THOSE dark, brooding eyes and chiselled good looks have won Robert Pattinson a legion of adoring female fans – but also made it dangerous for him to leave the house.
The fame he has found as vampire Edward Cullen in the hit Twilight films has brought Robert adoration, wealth – last year he earned an estimated £20million – and the kind of hysterical attention normally reserved for boybands.
Yet when the unknown Brit was first cast in the coveted role, it sparked a vicious backlash from devotees of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books.
Robert, 24, says: “People sent me hate mail and the internet was full of messages from Twilight fans who didn’t want me. But then the trailer came out and everything turned around. I started getting love letters and fan mail instead of hate mail.” Read more…
LOS ANGELES — The pert blonde in the headset peeks into the airless basement conference room. “Rob will be here in five minutes,’’ she says, flashing a smile.
The Rob to whom she refers is Robert Pattinson, the 24-year-old British actor whose penetrating gaze and masterfully moussed hair have helped propel the “Twilight’’ films into a $1.8 billion franchise — with two installments still to be released. Teenage girls around the globe fill Tumblr pages with testimonies to his hotness. Paparazzi stalk him tirelessly, mouths watering. Perimenopausal women, old enough to be his mother, dare to dream.
The blonde in the headset returns. “Rob will be here in one minute.’’
It’s clear now this is no mere estimation. Watches have been synchronized. Spreadsheets distributed. Clipboards clipped.
For two days, Pattinson has been holed up at this luxury beachfront hotel, talking to swarms of reporters, bloggers, and television crews about his latest film, the Depression-era drama “Water for Elephants’’ that opens Friday. Based on the romantic bestseller by Sara Gruen, it’s the story of a young veterinary student (played by Pattinson) who, after losing his parents in a tragic accident, jumps a circus train and falls in with the crew, including the show’s brutal and ambitious owner and his beautiful wife.
Costarring Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz, the film marks Pattinson’s first big-budget role since “Twilight’’ turned him into a pop-culture sensation. If the young actor hopes to have a broad career beyond the B-movie (some would say C-movie) realm of angsty teen vampires, “Water for Elephants’’ could smooth the way.
When the conference room door finally swings open and the superstar lopes in — shuttled apparently through some sort of underground utility tunnel — he is flanked by his manager and a massive bodyguard. The blonde waits nearby, not smiling now, but looking at her phone, her schedule, listening to the voice on the headset. Read more…
LOS ANGELES- “It’s a secret,” said Robert Pattinson, breaking into laughter. He was just asked to talk some more about the script he is supposedly writing, based on a novel by Lillian Hellmann, as disclosed in a Vanity Fair cover story on the actor by Nancy Jo Sales.
Robert claimed that it was “one of those times when you say in an interview that this is off the record, when you are just really excited about something. She’ll say, ‘Yeah, of course.’”
The “secret” was disclosed in the cover piece but Robert clarified that his screenplay project is not based on one of Lillian’s novels. “It’s just something Lillian Hellman wrote.” Laughing again, he said, “I can’t really say what it is.”
The “Twilight” series star balked at giving more details.
But other than that, he was his usual, easygoing self, quick to be the first one to laugh at himself. In our latest encounter at a meeting room in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, he played with a water bottle as he fielded questions.
“I used to write a lot more when I wasn’t getting acting jobs,” he revealed. Chuckling, he said, “You dream about writing parts for yourself.”
He added: “The more scripts you read and the more movies you see get made … you think, what’s the point in just producing something when you feel you can write something? I used to write all the time when I was younger … I will probably write under a pseudonym, because otherwise everyone will just tear me apart immediately.”
Robert revealed details on another matter that has been drawing a lot of speculation—that he is playing Jeff Buckley in a biopic about the singer-songwriter who drowned in 1997. “I met his mom who’s really great,” he said of Mary Guibert, executive producer of the film reportedly going to be directed by “Welcome to the Rileys” director Jake Scott. That Robert talked to Mary indicate that both are at least exploring the idea. “I don’t know,” he said, then hinted, “It’s really not up to me. I love Jeff’s music. He was amazing.”
He is modest about his own musical abilities. “I don’t really think I can sing like Jeff,” Robert said. “He was unique. Also, I can’t play guitar like him either. It would involve quite a lot of work. If someone just imitates Jeff’s voice, it wouldn’t be right. It’s always about the script. You have no idea how it’s going to represent someone.” Read more…
Water for Elephants is a romantic drama where lovers are played by Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. The star of the movie is however its biggest star, elephant-Tai, who made her way to the Pattinson’s heart.
