UPDATE: The Detroit News Robert Pattinson gets down and dirty in 'The Rover'
His name is Rey and he does not look, talk or act like anybody’s idea of a teen heartthrob.
His teeth are crooked and foul. His hair is a bad bowl-buzzcut. He’s dirty from head to toe, and when he manages to speak, he mumbles disjointed sentences, often repeating them for no good reason.
He certainly bears little resemblance to the world’s most handsome vampire, the perfectly coiffed, sparkly skinned Edward Cullen, hero of the “Twilight” franchise. And yet Rey, the train-wreck at the center of the post-apocalyptic manhunt “The Rover,” is indeed played by the usually dashing Robert Pattinson.
“I generally don’t get picked for these parts,” Pattinson admits on the phone from L.A. “There’s about five actors who seem to have a lock on the weirdos. I’ve never really been perceived to be one of them — up until now maybe.”
How badly did Pattinson want the part? He auditioned for it. Twice.
Understand, this is a guy whose last movie, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” earned $829 million worldwide.
But he understood the need for an audition.
“Well, it’s very different from who I am, personally. There’s no way of really proving that I could have done it by just talking about it,” he says. “It would have been a giant leap of faith.”
Pattinson, 28, saw the jittery, perpetually insecure Rey as a literal underdog.
“In a pack of dogs there’s always one who will completely accept the beta position,” he says.
To help him find the right mindset, director David Michod had Pattinson watch the documentary “Bully,” which follows the lives of kids who are constantly picked on. The actor understood right away.
“People have been accusing you of having something wrong with you for so long that you believe it,” he says. “No one’s expecting anything from you, you stop thinking, you’re a dependent. You don’t have any choice. Really, the only thing he feels is fear of everything.”
It helped that co-star Guy Pearce happens to be a fairly imposing presence.
“Guy’s just got this constant pressure on you in a scene. And he’s got such a singular focus that you kind of end up just falling to pieces,” Pattinson says. “It’s like you’ve got a laser beam on you.”
Pattinson certainly has experience with bright lights. Born and raised in London, he started working in amateur theater at age 15. An agent spotted him there and by 2005 he had landed a small part in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
By 2008 he’d been chosen to play Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” series. Five movies and countless magazine and tabloid covers later, the franchise concluded last year with “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” having earned more than $3.3 billion.
Pattinson has learned to adapt to the spotlight over the years, and he even ventures out into public on occasion these days.
“You sort of weigh up what you want your day to be. If you say my friends are going to a movie or whatever and if you go you’re probably going to get a bunch of photographs taken of you,” he says. “Sometimes you’re cool with it, other times I don’t want to be bothered to deal with the stress of it. But I’ve definitely figured out a more balanced way to live than four years ago.”
Along with celebrity, “Twilight” brought Pattinson high visibility within the film world, and he’s been working with some of the most respected people around. He did “Cosmopolis” with director David Cronenberg in 2012 and stars in Cronenberg’s upcoming “Maps to the Stars.” He’s playing T.E. Lawrence in director Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert,” alongside Nicole Kidman and James Franco, and has “Idol’s Eye,” with Robert De Niro and Rachel Weisz, coming up.
Pattinson says “Twilight” probably gave him a boost with his peers, but he’s not sure how much of one. “Within the industry, lots of people I work with, none of them have seen ‘Twilight’ — but then Werner Herzog loves ‘Twilight’!” he says. “I think it’s helped me out in a lot of ways. You have to kind of figure out how to ride the wave afterward.”
And he wants to keep riding that wave, chasing the acting high.
“I guess I was a relatively shy person when I was younger. I still am kind of. It’s nice to challenge yourself, especially in big emotional scenes with a part you’re not capable of doing. To be able to challenge yourself in that way, it’s quite exhilarating,” Pattinson says.
“Especially when it goes right,” he adds. “It could be the worst thing ever.”
The Star Online Robert Pattinson steps out of Edward Cullen’s shadow.
Welcome back Robert Pattinson.
After the end of the Twilight saga, in which Pattinson played the beloved vampire Edward Cullen, the actor seemed lost.
What to do next?
His financial manager believed buying a US$6mil (RM19.4mil) mansion in Beverly Hills would be a wise investment. After all, he had all the money he could ever want ...
