Robert Pattinson talks to Movies.ie about ‘Remember Me’ and ‘Eclipse’…
The Vampire Saga Twilight catapulted young Robert Pattinson to worldwide stardom, rather than take the easy approach of teenage movies Pattinson has carefuly selected a number of thought-provoking roles such as Salvador Dali in ‘Little Ashes’ and this month’s love story with a twist ‘Remember Me’. Here Rob talks about working on the Twilight saga and his new movie roles.
Q: So how did you like this experience, compared to being a vampire in upcoming Twilight movie Eclipse?
RP: “I could be doing a little biting in this movie, in those fights! No, it was great, especially not having to put all that makeup on. Yeah, that was one of the main things. But I read this one after the first Twilight film, and it was always in the back of my mind. I don’t know, there was something different about this. It didn’t fit into like a typical teen movie thing. And I never read a script like it.”
Q: In what way?
RP: “It seemed quite realistic. And the character seemed realistic, and I really connected to it. But I don’t really know why!”
Q: Your character Tyler has lots of anger issues and conflicts with his parents. Do you have any of those kinds of pathologies?
RP: “Not really. I’ve known a lot of kids who are troubled teenagers, and stuff. But their families always seem really nice, and supportive around them. And it’s just this kind of unknown. You know, you have this energy that doesn’t really, you don’t know where to place it. But I don’t think I have any particular problems myself, in that respect!”
Q: Now that apartment you live in as a student in the movie….
RP: “I loved that apartment. It was just a little bit messy! But I thought I could come to NY and just hang out at NYU, and pick up mannerisms. But it ended up being more of a circus than I thought it would be. I did know a lot of people who went to NYU as well, so that made it easier. But when you see college movies, it’s always like about a beer hall. And I was like, this can’t be real!”
Q: Was it hard for you to get into character, with that crazy circus going on around you?
RP: “Kind of, at the beginning. And then about halfway through, I sort of had an epiphany about it. I don’t know what happened – it was just fine. But at the beginning, it was just insane. Especially for a character who’s supposed to be lost and looking for things all the time. But you just have to be more disciplined about it.”
Q: How do you deal with the wild stuff always going on around you whenever you show up?
RP: “It’s just sort of learning how to blank things out. But you can’t look up. Because then all the cameras accelerate. You know, you can’t smile, or behave normally.”
Q: How do you feel about the fact that you remind so many people of James Dean?
RP: “I don’t know if it’s a bad thing. But it’s great. Yeah, I think James Dean has been one of the most influential person for young guys, especially for actors. Definitely, in the last fifty years. So yeah, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m very much influenced by him!”
Q: This character is a lot like Twilight’s Edward Cullen, actually. So are you worried about becoming typecast as the brooding, wounded guy in movies?
RP: “Ah, maybe I just am brooding and wounded! And I’m only just realizing it. Nah, I’m not. You just take little steps. But I’m always quite aware of how people are going to view things. And you kind of have to go halfway. Like if I played a 400 pound woman, or something. I mean, people are probably going to judge it more harshly, than other people who have been doing character parts for 20 years. So all the projects I’ve been doing, not in a calculated way, but little baby steps towards other things. I mean, the thing I’m doing now is completely different, in some ways. But at the same time, it’s got a lot of intensity. And I like that, it’s what I like in characters. But people do judge me differently after Twilight. But there’s nothing you can do about that.”
Q: How about your acting in the Dali movie ‘Little Ashes’?
RP: “I didn’t think anyone was ever going to see it! And it’s a very different place to be at, when you think you’re making a movie that nobody’s going to see!”
Q: How so?
RP: “You’re not afraid to experiment with things.”
Q: In what way did you relate to your character in Remember Me personally?
RP: “He’s always the one being harmed. I mean, looking back into the past, bearing grudges and things, I don’t really do that. But the way his violence comes out and doesn’t have legitimate targets, I related to that. You know, when you have a spasm of rage, it goes almost inevitably, to a completely wrong target. And it causes you more problems. So it’s much better to keep it chained up.”
Q: There’s a lot of fighting going on between your character and his father, played by Pierce Brosnan. Is that anything like your relationship with your own father?
RP: “My relationship with my father is the opposite! Actually, Pierce’s character in the script was more controlling and arrogant. But Pierce is just a nice guy! So he wanted the character to be not as horrible a man, or a monster. And that completely changed Tyler’s relationship with him. But I thought that was quite interesting, that this guy is rebelling against nothing. And I’m just attacking him, because I know he can be attacked. But Pierce is great. I had no idea who they were going to cast, and when I found out it was Pierce, I thought, this is going to be a tough act to follow!”
Q: How did you feel about doing those fight scenes, and acting with your fists instead of words?
RP: “I loved it!. Because I never do stuff like that in reality! So in a lot of ways it was quite…cathartic! But with Chris Cooper, I don’t know how I’d feel if I had to fight back. I was continually being beaten up by him! But yeah, it was quite daunting.”
Q: In what way?
RP: “It’s hard. Especially being strangled! It’s really difficult to look like what’s actually happening! Because when you’re being strangled…nothing is really happening! You just sort of stand there. Because I was experimenting with myself! You know, just before we shot it. And I don’t really know what the face is supposed to be, when you’re being strangled.”
Q: Have you ever been in a fight before?
RP: “I’ve been beaten up a few times.”
Q: Who beat you up?
RP: “A lot of people! When I was younger.”
Q: How come?
RP: “I was a bit of an idiot when I was younger. But always unprovoked. In my eyes, anyway!”
Q: Like school bullies?
RP: “No, I never got beat up by school bullies. It was after school. It was generally after I started acting. And I liked to…behave like an actor! Or what I thought was an actor. Which generally provoked a lot of people into hitting me!”
Q: But were you hurt in those fight scenes?
RP: “No, not at all. But they did cut out of the movie where I kind of flipped out afterward. You know, from my own impotence. You walk into this big confrontation, and just end up being completely destroyed by your competitor. And I was doing this thing, like hitting myself afterwards. Like in a spur of the moment thing! Which they cut out of the movie. But I hit myself so hard, I was in pain for the rest of the shoot! It was the most stupid thing I’ve ever done!”
Q: And how about when you go nuts on that little girl in the school, because she’s tormenting your baby sister?
RP: “There was one take on that which they had to cut out. Because it looked like I’d go to jail, not only for vandalism, but for child abuse as well! Because I spun her desk around, and the desk fell over. And she ran out of the classroom, even though she wasn’t supposed to! And when we tried to continue on with the scene, I was like ‘Oh my god, I’m actually going to get arrested for this!’ But it was great. Though she looked absolutely terrified afterwards! But it was quite fun.”
Q: Were you ever worried you wouldn’t pull off an American accent?
RP: “I grew up watching American movies, so I learned how to act by watching American movies, way more than English ones. And I kind of feel a lot more comfortable speaking American. It feels more real to me, in a lot of ways.”
Thanks to affiliate Robert Pattinson News for the link.