David Cronenberg on Robert Pattinson “proud to give him a chance to prove the extent of his talent”

Thank you to Robsessed and OvertheRainbow for this much better translation of the Premiere Fr interview we read last week. There is some great stuff here – this is a MUST read! I can’t help it, I’m bolding the best bits!

David Cronenberg: ‟I can really see Rob having a career like Johnny Depp’s.”

Sex, power and limo: the Cosmopolis film director tells how he guided Robert Pattinson into living his performance.

Première: What is it like to come back to Cannes with Cosmopolis?
David Cronenberg: The festival and me, we have a long history. In a sense, I feel like I’m coming home. I think Cosmopolis is an ideal film for Cannes and I am very excited at the thought of taking Rob to it.
Première: It is impossible now to imagine anyone else in this role. Yet, you had originally offered it to Colin Farrell…
David Cronenberg: When Colin left the project to shoot the remake of Total Recall,  I started to rethink everything., He was too old for the role, anyway; he is 35, and if I wanted to be faithful to the book, I had to find someone who is 25. I then began to study actors of that age, and that’s when I thought of Rob. I had seen him in Twilight, of course, but nothing he had done until then really predisposed him to play in Cosmopolis. Except that you choose an actor for the potential you see in him, not for his resume. And the more I thought about it, the more the idea appealed to me.

Première: Did you ask him to audition?
David Cronenberg: No, instead we spoke at length on the phone. Rob is not the type to have an over-inflated ego. He really wanted to do the film but he truly wondered if he was going to be able to. That was his only concern. He asked me: “Do you really think I’m good enough to play this role? I’m worried I’m going to ruin your film.” I replied that this conversation had convinced me beyond any doubt that he would be perfect for Cosmopolis. “

Première: It’s hard to imagine you watching Twilight… Did you watch all four?
David Cronenberg: (laughs) No, not quite. I must have watched one and a half.

Première: The Twilight saga has made him a star but has also created an absurd situation where people who have never even seen him act have decided that he is just a talentless teen idol.
David Cronenberg: It’s a reflection of the world we live in today, where the internet, among others, fosters this kind of hasty and dangerous judgement. My job is to ignore it and look beyond. On the positive side, Rob’s fans are waiting for the moment when he will prove to everyone that he can exist beyond Twilight.  And if they all decide to go and see Cosmopolis, I’m not worried for the future of the film.

Première: How did the other actors react when you told them that Robert Pattinson had the leading role?
David Cronenberg: Paul Giamatti, who was one of the first actors to have joined the cast, thought it was a brilliant idea. I’m not sure that Juliette Binoche was really aware of the extent of Rob’s popularity when she signed on for the film, but none of them expressed any doubt or contempt. Nobody said “What on earth made you hire the Twilight guy?” Quite the opposite. I actually found Rob and Juliette deeply absorbed in a conversation about French cinema. They got on marvelously.

Première: Do you have a scene in mind where he particularly impressed you?
David Cronenberg: Towards the end of filming, he was so into the role that I needed to shoot only one or two takes per scene. And he amazed me every single time with how he came to capture all the emotions that were in play. He completely steeped in the loneliness and the pain of the character. Because we shot the film more or less in chronological order, the final scene is the one we filmed last. And I only needed a single take because Rob and Paul were so perfect. And when I said “Cut!”, the whole film crew just looked at each other, amazed at what had just happened.

Première: Watching Robert Pattinson in your film, we are often reminded of Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt, who were also teen idols before they could show what they were really capable of by working with Tim Burton or David Fincher…
David Cronenberg: Some actors become stars because they have a pretty face and charisma that translate well on the screen. At first, they are rarely given the opportunity to show they have more than that. And sometimes, that’s all they have… With Cosmopolis, I was proud to offer Rob a chance to prove the extent of his talent. If he does well, I can see him having a career like that of Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt. Maybe even better.

W.O.W. I am loving the love-fest between Robert Pattinson and David Cronenberg! Fan shout outs and all this confidence in Rob and the film!!! Who’s excited for ‘Cosmopolis’??? *honks limo horn* P.S. I could have bolded the whole thing. 😉

  • Debbie

    This is in the Premiere issue with Robert on the cover?? I somehow missed this

  • susanrsm

    Beyond excited! 😀

  • this was fantastic 🙂

  • dixie

    Ao excited to see this film! Looks like Rob has David’s respect!