An actor is a person not a movie character It is obvious that Robert Pattinson’s role as Salvador Dalí would be a major factor for the film’s box office results. Let’s face it, the success of Twilight is due to the young British actor’s charisma and tremendous on-screen presence. But can he play gay and get away with it? When Leonardo DiCaprio did Total Eclipse which required the actor to do difficult sex scenes - it was two years before Titanic. You probably have not heard of this film before except from news that there are nude scenes of DiCaprio and that it is being exploited on the internet. I’ll give you an example of how critics reacted to the movie:
Kissing and sodomy scenes between the two men are photographed in frankly embarrassing close-up, while a sex bout between the married couple and its aftermath are shot in such a way as to call attention to the physical attributes of the participants rather than to the scene's dramatic content. Effect of this approach, with an increasingly pathetic Verlaine (Richard Thewlis) seeking repeated debasement at the hands of a haughty Rimbaud (Leonardo DiCaprio), is an attribution of utter sordidness and sickness to a gay relationship, an unusual stance in this day and age of liberation and advocacy.
Fortunately, the comparison between Little Ashes and Total Eclipse is limited to the story – both depicted a gay relationship involving famous artists. I would not be surprised if DiCaprio would not list Total Eclipse as one of his top favorites. But I would bet Rob, Javier and Matthew would find every opportunity to praise Little Ashes and promote it to their fans. Friends and those who have seen the advance screenings have commented on the artistic quality of the film and the lead actors’ high caliber performances. The common consensus is that Little Ashes is not only a “good movie”, but it has the potential to be considered a “great movie”.
Robert Pattinson is Salvador Dalí
"I just researched tons and tons of stuff because everyone spoke Spanish on the set and so I just read all day. It was the first time that I ever really got into characterization, trying to work on movements. There was a photo of him pointing and I kept trying to figure out how he pointed for like three days. I've never done that for any job. I was doing tons of stuff on his walk and such. By the end, I have no idea [how it turned out]. Someone said to me the other day, 'I had no idea it was about Dali until you had the mustache at the end.' I was just like, 'Oh, great.' I think it's a kind of homage to him, I guess, in that performance. I've never related to a character more than him, which is really weird because everyone thinks that he's some nut job.
When he was younger, if you read his autobiographical stuff – he wrote three autobiographies which completely contradict each other. Literally in one of them he said that his mother sucked his d-ck and all this stuff. And then in another one he says that his mother was the greatest mother in the whole world and gave him the best childhood he'd ever had. There are chapters called 'Truth' and other ones are called 'Lies' and then lies and the truths and stuff, it's just really funny. There was so much about him that I found fascinating. It's depressing how he did it himself and yet everyone sees him as this mask. He wanted that, but it's so funny how he was so much more than just this bizarre clown that he was at the end of his life who only cared about money. He was an incredibly complex person. I'm not saying that I am. I'm not at all."
Robert Pattinson may not be a complex individual but he has all the makings of a complex actor. Someone once said that in every generation, there will be a few who will form part of a special breed of actors – capable of attracting a wide range of movie audiences and at the same time, impress film critics and award giving bodies. Pattinson is definitely one of them, together with Jim Sturgess and Gaspard Ulliel; they belong to the cream of the crop. Apart from playing such an iconic character as Edward Cullen, Pattinson is now tasked to deliver another performance that would test his mettle as an actor. This time, he is playing a historical figure and quite a notorious one at that! While it might have been quite a challenge to play an age-old vampire, not to mention the constant pressure and invasion from Twilight fans, it would be an altogether different experience to play someone who has been controversial in life and in death.
"…I guess that Edward is an iconic character too. But I just did the same thing, breakdown what you know about him. Also, there's a ton of literature which he wrote and about him and then you just kind of build that back up again. Also, when I was playing him it was when he was very young, 18 to 26 and the story is about his descent or assent into this caricature of which everyone knows. He was this chronically shy kid when he was younger. So it's really not playing Dali, per se, apart from towards the end of it - and I'm still not really playing him. It's more the mood of Dali I think."
There are roles described as ‘definitive’ – Heath Ledger’s Ennis del Mar in Brokeback Mountain is one. Dan Dune, the young Professor who is also a drug addict, played by Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson is another. While Pattinson has a long way to go as an actor, perhaps in ten years time, he’ll look back and remember how he once played a controversial artist who remains an enigma even to his peers…
Go HERE to read the rest of the article to explore the other actors and the roles they play in the film.