Robert Pattinson plays veterinary student in a film based on Sara Gruen’s bestseller Water for Elephants situated in 30’s depression in United States. Life treats Jacob (Pattinson) hard until he gets a job from circus as a veterinarian. It is lead by cruel ringmaster August (Christoph Waltz). His young wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon) is the draw of the circus and Jacob becomes attracted to her. The movie is directed by Francis Lawrence.
For the last 6 months Pattinson has been filming the last two parts of Twilight saga in Louisiana. The actor made a quick stop in Los Angeles before heading to Vancouver to finish the filming of Breaking Dawn.
Water for Elephants was mostly filmed in California near the farms where exotic animals are kept for filming purposes. The movie begins were tragically but these events lead Jacob to animals and love.
“Basically life flipped him finger. He has no way to turn back to his old life so the only possibility is to leave distress behind and look forward. Everything happens so fast that Jacob didn’t even have time to wallow in self-pity. I thought that it must have felt like a shock. I didn’t have many lines in the beginning so I just played with gestures, expressions and other physical ways,” Pattinson tells.
The beginning of the movie was also otherwise challenging for Pattinson because as a rookie his job in the circus was only to listen.
“When I read the script for the first time I thought that all the pressure are on Christoph and Reese. Then I noticed that I was in almost every scene even though I didn’t have any lines. It was slightly stressful but Francis was very good at calming my nerves. He knew all the time what he wanted so I trusted him. On the other hand the movie isn’t only based on actors’ performances but we are a part of spectacle which biggest star is the elephant.”
The elephant who played Rosie made great impression on Pattinson.
“When I went to meet the elephant, Tai, she was in hand stand on her front legs. I spent hours with her and we tossed a ball. Tai snatched the ball with her trunk and tossed it back. I knew then that whatever the movie will be, at least I get to work with this amazing elephant for three to four months.” Read more…
M Interview with Robert Pattinson, Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills, 02.18.2011
M: As the first question I would like to ask you about your co-star Christoph Waltz. What was it like to work with the Austrian Oscar winner who plays the circus ringmaster in the film?
RP: Great. He’s a real role model for me, not only as an actor, but also on a human level. Christoph was always very helpful, just like Reese Witherspoon. In the beginning I wasn’t sure how to act around them, as they are both Oscar winners. I was worried about them being aloof. Luckily that was not the case. Christoph and Reese created a great atmosphere and working with them a real pleasure. I learnt a lot from both of them.
M: Reese Witherspoon plays Marlena Rosenbluth with whom you have a forbidden love affair in Water for Elephants.
RP: Love often tastes of something forbidden. In my opinion the difference between love in a movie or in real life is that love is used purposely in movies to increase the drama and the suspense.
M: How exciting was it to work with the Elephants?
RP: Working with the animals was my main motivation to take the role. At my first meeting with the director Francis Lawrence at the elephant enclosure, I didn’t even know for which film he wanted to hire me. Francis wanted to see how I interacted with the animals and how the elephant would react to me. I was allowed to ride on the elephant, she threw balls to me with her trunk and blew air through her trunk at me. I was totally amazed and I accepted the role at the end of the day, even if there was the danger that it would be the worst film ever.
M: Were there any injuries or incidents on set?
RP: There are always incidents when you work with animals. Once a lion snapped at me, while I was feeding him through the bars of the cage. That frightened me of course. The experience that moved me the most happened while we were filming with a baby giraffe. She should have moved between the cages of the lions and tigers but was very afraid, just stopped and wouldn’t move. I pushed her a little bit and walked very close to her. As soon as we passed the cages the giraffe moved her head toward me and licked me. I will never forget my reaction, I felt like the king of the animals.
M: But you are. You just adopted a dog. Does it have a name yet?
RP: Not yet. I got it at the animal shelter in Louisiana. They were going to put it down in two days, as the shelters are only allowed to keep the animals for 10 days. He made it from the shelter to a private jet – like in the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp. Maybe that should be his name.
M: In Water for Elephants the circus world is quite brutal. Do you see parallels to the show business today?
RP: Luckily I’ve never been beaten up and I hope that cruelty against animals like it happens in Water for Elephants is in the past. There’s a certain roughness in show business. It must be a nightmare to work with mad people. Luckily that hasn’t happened to me yet.
M: Since the success of Twilight there’s probably a lot of circus in your private life?
