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Rob interview with The Daily Beast



For awhile, it seemed as if the eerily handsome British actor would have an impossible time getting past the iconic Twilight role that first brought him global fame and fortune. The series was too popular. His looks were too vampiric. And no one who plays the same part more than, say, three times ever really shakes it. (See: Connery, Sean.)

But in the years since the final Twilight installment came and went from theaters, Pattinson has begun to accomplish the impossible. Again and again he has chosen to work with brilliant auteurs—Werner Herzog, David Cronenberg, James Gray, Olivier Assayas—and again and again he has stunned audiences with his smart, sensitive, and very un-Cullen-like performances.

Pattinson’s latest movie, a spare, dystopian Western called The Rover, is his finest work yet. Under the direction of David Michod (the excellent Animal Kingdom), Pattinson stars as Rey, a gut-shot simpleton from the American South who encounters Eric (Guy Pearce) in the sweltering, lawless Australian outback ten years after a global economic collapse. In the wake of a botched heist, Rey’s gang—which includes Rey’s brother—has left him behind to die. The gang has also stolen Eric’s car. And so Rey and Eric team up to track them down. Pattinson is absolutely magnetic in the role, transforming what could have a been an embarrassing caricature of a man-child into empathetic portrait of a wounded human being struggling to think for himself for the first time—and ultimately succeeding. Not many actors can make cogitation look so compelling. Pattinson, somehow, is one of them.

To discuss his work in The Rover—and his career more generally—Pattinson recently sat down with The Daily Beast in Los Angeles. He was as striking in person as he is on screen—thin, white v-neck t-shirt, two-day scruff, artful bedhead. His demeanor is more boyish, and less confident, than one might expect of a movie star; he rarely made eye contact as he spoke and he laughed, half-nervously, whenever he said something revealing.

“I forget how to act in between every single movie,” Pattinson confessed.

He went on to talk about why Twilight has become a burden; why he could never do what Jennifer Lawrence does; and why he loves to work with auteurs such as Harmony Korine, with whom he’s planning to collaborate next. Pattinson also shot down the rumors that he will be taking over for Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones or Han Solo in the near future—although he didn’t shut the door on all future franchises.

“You're sort of floating. You don't know how it happens, but it's amazing. And it's nothing to do with the audience or anyone else. You're still probably shit. But it's so addictive, and it's so rare as well.”
You've said that you “really, really fought” for the role of Rey. Why?

Weirdly, I got sent the script and misread the email. I thought it was an offer. I was like, “Wow. I know exactly how to do this—and I never get offered stuff like this, ever!” So I call up my agent and I’m like, “I want to do it! I want to do it right now!” I had wanted to work with David Michod for years before this. But then they were like, “No, it’s just an audition. What are you talking about?” [Laughs] I suddenly had this pang of terror. I’ve basically messed up every audition I’ve ever gone for.

So what did you do?
I just realized I have to get it, so I just put in an enormous amount of time—way more work than I’ve ever done for an audition before.

What do you mean by “way more work”? What kind of labor are we talking about here?
I mean, I would just run it literally 10 hours a day for, like, two weeks.

Wow.
Completely obsessively, to the point where I was dreaming about it and stuff. I don’t know particularly what I was doing—just constantly thinking about it.

I guess it paid off.
[Laughs] Most auditions you don’t go in like you’re actually doing the movie. You do it like you’re doing an audition. But this I was just doing the movie in someone’s house. Full on.

You said you don’t usually get offered roles like Rey. How so?
Little weirdo roles. There are about five or six actors who have had a lock on them for years. [Laughs] I’m not sure what place I was really put in, but I wasn’t really part of that group of strange character actors—people who are a little bit “weak.” A little fragile and broken. I guess I wasn’t interpreted as being one of those people.

What was the biggest challenge for you in making The Rover?
Nothing really. Even before I got the part, I was so clear about how I wanted to do it. Really the only strange aspect was walking into the audition room and being like, “Am I doing this entirely wrong? I have no idea.” I had one little moment of panic. But as soon as I got I knew what I wanted the clothes to be, what I wanted the look to be—I knew everything. I wanted someone who couldn’t quite fulfill his emotions. He’s just constantly stuck between two things. And also someone who’s never really been required to think and is suddenly forced into thinking for the first time. Basically like playing a baby as an adult. It just felt so right, right from the beginning.

