Here’s a treat to start the weekend off right. New Robert Pattinson interview in Blackbook Magazine, well Rob and his heart. Rob is interviewed by his heart. I know, very strange but very cool. This is an excerpt but I highly recommend heading to Robsessed to read the full interview.
Our latest film, Cosmopolis, also takes place largely in the back of a car, albeit a very long one. David Cronenberg directed it. Rob plays Eric Packer, an exceedingly bored, borderline autistic billionaire who traverses Manhattan latitudinally from east to west in a specially designed limousine. During this commute he loses many of his billions in ill-advised currency speculation on the yen while the world descends into chaos around him. This chaos, of course, is largely due to his ill-advised currency speculation. He spends a lot of time watching his face, still in reflection, and the chaos is causes, gliding by in silence. (The car has been “Prousted,” with cork. Google to understand the reference.) In the end he is either shot to death or not shot to death by a disgruntled former employee played by Paul Giamatti. Whether he is or isn’t doesn’t matter a whole lot. Eric doesn’t really care since he has a hard time connecting to the world beyond numbers. He does, however, have lots of sex. Some of it is with Juliette Binoche. That scene got me going when we filmed it, but less from thrusting than from laughing. “Juliette kept on hitting her head on the top of the car,” recalls Rob. I can feel the rush of endorphins as he breaks into a wide smile that instantly turns him from a brooding heartthrob into another nice English lad you’d meet down at the pub. For that reason, he rarely breaks into it. Smiling isn’t on brand.
The film is based on a book by Don DeLillo, so it’s confusing. The first line is like all those that flow from it, both profound and absurd. “We want a haircut,” says Eric, stepping from an office building. Confusion, though, we like. “I’m easy to please,” Rob says. “When I don’t understand something, I’m immediately interested.” Confusion piques me. So does confrontation. When Cosmopolis premiered at Cannes in May, I beat the hardest I have in a long time. “I was kind of shitting myself,” says Rob. Having spoken to his colon, I’ve concluded this is a bit of hyperbole. Nonetheless, it was exciting. There’s a caesura between when the credits finish rolling and when the lights go up, a moment of silent grace, punctuated only by my deafening thrum. This is the instant before which the audience either claps or boos, when our post-Twilight career was, like a Shrodinger’s cat, simultaneously both alive and dead. And in that moment, I pittered, pattered, and battered in Pattinson’s chest a million times a minutes. “I lost my mind,” Rob says. “I was preparing myself to fight with 1,500 people. I was so amped up.” The stakes were high for him. He had fallen into Twilight by what he calls “luck.” And, since he had signed a contract, he was carried by the tide. You might say he was chauffeured, or at least driven. “I was just kind of running around with my pants down and my shoelaces untied and, amazingly, not falling. Until this. I thought, ‘Oh fuck!’ Most people get 15 years of doing movies nobody sees. Now I’m at Cannes.”
In that moment, before the wave of equation of our career collapsed into actuality, it’s worthwhile to note that Rob’s very callowness is, in part, what landed him the role of Edward Cullen. As the authors of the essay “Twilight and the Production fo the 21st Century Teen Idol” notem that was kinda the point. “[The studio’s] marketing strategy is to develop Pattinson’s celebrity as a commodity, produced and marketed by media and publicity industries. The commodification took the form of fusing Edward’s appeal to Pattinson’s celebrity… The actor’s lack of public recognition was used by [the studio] to fuse the real people to the Twilight characters they were hired to portray, thus making them celebrities.” So, that moment after the final credit rolled at Cannes and before judgment had been passed was the moment of painful divorce between Edward Cullen’s bloodless heart and me, Rob’s beating one. I had no idea how long credits were. There was a pause and then a clap, a clap unleashing a torrent of claps until the entire auditorium was applauding. Were they applauding us? Were they applauding David? Were they applauding Paul? I didn’t care. One thing was certain: they were not applauding Edward.
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