The real prototype of these generational mutations is Rob Pattinson: 24 years old, and Englishman in Hollywood, where he became famous worldwide playing the pale vampire Edward Cullen (and, even before, Cedric Diggory, a model student at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series). He jokingly admits to be “nothing special, one of those who live in hotels and travel the world”. However, he created a new masculine identity, surprising even for the Facebook sub-culture who’s made him a star via the social network. Today is the eve of an important test for him: his new movie, WFE: he’s the protagonist of a melodramatic film, set in a circus, from the bestselling book by Sara Gruen. […]
Having been labelled as a teen idol, you’re now being tested as a true actor.
I had this chance to act with Cristoph Waltz and I fall in love with Marlena (Reese), his wife. Travelling with the circus, I visit areas of America far from Hollywood. There are dark secrets in this movie, as in life. And there’s this idea of life-saving love, which I believe in. I’m not cheesy, but I have a romantic soul.
Do you get on well with girls?
I grew up with two older sisters, and I have a great respect for women. I hate the lack of prudishness, I get bored when people are ostentatious of their body. Sex and feeling for me walk side-by-side.
Your rock side: people say you spend nights with your friends listening to Tom Waits, Van Morrison and the late Jeff Buckley.
Music is a key aspect of my life. I wish I could play a movie about Buckley, his voice, his songwriting gave me a lot. I’m interested in his creativity, in his existence, even in his death by drowning in 1997, in the Mississippi.
What kind of use do you do of Internet?
A practical use. My favourite movie last year was The Social Network and one day I’d like to work with David Fincher. Everything he does is interesting, and he got the best out of an actor I really admire, Jesse Eisenberg.
Mr. Pattinson, you’re an idol. Who’s yours?
Jack Nicholson. He had a huge career and he always owned his characters. Whereas, in the end, for a lot of people, I am just Edward the vampire and in my life I’m just Robert. We share the same hairstyle. But when I read an entire article about my hair, I laugh my best British laugh.
By the way: what brought you from London to Hollywood?
Difficult work perspectives. I didn’t have great experiences as an actor, I had posed rather awkwardly as a model; then, cinema. In Vanity Fair I was Reese’s son, while in this last movie I’m her lover.
To be honest, not a great curriculum.
No, and I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to be an actor; I had always thought I was going to be a writer or a musician. But then I fell In love with the adventurous aspect of cinema. And I found the discipline, the ethic, and let me tell you, the inner call, which helped me to give a proper structure to my life.
Fame was next, a non-human fame: the vampire. How did Rob Pattinson protect his persona from fans only interested in a celebrity?
I am a cinephile, I’ve always loved cinema. It’s a passion. Cinema has the most important, and the truest communicative task: it makes us dream, it broadens our imagination, and yes, it can help us become better people. I started studying French just because I was interested in the nouvelle vague director Godard. All of this doesn’t make me a “celebrity” even if I later entered the Hollywood system.
How important was your family in your education?
I have a solid family behind me, two sisters, Lizzie is a musician like me; yes I play piano and guitar and I even wrote songs for Twilight. I remain an Englishman, I still remember my days in a public school, the Harrodian, where I wasn’t an extraordinary student, but always curious and open to cultural variety. My family taught me a sense of reality, of duty, the refusal of any kind of hysteria and I’ve never considered myself superior to Americans because I’m from London. I hate every kind of snobbery: it has often racism behind it.
We know very little about your life. As a man and an actor, how would you describe yourself?
My father Richard sold cars for years, my mother works as an agent in the show business. I started acting almost by chance at school and I played in a band. I never asked for too many clothes and shoes, and I’ve never been a social climber and I’ll never be. I read a lot and I still do; my favourites are the Russian writers, Dostoevskij, Nabokov. They make fun of me on set because I’m always reading stuff. Lately I’ve been reading again my favourite English writer, Martin Amis. His books are extraordinary accounts of contemporary life and psychology.
What was the turning point from the status of young actor to superstar?
I came to a point where I said: I’m going to be a professional actor, looking for the origins of my characters, making something real out of this ephemeral job. This will allow me to live the life I want to live, to be active in green politics, to be a citizen of the world. Fame is an handicap, not a privilege, it often complicates things. I try to not fall in the web of top class hotels, first-class flights, designers sending you tons of stuff, thousands of girls everywhere..
Can you resist everything? Can you define yourself by what you refuse? You’re immune to gossip?
My private life is off-limit. I’ve never spoken about my flirts, I’m not a man for short and superficial love affairs. I don’t talk about my relationships with female friends, not to mention how I don’t talk about the rumors about my relationship with Kristen Stewart, an actress I admire because she’s a real person, and a real actress. It was the chemistry I had with her helped me to get my role in Twilight. I don’t let people take pics of the houses I rented both in New York and London. When I’m in L.A. I live mostly in hotels. You can live very well in the anonymity of a hotel room, especially when you have a piano to play.
How important do you consider your style, the clothes you wear?
I like dressing Calvin Klein, English shoes, Tshirts and comfortable jeans. I’ve always been influenced by James Dean’s look. Yesterday elegance was conformism, today it’s individuality. Maybe we should find a balance.
Memorable travels around the world?
I avoid going on vacation to trendy places, I prefer road trips with friends, like students who choose nice motels, cafes in the depths of America, where a lot of people can’t even recognize me. Simple people who teach me how life is not Twilight. I travel to keep my feet firmly on the ground.
Are you interested in the real world?
I’m still interested into green politics and animals, preferably without paparazzi following me around. I have a dog, my true life companion, that’s never going to be in a photo shoot. This whole animal welfare thing is deeply in my heart: it was a real joy to be able to work with so many different species in WFE. I have a democratic and liberal concept of my life.
Congratulations. But don’t you think this is a super-serious attitude for an actor famous like you?
This is me, just me: I’m not interested in casual relationships, I need to know people, I’m not making an existential statement here: simply, I want a family, with 2 or 3 kids. Not funny? I really wish I could talk to animals more than to people who think they know me just from my movies.
Cosmopolis, Cronenberg’s move, is really going to be super-serious, from DeLillo’s novel, a metaphorical trip into America before 9/11.
I portray a contemporary man: ambitions, velleity, subterranean anxiety. Great stuff.
As always, international interviews sound a little weird, things usually get lost in translation and words get twisted. via RPLife