Did you base your portrayal of Rey on anyone in particular?
He’s a little bit like one of my cousins, actually. [Laughs] The clothes, the walk.

How was making The Rover different than making the Twilight movies?
It wasn’t freezing cold. [Laughs] I think that’s actually the biggest thing. When everyone’s so miserable because it’s so freezing cold…the boiling hot Australian outback I would take over the freezing cold any day.

Why?
The cold makes people stressed. There wasn’t as much light in the day to shoot with in Vancouver. And this was just, like, the same weather every day. There’s no one pressuring you to do anything. It’s David’s movie and there are basically only two people in it. You don’t have to rush anything. There’s only two egos you have to deal with. [Laughs]

The fewer egos, the better. Let’s rewind for a second: What made you want to be an actor in the first place—and what made you think you could do it?
I joined this drama club when I was 16 because I fancied this girl who went to it. [Laughs] I’d never done any acting before. But they were doing Guys & Dolls, and I’d never sung but for some reason I really wanted to be in it. [Laughs] I have no idea why, to this day. I did that, and another play afterwards, then randomly got an agent. But I think it was just the first time you do something—performance—it’s incredibly addictive. I remember doing Tess of the d’Urbervilles—the Thomas Hardy thing. I did this scene where I slapped Tess in the face. And just seeing people in the front row going [gasps in horror]—you suddenly have this massive burst of energy through you. Suddenly seeing people look at you like that—you’re like, “Wow! No one has ever looked at me like that before.”

It’s a strange feel. And then you start to feel it for yourself as you get older. You realize that you can get lost. It’s like doing music—you can do a scene and be like, “I don’t feel like myself at all.” And you don’t know where it came from. It’s kind of nice.

Getting away from yourself is an addictive feeling, isn’t it?
Yes. I used to play music all the time, and that was all I wanted to do in music—get to the point where you’re sort of floating. You don’t know how it happens, but it’s amazing. And it’s nothing to do with the audience or anyone else. You’re still probably shit. [Laughs] But it’s so addictive, and it’s so rare as well. You’re just constantly trying to go for that, every time.

Twilight was obviously a blessing to you. But how has it been a burden?
There’s been a lot of hate, actually. Honestly, though, I don’t understand the backlash against Twilight. The first movie, everyone liked it. But then it was suddenly… I don’t quite get why people turned on the other ones. There are plenty of successful franchises which everyone accepts. But for some reason there were all these political arguments against. People saying, “Oh, it’s a bad example for women.” Blah, blah, blah. As if we were all a bunch of dumbasses. We’re not playing it that way! That’s purely your interpretation! We’re not trying to make a movie about subservient female characters at all.

In a lot of ways, people have decided what Twilight is about before they’ve even thought about it, and then they’ve labeled us, the actors, as part of whatever that may be. Even the sparkling thing. I get so many sparkly criticisms! But I don’t actually remember a moment of in any of the movies where I sparkle. [Laughs] Maybe one second in the first one. It’s like, really? All these fanboys are like, “You’re sparkling!” And I’m like, “Really? You must have freeze framed that one second.” [Laughs] It’s just the idea of sparkling—people lost their minds over it.

But at the same time you find that the people who think they hate you can be incredibly loyal. They go to see your movies to hate on you. [Laughs] That’s fine with me!

What about artistically? Has all the Twilight hubbub—the cultural obsession around it—given people an inaccurate sense of who you are as an actor?
I don’t know who I am as an actor. I’ve found that the Twilight movies were probably the hardest jobs I’ve done. You have so many parameters to play the character within, and also you’re doing five movies where you have to play the same point every time and figure out different variations on it. It was really hard. It was like trying to write a haiku.

Did Twilight make you a better actor?
Yeah. It’s funny, because the reviews got worse.

