Empire magazine has a quickie interview with Rob. Click the digital scan to read :)
This video is from set interviews with Rob and David. It's dubbed but transcript of Rob's part is right under the video. :) Cutie in the yellow shirt!
Translation by @london_robsten
Rob: I was interested in the script because it looked like a long and mysterious poem. Usually when you read a script you suddenly get what it’s about, where it’s going and how it will end.Sarah Gadon was also interviewed recently and mentioned Rob and Eric. Excerpt from the Toronto Standard, Part 1 of their interview with Sarah Gadon:
Rob: This time was different because the more I kept reading it the more I didn’t seem to understand where it was going but more I wanted to be in the movie. That movie doesn’t belong to any genre it’s on its own.
Rob: It was hard to interpret a character who doesn’t go trough an evident evolution or follow a predictable path, I mean it does but it’s an incredible evolution that doesn’t happen in the same in which the characters usually change. David was able to control the whole thing I’ve never worked with a director that has such control over his movie and consider himself the head of every aspects of it.
It sounds reductive, but I found Elise pretty enigmatic, because we only see her from Eric’s perspective in the book and through their detached communication. How do you pick up on queues beyond the script? When you’re sharing scenes?Empire Scan: Source | Video/Translation: via Robstenation
SG: More than what goes on in the book—or the script—your character is defined by who’s cast as the lead. Whoever’s cast in the Eric Packer role defines the standard of normalcy in the script. But I like that Elise and Eric don’t know each other. It’s rare to play against a romantic lead while the action in the script is based on that fact.
What is Cronenberg’s involvement? I’ve heard there are no rehearsals.
SG: No, we don’t do rehearsals. But David does a very thorough blocking of the scene before going to camera. It’s like a mini rehearsal where we work out the movement of the scene. But I feel less rehearsal added to the project. There’s so much secrecy, security and mythology surrounding Rob as a person that when you arrive on set and do your scene with this actor and never spend any significant time with them, it feels bizarre. That’s what our characters are like: Two people who don’t know anything about each other. They never seem to find each other and when they’re together and it’s like they’re speaking two different languages. And then they both disappear into the city.
Right, Eric is hermetically sealed from the city in this marble-lined limo and Elise is a recluse. They’re removed from the city—
SG: Right. And because we shot a lot in the studio, we felt so far removed from everything. That’s what I like about the characters. They’re in New York City, but they never interact with their environment. It’s almost alarming whenever the environment interacts with them.
(Tink: This answer doesn't mention Rob but I really liked what she said about Cosmopoolis)
John Updike, reviewing Cosmopolis in the New Yorker, saw the book as “Nouveau roman meets Manhattan geography under sci-fi moonlight.” Nouveau roman places character at the feet of details in the surrounding world and the other people there. It’s like: sketch plot, pencil in character and drop them into their surroundings.
SG: But it’s troubling to categorize the book as Nouveau roman or sci-fi because that misses the mark. I see DeLillo removing his characters from their environment in order to call attention to that remove. It’s the lack that you have to focus on. He’s not weaving them into their environment so he can call attention to capitalism and its breakdown—it’s the opposite. David does the same thing in the film. He’s not trying to weave you into the narrative emotionally. He’s trying to create a distantiation where you can intellectualize the material on screen versus committing emotionally to some sort of narrative. You’re being provoked and frustrated into thinking about the system.
So what commentary does the film make? The book is pretty condemning—
SG: Yeah! This is for the one percent descending from their yacht at Cannes to watch a film that points to a gap in society. I think the movie lends itself to a meta-critique of the film industry. Take casting someone like Rob at the centre of this film. He is the symbol of pop cinema, the symbol of capitalism. The film is about the breakdown of that.
And his character’s so hubristic. He tries to tap into this technological system that’s supposed to order the world around him, the dollars and cents of his life, the free market. And we watch it all fall—really hard.
SG: When I read critiques of the film, I think people miss what you’re saying. They ask, “Why is Robert Pattinson in this movie?” Even for David to cast somebody like me who is blonde, blue-eyed and twenty-five and normally reads scripts where I am hyper sexualized or solve everyone’s problem with my smile. He cast me as a character who will not allow her romantic lead to project anything onto her that she will absorb, it’s kind of unheard of. And there is a difference between [Elise] in the book and the Elise that David wrote. In that the last scene between Eric and Elise, in the book, Eric projects onto an accepting Elise. For me, the best part about ending their narrative in the restaurant, in the movie, is that she ends it and she’s out and that’s it.