David Cronenberg spoke to the ReadingEagle.com about "Cosmopolis", casting Robert Pattinson for the role of Eric and how impressed he was with the fan sites devoted to "Cosmopolis".
Check out the parts of the interview below where he talks about Rob.
Cronenberg fans will find "Cosmopolis" very much of a piece with his
filmography, particularly "Existenz." That film concerned the creation
of a new virtual-reality game into which players directly - and
cringe-inducingly - plugged themselves. In "Cosmopolis," Packer relies
on virtual reality to simultaneously monitor and detach himself from the
"The sort of strange virtual-reality element of 'Cosmopolis' does lead
you to 'Existenz,' " Cronenberg conceded, "but thematically they're
different. Eric was characterized by one of the investors in the movie -
a man named Edouard Carmignac, who is a genuine French billionaire - to
be completely accurate. Edouard invested in this movie because he felt
he recognized many of his colleagues in Eric, that they do, in fact,
create this kind of bubble reality that they live in and that is just
completely disconnected from people's idea of human reality.
"So on that level 'Cosmopolis' is very realistic," Cronenberg said. "Of
course, at the same time, there are many gamers who live mostly in a
virtual world and, I suppose, 'Existenz' is still an accurate portrayal.
So there is that crossover."
At first glance, Packer appears to be a soulless character. He initially
exhibits little to no outward emotion, not while receiving updates
about his dwindling finances, not during sex, not ever. That sense of
detachment is enhanced by the limo, which is smooth-running, soundproof
and bulletproof, with tinted windows that minimize Packer's view of
outside events and prevent prying eyes from looking in at him.
"You can see his soul as the movie progresses, as he approaches his
childhood," Cronenberg said, "because, really, we begin to realize that
the barbershop represents his childhood. It's his childhood barbershop.
It's where he used to live. It's where he came from." (Kate: The scene in the barber shop was one of my favourites as much as it pained me to see Rob's hair being cut)
"Eric wasn't born
into money. I think you see Eric become more vulnerable and more
childlike and naive, and when he's in the barber chair he becomes like
himself as a child, before he'd erected this Eric character, this Master
of the Universe guy. So you should gradually warm up to him as you
realize how vulnerable and how wounded he is.
"It's why I cast Robert," Cronenberg added. "It's a very uncompromising
performance. We don't go out of our way to make him more likable than he
is, but you want to watch him. He's very charismatic, Rob." (Kate: Yes, I want watch him every minute and hour of the day, Oops did I say that out loud ;-})
"Cosmopolis" is Pattinson's show, and it's as far removed as it could be
from the commercial gloss and sparkly vampires of the "Twilight" films
in which Pattinson has starred as Edward Cullen. The actor has been in
the news of late, owing to the demise of his relationship with
"Twilight" co-star Kristen Stewart, but Cronenberg lauds his leading man
for his often-overlooked, still largely untapped talents as an actor.
"Rob is in every scene of this movie," the filmmaker said, "and I needed
a guy who could support that. His accent is spot-on - it's very much
like Don DeLillo's accent. He brings a wry sense of humor, and he brings
that strange emotionality that you feel from underneath because, as I
say, it's not there from the beginning, because it's a journey in more
ways than one.
"You have to see Eric evolve and, thanks to Rob, you do," Cronenberg
said. "I think it's a spectacular performance, very nuanced and
Like everyone with a stake in "Cosmopolis," Cronenberg hopes that
Pattinson's legions of "Twi-hard" fans will turn out en masse for
"Cosmopolis." Based on the production of the film, he said, that might
"The Twi-hards followed this movie hugely," Cronenberg said. "There were
20 to 30 sites devoted to 'Cosmopolis,' some of them really quite
spectacular, professional and slick, and they were being done mostly by
Twi-hards, who are mostly girls, and they were reading the book. They
were reading the book and commenting on it, on these sites, before the
movie was finished."
The director is clearly impressed.
"That was incredibly satisfying," he said. "They were loving the book
and the idea that Rob was doing it, and they're supporting Rob's choice.
"I got a lot of props myself," Cronenberg added with a laugh, "because
the Rob fans are rooting for him to show what he can do as an actor and,
therefore, they loved me for giving him the chance. (Kate: Yes we did! Plus we loved how adorable Robenberg were)
"That was their attitude, though my attitude was that I felt lucky to have Rob." (Kate: Awwwwww, could we love David any more than we already do?)
Head over to ReadingEagle.com for the full interview