But now that you’re doing movies like The Rover—darker, deeper, more artistic movies—do you feel like you’re trying to escape from Edward Cullen?
No, not at all. I never even thought of all the Twilights as a single entity. They were all separate movies for me. I mean, I forget how to act in between every single movie. [Laughs] But I’ve always thought that nothing comes for free. You get paid a bunch of money. You get a bunch of opportunities. And you’ve got to pay for it somehow. And in my case, I paid for it by having to figure out how to walk down the street [without getting mobbed]. I paid for it by people thinking I was one thing. That’s my major desire as an actor—to have no one know who I am. To have no preconceptions. So obviously when a character becomes iconic, you have to deal with the baggage that comes with it.

Since Twilight, you’ve been making a point of working with auteurs: Werner Herzog, David Cronenberg, James Gray, Olivier Assayas, David Michod. Why? Is this your way of making sure that people don’t peg you as “one thing"?
Those are the people I’ve loved since I was a teenager. It almost seems like a joke that I’m working with them now. They’re also people who have gotten performances out of actors that made me want to be an actor, before I even was an actor. Especially James Gray—Joaquin [Phoenix]’s stuff with James. That guy can get really singular performances out of people. And with Harmony Korine as well. Really it’s just limiting your margin for failure. I genuinely think you can’t fail doing a Werner Herzog movie or a Harmony Korine movie. You know they’re not going to just phone something in. They haven’t ever. Take Cronenberg. I still think Cronenberg is so cutting-edge—and he’s been working for 45 years. Whereas some people now are already flopping on their second movie. Already selling out.

Speaking of Cronenberg, you once said that making Cosmopolis “reinvigorated” your “ideas about acting.” How?
I just made me realize that I could be in those kinds of movies. All throughout doing Twilight, I got asked whether I was afraid of getting typecast. I started thinking, “Yeah, I guess I am.” Then I got cast in Cosmopolis, which was just so far from my wheelhouse, and I was like, “Oh, I guess I shouldn’t be afraid of being typecast anymore.” It freed me up. And I loved the experience so much—getting into Cannes was such a massive deal to me. I’m just trying to go after that again.

Which actors do you look at and say, “That’s the kind of career I want to have?”
I like what Joaquin has done. I’m always looking at his stuff—he’s been the most influential actor on me. And in a lot of ways I like Guy’s career as well. But he also does Australian stuff all the time, and I feel weird doing English things. I feel like I’m really naked.

What about someone like Jennifer Lawrence? She’s balanced two studio franchises with lots of meatier parts.
She’s amazing. She’s absolutely incredible. But also we’re different types of people. She seems like she’s super-confident—and I don’t have the kind of confidence. She glows. I think you can fit that into quite a few different areas. Whereas I’ve got a kind of sneak-through-the-cracks style.

The rumors are circulating, so I have to ask. Will you be the next Indiana Jones?
No. [Laughs] But I mean, I don’t know. That would be so funny if I suddenly got offered it. I’d be like, “Oh shit!” [Laughs]

So the rumor has no basis in reality?
No, no.

What about another famous Harrison Ford role: Han Solo? The buzz is that you’re being considered for a standalone Solo movie.
Oh no. I think all of these things are made up so I get tons of bad press.

Bad press? Those are two of the greatest characters in the history of Hollywood.
But literally this random story comes out and I get 50 other stories saying, like, “THAT GUY? NOOOO! What an asshole!”

For the record, though: you’re a fan of Han and Indy?
100 percent. Everyone is.

But that’s all for now.
Right.

Would you ever do another franchise?
Yeah. I’d have to put a lot of thought into it first. But in a lot of ways, those are the only big movies that are made anymore. [Laughs] So unless you just never want to do studio movies, you have to realize that you’ve got to do The Fault in Our Stars 2. [Laughs]
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New Rob interview with brisbane times

Via; RPLife
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The vampire is dead. Or at least by now he should be. With The Rover, the new film from Animal Kingdom director David Michod, Robert Pattinson has finally shaken off the Twilight tag that threatened to define him forever as an actor.

In The Rover, he has an accent from America's deep south, bad teeth and a strange emotional dependency on others. It’s a role that has attracted some very positive reviews: Variety critic Scott Foundas talked about ‘‘a career-redefining performance ... that reveals untold depths of sensitivity and feeling’’.

