote movies."
The thing is, even though GMA showed a clip and Pattinson talked about the role, I don't think the TV audience left with a better idea of whether they would want to see Cosmopolis, or why Pattinson wanted to appear in it. If director David Cronenberg — whose films provoke and inspire even when they don't work as conventional entertainment — was discussed at all during the interview, I don't recall a single significant thing that was said.
Instead the interview became more about Pattinson's celebrity. Fortunately, he is capable of being introspective. "If you start getting used to it, it means you're going crazy," the actor told Stephanopoulos, adding: "It's like being on the craziest theme-park ride. It's exciting, but, eventually, at some point, you've got to have a break."
Pattinson, who plays an increasingly unhinged billionaire in Cosmopolis, even suggested a way that henpecked celebrities like him could get a break from the paparazzi: "If you put the lives of people who control billions on the front page of every single paper, the world would be a better place," he said. (Except Rob, that many of those billionaires also control much of the media.)
To those same ends, the actor without a publicist had a few choice words to say about "spin culture" that, I suspect, raised some hackles at the high-powered publicity firms that represent celebrity's finest. "If you took away publicists" and those who relied on them "spoke for themselves, then they'd have to be responsible for their words." the actor said.
I think that's what I like best about Pattinson. He knows he's part of the problem, but he sounds like he'd prefer to be part of the solution.
Follow Frank DiGiacomo on Twitter.
Follow Movieline on Twitter.