Meanwhile acting offers poured in, but the choices he made were none too wise. Then there was that split from the love of his life Kristen Stewart. How could she have cheated on him with her married director (Rupert Sanders who helmed Snow White And The Hunstman)!
But that was then.
Now, suddenly Pattinson’s career is in overdrive. He stars in two films that were the talk of the recent Cannes Film Festival: David Cronenberg’s corrosive Maps Of The Stars and David Michod’s dystopian The Rover.
But that’s the least of his life changes.
No longer cloistered in a four-bedroom mansion, Pattinson now lives a solitary life. He still keeps in touch with his Twilight co-stars, such as Kellan Lutz, with whom he loses money playing poker.
But he’s the first to concede: money doesn’t consume him.
No longer a homeowner, he now lives in a rental (but still in a posh gated community in Beverly Hills.). He sleeps on an inflatable mattress moving from room to room, no furniture to speak of. He’s mislaid much of his possessions including his wardrobe and his DVD collection.
At a recent press conference in Beverly Hills for The Rover, he’s as unassuming as he always was.
I remember once asking him about being fired on opening night at London‘s prestigious Royal Court Theatre.
Instead of showing mild embarrassment he responded: “It was the best thing that could have happened to me and a good lesson.”
After a small but significant role in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, flew to Los Angeles with his agent’s blessing. Things didn’t go well at auditions, even the one for Twilight, but author Stephenie Meyer saw something there.
At 21 he might be a little old for the part, she thought, but she gave him just the advice he needed.
“Shave twice,” Meyer told the heavily bearded young man, and of course the rest is history
You shot The Rover in Australia. How’s it like roughing it out for a change?
I liked Australia. I had only been to Sydney just to do press before. Working in the Outback was a totally different world, but I loved it out there. It was beautiful, kind of serene being able to see the horizon. There’s just absolutely nothing for miles, hundreds of miles. Not only were there no people trying to find you, there was no one there at all so it was much easier to concentrate on your performance and not have to worry about someone trying to sneak up on you. I found it incredibly peaceful and relaxing.
What was it like working with David Michod and Guy Pearce?
I had done the audition with David a long time before we started shooting. We went through tons of different incarnations of my character. There was one point where I wanted to have the tops of my ears snipped off because I had seen pictures of thieves in the Wild West and they used to do that to thieves. We talked for months before, so I was pretty comfortable.
And then when Guy came on – I only met him about a week before we started shooting – I got on with him really well. He’s the type of actor who doesn’t have any acting crutches to fall back on. He creates something new every time, and it allows for anxiety, something I’m familiar with, so we were like equals when we were performing.
Have you located your missing clothes and DVDs?
I’m sure they’re in some random storage box somewhere. The other day I was trying to find my Teen Choice Awards to display them in the corridor of my house, a glory corridor to make people feel intimidated as they walk in, but I couldn’t find them.
You are the face of Dior Homme fragrance. Dior can probably help you out with some clothes?
I never really saw myself doing an endorsement deal. I met a few people who work for Dior and I just really liked them. It sounded cool to do the job and I wanted to work with Romain Gavras (who directed the Dior Homme commercial).
Dior is a great label. It’s something good to be associated with, but I barely do anything for them. Occasionally I have to go to some Dior parties, which is great. I’m doing another ad for them soon and I’m strangely excited about that.
You are rumoured to play Han Solo in the reboot of Star Wars. Is that true?
I’m always a little bit wary of stepping into the shoes of an already established character. It’s scary, especially doing something like that where there are so many expectations before you even start doing the job. It’s a massive undertaking it’s nothing like doing an indie for two months.
So is it happening?
I haven’t been approached by anyone, but I’m open to absolutely everything.
What kind of stories appeal to you?
I don’t really look at films as stories. It’s really just about character. I never really look at a script as a whole.
This movie I’m doing with Olivier Assayas at the end of the year, it’s a big ensemble thing, but my focus is on my character. There is something specific about him. It’s an interesting take on a criminal’s psychology.
So I never really look at a script as a story, not even in terms of genre. But having said that, I’d quite like to do a comedy at some point, but I’m not really seeking stuff out.
What does the future hold for you?
I want to keep doing exciting, ambitious projects. You try and do things which are challenging, and hopefully people will appreciate that.