Pattinson is a relaxed interview subject. He has a hearty laugh, and the air of someone who hasn’t worked out all his lines in advance, but he’s also ready to explain and explore what interests him. He’s serious about his work, and keen to make movies with people he admires and respects.

He’s aware that he’s getting favourable reviews for The Rover. He’s happy about this, of course, he says, ‘‘because I really love the movie’’. But when it comes to his performance, he admits, ‘‘I always think of it as a work in progress, and it just gets frustrating, thinking about things you could fix.’’

At the same time, when he read the script, it was one of those rare occasions when he connected immediately with a role.‘‘Maybe because it was so loose - you could really do almost anything with the character. You could project anything onto it. But I don’t know, I could hear the voice in my head almost immediately, I could feel a walk ... and that’s only happened to me three or four times since I’ve started acting.’’

Michod plunges the audience swiftly into the world of the film, a near-future in which Australia has become a run-down, devastated, hand-to-mouth economy. There’s an almost documentary-like immediacy, as there’s virtually no explanation of how this collapse has happened. Early on, Pattinson’s character, Rey, is taken in hand by Pearce’s character, for reasons that gradually become clear. Yet there are many things about Rey that don’t get spelled out or remain ambiguous: this is another aspect of the film Pattinson appreciates.

He spent almost no time with Pearce before shooting started. ‘‘I guess because I’d auditioned a year before, and talked to David a lot. I already basically made my mind up how I wanted to play the character. I had to keep my mouth shut, figuring out what he wanted to do, it was kind of scary.’’ He wondered what would happen if Pearce’s interpretation was totally at odds with his vision of his own character. ‘‘It’s worked out great now,’’ but there were a couple of moments at the beginning, he says, when it felt as if they were in completely different films.
American actor Scoot McNairy plays Rey’s brother, from whom he has become separated. Pattinson’s a big fan of the chameleon-like actor whose recent films include Killing Them Softly, Monsters and 12 Years a Slave. ‘‘The funny thing about Scoot is you can never recognise him,’’ Pattinson says. "I was talking to him about Argo the other day, and I didn’t realise he was in it. Absolutely no idea.’’ He gives one of his heartiest laughs. ‘‘Our whole conversation, he thought I was joking.’’

He doesn’t mind telling stories against himself, and has a self-deprecating way of talking about certainties. ‘‘I don’t know if I’m necessarily any good at ‘sculpting a career’ or anything,’’ he says, ‘‘but I know what I want to do. I’m not very good at finding or getting massive movies.’’ It turns out that he’s talking about life after Twilight. What he means, he says, is that ‘‘I don’t get approached very much about superheroes and stuff.’’

He has, however, plenty of interesting projects under way or awaiting release. The Rover premiered at Cannes, and so did Maps to the Stars, a dark comedy about Hollywood directed by David Cronenberg. He’s also made Queen of the Desert, a biopic with Werner Herzog, about British traveller, writer and political figure Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman). He’s playing her ally T.E. Lawrence - inevitably inviting comparisons with Peter O’Toole.

He’s recently been working on Life, an intriguing double portrait of James Dean and Dennis Stock, the Life photographer who took a famous series of portraits of the actor just before he broke through as a star in East of Eden. Pattinson plays Stock, and people assume he was attracted to the part because it is a reflection on celebrity, but he says that’s not the case. ‘‘A lot of what I was interested in was nothing to do with James Dean, or fame, or anything like that.’’ What drew him to Stock, he says, is that the character is depicted as ‘‘a really bad dad. And you don’t really see that in young guy parts. He just doesn’t love his kid, or is incapable of it, and it kind of pains him.’’

The film is also about conflicting visions of creativity, he says. ‘‘It’s a little ego battle, and a lot of it is about professional jealousy, and who’s a better artist, who’s the subject and who’s the artist.’’ Life is directed by Anton Corbijn (Control) who was a photographer before he turned to movie making.

Pattinson says his own opinions on photography are ‘‘kind of weird’’. He’s not a fan of digital image-making, he says: he feels it’s too easy, that it doesn’t require the same level of artistry as analogue photography. And, of course, he adds, experiences with paparazzi haven’t helped him appreciate photographers. ‘‘I have a very negative attitude towards photographers in a lot of ways, so it’s interesting to play one.’’

