What Made David Cronenberg Choose Robert Pattinson As His Leading Man? - BBC News Finds Out

What Made David Cronenberg Choose Robert Pattinson As His Leading Man? - BBC News Finds Out


Cosmopolis sees teen heart-throb Robert Pattinson as billionaire Wall Street banker Eric Packer, who glides across Manhattan in his limousine in search of a haircut. On the way he encounters sex, violence and anti-capitalist protests.

As well as keeping much of the novel's original dialogue, Cronenberg also kept many scenes inside Packer's noise-proofed, gadget-packed limo.

"I like to shoot in confined spaces," he says. "There's an intensity that immediately affects an actor's performance. Visually it forces you to be quite inventive."

By way of preparation, Cronenberg showed his crew the 2009 film Lebanon, which takes place inside an Israeli tank, and 1981 war epic Das Boot, which takes place inside a German submarine.

"I said: 'Let's not be intimidated by this, this could be quite exhilarating if we do it right.' We built a limo that comes apart like a Lego car in about 24 pieces. I don't think of it as a challenge, but as a lot of fun."

Robert Pattinson's performance as the billionaire banker has been largely well received since the film's Cannes debut.

"At its heart is a sensational central performance from Robert Pattinson," said Tthe Telegraph's Robbie Collin. "Pattinson plays him like a human caldera; stony on the surface, with volcanic chambers of nervous energy and self-loathing churning deep below."

Empire's Damon Wise observed: "Lean and spiky - with his clean white shirt he resembles a groomed Sid Vicious - Pattinson nails a difficult part almost perfectly, recalling those great words of advice from West Side Story: You wanna live in this crazy world? Play it cool."

What made Cronenberg choose Pattinson as his leading man? "This character is in every scene in the movie which is quite unusual for a movie with a big star," he says.

"That means he must have charisma, and that he is constantly revealing different tones and shades - and Rob has that.

"Finally, he has to be good with dialogue because this is wall-to-wall dialogue, some of it quite technical, which can be very intimidating for an actor. Once I convinced him he was the guy, he had no problem with it."

Cronenberg is closely associated with the "body horror" genre through his 1970s and 80s films such as Rabid, Scanners, Videodrome and The Fly.

Cronenberg laughs when it's pointed out that Robert Pattinson was born in 1986 - the same year that he made The Fly.

"There comes a time as a director when you are no longer the youngest guy on the set - I used to be and now I'm the oldest!"

Cosmopolis opens in the UK on 15 June.

Check out the full interview with David over at BBC News
Thanks to @elwiens for the tip


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