Robert Pattinson, “To turn good time I lived in a basement and ate canned tuna”
In the last film he plays a criminal who assaults the banks. To get well into the part you really are burrowing into a subscale in New York. He had already experienced it: at the time of “Twilight” had to barricade himself in the hotel to escape the fans unleashed…
My first encounter with Robert Pattinson dates back to the fall of 2008: the occasion offered him the first episode of Twilight, Stephenie Meyer’s saga became, shortly thereafter, a global phenomenon that transformed its three protagonists – Robert, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner – in the world’s most popular diva-teen.
The meeting with him was repeated at the exit of each new chapter : it was evident that for Pattinson, in his early twenties, the weight of fame and success proved unbearable. He lived holed up in a hotel or barricaded behind walls of bodyguards. Today recalls that experience as a descent into hell: he, who aspired to be a method actor (follower of the Stanislavski method acting) was instead became a matinee idol , pursued by millions of teenagers. An image that since then, methodically, is committed to unhinge. He left Los Angeles and returned to live in London. He declined to commercial film offers, turning instead choosing independent works and characters are light years away from the diaphanous hero of Twilight ..
Today, Robert Pattinson, with his two latest works, the Lost Civilization and Good Time , won over the critics. In the latter film, directed by brothers Josh and Benny Safdie (in competition at the last Cannes festival) , Pattinson Constantine Nikas, a desperate bank robber. “It is proof of an actor at the peak of his career,” said Variety . “A strong and charismatic performance,” echoed the Guardian .
At age 31, Pattinson appears to be more serene and self-satisfied. With us even he manages to draw a smile when it comes the inevitable question about Kristen Stewart , his partner in work and life at the time of Twilight . Maybe it’s because for more than two years has successfully linked to the singer FKA Twigs with whom he lives in London.
Another character suffered: it will be tiring if he is the kind of actor who takes home the work…
In the case of Good Time yes, because we were shooting for 16-17 hours a day, I was completely immersed in that reality. I was obsessed with it, as also Josh (Safdie, also co-starred, as well as co-director, editor’s note). Living isolated, then, helps to create the character.
He lived alone?
Yes, in a basement in Harlem for the entire process, without ever opening the curtains, or change the sheets – sleeping dress. There was a woman who lived upstairs and tried to understand what was going on (laughs) . She thought I was a pathological case, arrived and was leaving at odd hours, and I was living in absolute seclusion: I was the freak who lived in his basement.
No one recognized you?
No, I never went out, even for dinner. I ate canned tuna for two months, who knows what the rate of mercury in my blood now! I went on exclusively tuna, spicy sauce, and Nespresso capsules.
The reactions of the critics in Cannes sofa a vague disbelief: “Robert Pattinson, the idol of the teenager, is a true actor…”. Was he surprised?
To me, if anything, it continues to impress the fact that he was for years considered a heartthrob.. I’m stunned, really.
Blame for Twilight.
Before shooting that film I had never had a “beautiful” role: I was just a lanky type. Then you get a part like that of Edward and suddenly triggers a series of strange reactions and wherever you find yourself in front of people obsessed with your character, who continues to repeat how beautiful you are… Even when I walked down the street in disorder, wrinkled and tired! And you think about it, today we’re still talking about these things…
How do you avoid your fans, who are always millions?
Actually, I don’t think much about it, I live in London and there’s no problem. In recent years the nature of popularity has changed dramatically. Even in Los Angeles there are no more paparazzi anywhere like a time: people take pictures and place them on Instagram. The gossip newspapers sell a lot less, everyone goes on the internet, and when it no longer turns the money, it ends the story. It’s gorgeous, to think about it!
You have chosen risky projects in the last years . Are you also adventurous in your personal life?
Not really. Not really, but I am obsessive in my work and shooting fool those around me. I always go in search of new projects and underrated, talented filmmakers and poorly understood: I like the idea of working with them rather than with already established directors. The only thing that I follow on Twitter are the movie reviews.
What project does it hold today?
I am trying to bring to the screen the history of the Band and and the relationship of Richard Manuel, the pianist, with his dealer during the time when they were composing the album Music from Big Pink. I love the screenplay that Jez Butterworth wrote seven years ago and I’m trying to make it happen. I like the idea of a group that composed extraordinary songs before being 22 or 23 years old.