In October, he starts work on Idol’s Eye, to be directed by French filmmaker Olivier Assayas, making his Hollywood debut. Robert De Niro has just signed on. ‘‘I’m really, really excited about this one,’’ Pattinson says. It’s a true story about a group of thieves at moments of transition - from the changing face of technology in burglar alarms to the shifting realities for the Chicago Mafia.

He’s also starring in an independent post-World War I drama called The Childhood of a Leader due to shoot in September. It will be directed by actor Brady Corbet (Mysterious Skin, Funny Games), from a script he has co-written. ‘‘I’ve known Brady for 10 years, he’s great and the script is phenomenal.’’

Corbet has said he really appreciates the way Pattinson uses his celebrity to help ensure that films he admires get made. Pattinson laughs when I mention this. It’s a power he might as well use while he can, he suggests. ‘‘We’ll see how long it lasts.’’

The Rover is currently screening.
Robsten 3

New Rob interview with the LA Times

Via; RPLife



On the list of life's great pleasures, walking down a grim street in a one-horse Australian town probably doesn’t rank very high.

Yet if you're one of the world most recognized -- and harangued -- faces, it can have a remarkable effect on your psyche and work.

So it went, at least, for former “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson. The actor made the new post-apocalyptic Western “The Rover” in the otherworldly solitude of remotest Australia -- veritable ghost towns with names such as Leigh Creek and Quorn -- allowing him to escape the maddening swarms and focus on his acting as never before.

"It was great, just being able to be out there with no one around,” the British heartthrob recalled of making David Michod’s Aussie indie, which opens Friday, before giving his trademark laugh: a nervous chuckle that can seem to go on a half-beat too long and is decidedly at odds with the suave sullenness of the vampire role that made him famous.

Added Michod: "I don’t think I ever saw an actor so happy as when I saw Rob coming down the street toward me all by himself. He was practically bouncing."

Maybe big stars should shoot in a down-under desert more often. In the waning years of his "Twilight" period and in the two years since, Pattinson, now 28, tried to redefine himself several times. He made a romantic melodrama, a period circus piece and a tale of the French nobility adapted from a Guy de Maupassant novel.

Yet though there have been shards of promise -- his oddly introspective Wall Street tycoon in David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" in 2012 -- Pattinson has never shown the range he does here.

The tabloid fixture plays a vulnerable-yet-resolute man left for dead by a cruel older brother (Scoot McNairy) in a post-apocalyptic wasteland (10 years after “the revolution,” in the movie’s cryptic title card). He’s able to tap into new acting depths opposite Guy Pearce, the veteran Aussie actor who also does some of his most notable work in years.

Set in a futuristic world that resembles the violent desolation of the Old West as much as anything in “Blade Runner” (though “Mad Max” comparisons are inevitable), “The Rover” centers on Eric (Pearce)‎, a stoic survivor type who seems to have lost any ability for human connection. When his car is stolen by a gang led by McNairy's Henry, Eric sets out on an unexpectedly zealous quest to find them, and it.

Soon he comes across the apparently slow-witted Ray (Pattinson), left for dead by the side of the road after an altercation with Henry. Eric and Ray then become an unlikely pair, each haunted by their particular circumstances but united in their desire to track down the man who wronged them.

Though some viewers have objected to Michod's deliberative narrative pacing, the director is after something different than a conventional road movie, an exploration of theme and character as much as where its heroes are literally going.‎ Pearce and Pattinson exchange few words in the film, but "The Rover's" ultimate takeaway is of the bonds of human connection that persist (sometimes) despite the lack of civil society.

These relationships, the actors say, came naturally to them.

“We didn’t have to go out of our way to connect," Pearce said. "When you’re living like that in a small town and doing nothing else besides the movie, a relationship can’t help but develop.”

As he speaks, he and Pattinson find themselves in the opposite of an apocalypse, hanging on a couch together on the rooftop deck of a Cannes Film Festival hotel, the Riviera coastline stretching out glitteringly below them.‎ "This isn't terrible," Pearce said, grinning. Pattinson is wearing the kind of moth-eaten clothes that look trendy only on famous people.

