Revelations of a shy heartthrob: "Twilight"-Star Robert Pattinson about fame and hype and his new movie "Remember Me"
FOCUS: You didn´t want to watch your movie "Twilight" ever, does this still apply?
Robert: No, my parents made me watch it over Christmas. We´ve been watching several of my movies. I was able to avoid it successfully until then.
F: But why?
R: Because I can´t change anything once the movie is done. I can´t improve my performance and I can´t undo anything. So there´s no use, quite the contrary. You´re in danger to criticize yourself way too much. Or you find something about your performance that you really like and so you automatically try to copy it for your next movie. That´s really counterproductive. I rather watch the different takes on a monitor while shooting, I think that´s much more interesting.
F: You said once that you feel like a cheater when you appear on the screen...
R: Well, it´s not that bad anymore...
F: But there are thousands of girls lying at your feet. Doesn´t that convince you?
R: I have never been confident. That´s probably my worst characteristic. But maybe also my best. Somehow I don´t believe it when somebody says something good about me. The voice in my head is always much louder. That can be pretty awful.
F: At the beginning of the hype about "Twilight", it seemed that you weren´t really comfortable in your own famous skin...
R: It all happened so fast. 2008 was absolutely crazy. At the beginning of the year, a lot of things went wrong. I had a tax payment in the mail and I really wanted to give up acting altogether. Then "Twilight" came up and I thought: "Okay, I´m just gonna do this small movie." And then everything changed, at once. I can remember the day exactly. Three months before the premiere, some magazine had my photo on the cover and I was suddenly famous. In the morning I could still walk down the street without anybody having a second glance. In the afternoon everybody was staring at me. The speed of all this happening was unbelievable. Nevertheless, I would give this year ten points out of ten. It was like riding on a train that would bring me to a new fantastic destination...
F: ...that turned out to be not that fantastic in reality?
R: The last year was much more difficult. I still have to learn to accept the negative sides and to get accustomed to new realities, like the paparazzi and so on. I wish it would be like at the beginning, where I could really enjoy all the hype.
F: In "Remember Me" you play a young man who has to grow up pretty fast. So is there any similarity to your own life?
R: Honestly, I think it was just the opposite. I feel even younger than two years ago. It´s like a regress. Which was perhaps down to the fact that I´ve done the same things and have said the same things in interviews at that time. That inhibited my personal development. During the filming of "New Moon" we were literally locked up in our hotel for three months. Those experiences have an impact on your personality.
F: For example?
R: We are just shooting "Bel Ami", with Declan Donnellan as the director. Usually he´s doing stage productions and so he´s expecting that I know my whole text by heart, just like a stage actor. Not a chance. I notice how slow and rusty my memory has become. For "Twilight" there are always people who take care of everything and can prompt you. I do read a lot on the set, but as soon as I close the book, I can´t even remember the last sentence.
F: Is that a reason for filming a lot of other movies in between the "Twilight"-trilogy? To prove something to yourself?
R: Hmm, yes, maybe. To me it was just the complete opposite than for most other actors. They have supporting roles for 20 years until they are offered a leading role. They earned it, and so the audience accepts it easily. I would love to play a supporting role, maybe a concierge with no text. But nobody lets me do it!
F: So do you rely on smaller projects like "Remember Me" because of that?
R: Definitely. And also because the whole development process is completely different. I have been involved with "Remember Me" from the beginning, like when the tone and the atmosphere of the movie have been set. There was only a small team of decision makers and I was allowed to help developing my role and my character. That was really awesome.
F: So this is different with "Twilight"?
R: Sure, on a big project like this you appear at the set, recite your text and that´s it. Very often I´m reading scripts and I know exactly - okay, here we have the cliché of a nerd. Or the one of a young rebel. Tyler, my character in "Remember Me" is like me, more real than one of those stereotypes. It´s like an empty canvas that needs to be painted.
F: So you feel like a blank canvas?
R: Yes - I really just said that, right? Behind this facade is nothing, absolutely nothing.
F: Many actors say that they are giving away so much of themselves on stage that they have no idea who they really are when they are at home.
R: Seriously, I can really relate to that feeling. I was really afraid of all the interviews today. During filming I knew exactly how I wanted to show Tyler as a character full of contradictions and with a lot of inner conflicts. But now I can barely remember what I actually felt. But I can assure you, the feeling was really strong!
F: How does your family deal with all that fame?
R: All of us have to get accustomed to this. Especially my sisters support me a lot. Since I´m back in London they want to go shopping for me all the time. When I caught a cold recently they took care of me around the clock and brought me soup. They think I can´t even walk out of the door without being attacked by paparazzi.
F: Isn´t that true?
R: Well, yes. The shooting for "Remember Me" was pretty hard. We were shooting in the middle of New York and they didn´t just close the streets. There were at least 40 photographers at the set, every day. All the outside scenes had to be dubbed because you could hear the cameras clicking all the time. It was a total chaos. One of the paparazzi even hit the directors assistant in the face.
F: No wonder you´re really looking angry in some of the pictures...
R: In the movie there´s a real serious scene where I´m sitting on the stairs talking to my co-star Emilie de Ravin. While I was trying to appear sad, 30 guys were yelling at me: "Hey Rob, Rob, look up! Turn around, Rob!" The director realized I was getting more and more angry with each messed up scene. So his advice was to imagine to hit one of the photographers in the face - and to just miss him. That helped. Suddenly I was really sad! Rplife
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