RP: The circus is created by the paparazzi, but I’ve learnt to handle it better. I’m getting used to planning everything more carefully and doing things less spontaneously. My private live is quite boring, because I’m normally working all the time.
M: Water for Elephant is set during the Great Depression in the USA. How much do you know about that time in history?
RP: To understand the time of the Great Depression better I watched the documentation Brother, Can You Spare A Dime. I didn’t watch it to prepare for the role, but because I would have loved to have lived in the 1930ies. All the clothes from that time period also fit me very well, at the first fitting. I read some books about the Great Depression, because we live in a recession today and it was interesting to see how people handled the crisis back then. The despair can be seen in the faces, the posture and the clothes of the people. The Great Depression symbolizes the end of the Wild West for me. Until then America was known as the land unlimited possibilities. The Great Depression put an end to that myth.
M: Your next role in Bel Ami takes you to Paris during the Bel Epoque. You seem to like history.
RP: You can say so. Paris is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the world and Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant is one of my favourite books. For this role I would have flown around the world. I really did give my best and hope the audience will like the film. Read more…
Sorry, ladies. In the daylight, Robert Pattinson’s skin does not sparkle like diamonds. He’s not even unusually pale. The closest he gets to his dreamy-vampire persona is when, during the course of conversation, he absently tousles his hair into something like his undead do. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Mr. Hunky Bloodsucker in person is how soft-spoken he is.
That is, until an unwanted visitor appears on the balcony.
“Jesus, I thought that crow was going to come in the room,” he says. “That would be a bad omen!”
The large black bird has settled menacingly on the railing, facing outward but occasionally glancing over its shoulder as if to say, “I see you.”
“Weird,” Pattinson says, laughing. “I’ve been having bad experiences with birds. I just got a dog and I was trying to make him pee out on the balcony and there were these enormous seagulls who have absolutely no fear of people. I genuinely thought a seagull was going to grab my dog. Terrifying.”
Animals and animus are primary components in Pattinson’s new film, the Depression-era romance “Water for Elephants.” Pattinson plays Jacob, an erstwhile veterinary student who, after a personal tragedy, essentially runs away with the circus. There he meets performer Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), who is as enchanting as her husband, charming but imbalanced circus owner August (Christoph Waltz), is discomfiting. The web becomes more tangled when August’s big new acquisition – a bull elephant – steps into it. Read more…
“I liked the idea of this film. But I also thought that it was a fairly good career step. It doesn’t alienate the audience of the image that I have. It’s not a ultra-violent or ultra-depressing movie. It’s a simple. old-fashioned story, which is not asking too much from the audience. I thought that was quite good because its my first big movie outside of the Twilight stuff. I’m doing a David Cronenberg movie next. Cosmopolis, with Juliette Binoche and Paul Giamatti, which is a pretty big step for me. After that I’m hoping to be producing something. I’m not entirely sure yet.”
What drew him to drama, the movies. “I guess it was a variety of things… the pretty girls?” he grins. “There was a theater company around the corner from my house ( in Barnes, London). I guess it was something that I always wanted to do, but I thought that it was also kind of pretentious. I didnt’ mind the kids that were acting in school, but I wanted to do it secretly outside of school. I just liked the environment. I worked backstage for about three years, and just watched everything.
Then I did a couple of plays, then I got an agent from one of those plays. Then my first audition was for ‘Troy’ – I was auditioning to play Brad Pitt’s cousin. I was like “What? I’m gonna play Brad Pitt’s cousin?” That was the first time that I’d ever done anything ,so that excitement held for something like six months, then I did ‘Vanity Fair’ with Reese.”
” After Vanity Fair, I went to South Africa (for Curse of the Ring) for three months, which for a 17-year-old was pretty great. You get an apartment, you get paid. Its fun, I thought. ‘Okay, I’m an actor now.’” Read more…
There was an embankment with a train track on the top. All the trailers were on one side, and then the circus world was on the other. Once you walked over the tracks, there would be a camera, but that was the only thing from the 21st Century.
You could stand on the tracks and look over at everything, and you were in the ‘30s. We were out in the middle of the desert in Fillmore, and there was nothing else around. There was an orchard. We were in the ‘30s. Jack Fisk, the production designer, used authentic pegs and the ropes. Every single thing which built the world was all totally real. And, authentic period underpants do actually help, as well. I actually wore them every single day. Jacqueline West, the costume designer, was unbelievable. Almost everything was real. Every pair of jeans were all from the ‘20s and ‘30s. It was crazy.
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