But the actors went the extra mile for the movie, shooting in southern Australian towns that time forgot to serve the vision of Michod, the indie darling who returned to difficult terrain after his debut crime drama “Animal Kingdom,” also starring Pearce, garnered him Hollywood attention.

Pearce bicycled and jogged early in the morning before shooting, or late in the evening after hours of takes, trying to keep focus in the sweltering heat for a role that often required him to convey complicated emotions without speaking a word.

Pattinson too spent long hours hammering out an accent -- it’s somewhere between an exaggerated Southern drawl, an Australian outback dialect and Lennie Smalls -- that even he assumes (not incorrectly) can’t always be understood. He also arrived in Australia two weeks early to work on the character and, while shooting, demonstrated a curiosity about the role that his colleagues describe as surprisingly diligent.

“I think Rob was really inspired that people were so into it,” said the Australian actress Susan Prior, who has a key scene opposite the film’s two stars. “In a way, maybe he hadn’t experienced that before because on the bigger ones an actor isn’t really part of that process of exploring.”

She cited one scene in which Pattinson gamely agreed to lie motionless on a tabletop while Prior’s character, a doctor, sutured him up, even though he had a body double and could have left at any point. (The film's producer, David Linde, called Pattinson "really intellectually curious.")

Still, working on an indie requires a certain adjustment for a star such as Pattinson. When his agent first called with news of a conversation with Michod, Pattinson believed he had been offered the part. "’No, no,’ he said,” Pattinson recalled, quoting his agent, “‘it's just an audition.’ I had to stop celebrating."

The actor wound up going for an audition at Michod's house in which he became so hesitant to do a scene he hadn't prepared that he nearly walked out. "Rob said he hadn't prepared it but I think he just didn't want to do it," Michod said. "But we started working on the scene in the audition, and then it became play, he swam to it like a little fish."

Pattinson said that despite having to audition, he was grateful for the shot at the "Rover" role. “I was quite conscious that I was not part of a group that gets roles like this,” he said. “In my experience, a part like this goes to the skinny little weirdo.”

He added, “The one for us and one for them doesn’t exist anymore. There’s no guarantee of getting a cool indie after a big studio movie.”

For all the perceptions that he can write his own ticket, Pattinson said that assumptions about his career -- including the one that he’s routinely offered big studio parts -- are mistaken too. “I've never really been part of that group either,” he said. “Maybe because I don't work out enough," he added, giving the nervous laugh again.

Pearce said he didn’t give Pattinson acting or career advice but did find himself wondering about aspects of the actor's fame. “There was this curiosity about how Rob does his job with all the attention he’s gotten, just how he copes with it.”

He said he did tell Pattinson to avoid the kind of movies, especially bigger ones, that he might cringe at later, no matter the money or advice of his representatives. The "humiliation," as Pearce called it, isn't worth it, and if you don't feel it, chances are the audience won't either. (The veteran added that this philosophy has motivated him to work more with directors such as Michod, or a then-green Christopher Nolan in “Memento,” rather than take the mostly villainous supporting parts in studio blockbusters. Incidentally, and perhaps tellingly of this post-"Twilight" moment, as this story went to bed, Pearce was being cast in another indie, the sci-fi love story "Equals" -- opposite Kristen Stewart.)

Not that Pattinson entirely has a problem with embarrassment.

He was so taken with the solitude of the "Rover" set and the absence of paparazzi that came with it that one day before shooting he decided to shock the crew -- a Pattinson specialty -- by relieving himself on the set just outside of camera range.

“’Rob, we’re ready,’” he said, mimicking the voice of an assistant director. "And I walked onto set and I could almost hear them saying, 'This guy is weird.'"

Pattinson said he believes that some of the real value of doing an indie like this is on the marketing side, because it will help new audiences discover the movie.

“That would be amazing," he said, when asked if some of his teenage-girl devotees might now see a violent Western they never would otherwise come out to. Then he gave the nervous laugh again. “I don't know. I might end up losing a bunch of fans.”