Interview: Robert Pattinson talks ‘Cosmopolis’ and David Cronenberg “This script rocks!”

Fantastic, in-depth interview with Robert Pattinson from  Les InRockuptibles magazine. Here is an excerpt of the Cronenberg and Cosmopolis portion of the interview.

The movie breaks away from your image of the proper young man molded by Twilight and the few films that you filmed since then. Did you realise that as you were filming?
RP: Of course. I’m scared of being typecast *he thinks for a moment* … like most actors who starts for that matter: it’s important to branch out very early on. That’s the whole point. In fact, I got offered the lead in Cosmopolis on my last day of filming Breaking Dawn. Right at the moment when I thought I was scared of repeating myself and bam! Cronenberg is calling me! It’s better than anything I could ever dream of. Now I’m curious to see how the movie is received.

On the contrary, restrict yourself to only independent movies and not doing blockbusters anymore, doesn’t that scare you?
RP: Honestly, if I could only play movies like Cosmopolis, it would be amazing. But they’re hard to get. To tell you the truth, I’m not really interested by being at the head of big movies. First, it’s harder to do: you have 20 people to answer to – in Cosmopolis: just one.
Then, in general, there’s one two possible roles in those movies: you’re either a teenager who becomes a man, or a teenager who’s completely screwed up. when you’re barely twenty, it’s okay, you’re having fun, you discover an incredible world, girls worship you. But it can’t last forever.

What did David Cronenberg tell you when he called you?
RP: My agent sent me the script over a year ago but at that time it was Colin Farrell who was attached to the project. I told myself: “Fuuuuuuck, this script rocks! Why can’t I be offered something like that? And why do you send me the script if the role is already taken *laughs*?” And one year later, out of nowhere, David calls me: “Hey do you want to do this movie?” I was terrified! The script looked so complex to me. A year before I was dreaming of it and then I felt unable to make a decision. It took me one week to find the courage to call David back.

Did he explain to you why he chose you?
RP: No, never. he didn’t even make me audition. When I asked him about it, he told me he had a feeling … when I told him that I wasn’t sure what the movie was about, he replied: “Me neither, we’re going to find out together.” This is why I’m really curious to see people’s reaction, even more so than usual.

Were you familiar with David’s work before?
RP: Yes, I saw almost all his movies.

Which ones did you prefer?
RP: Probably Videodrome or Scanners. I like Crash a lot too. It did well in France, right? In England, I remember how people went nuts because of it. They even banned it! Of course, that made everyone wants to see it. When I watch it nowadays, it baffles me that it could have been banned. It’s absurd.

Do you think it’s your ‘vampire’ status that attracted Cronenberg? In Cosmopolis, you play a trader, in a way, traders suck the blood of workers …
RP: *dubious* Maybe, yes … We can draw a parallel between capitalism and vampirism but the movie doesn’t focus on a character that would want to destroy everything. This guy is looking for something. He saw everything already and wonders what else is there – there HAS to be something else. It’s a pretty sad movie in the end. The trader tries to be better but his instincts and urges catch up to him.

Do you feel close to him?
RP: *swaying his head* Mmmyeah .. in a way. Insomuch as he sees something else than what’s in front of him. He thinks that the world is not only the world, that there is a level of understanding far more elevated.

You said that the script was complex. The dialogue especially are very literary. Is this the firs time you face something like this?
RP: David was adamant over the respect of the text, down to the last word. I loved the rhythm of lines as soon as I read the script, it was out of the question to damage them. Usually, the script only represent a raw material that needs to sound real when you say it on camera. Here, it was different. To make it sound real wasn’t enough for David. He’s looking for a level of realism much deeper. It reminded me of theater, which I haven’t done in a long time. To spend nights memorizing lines … ultimately, it’s nice and even cathartic: by repeating the words, they almost become mechanical.

Were you familiar with Don DeLillo’s work?
RP: I only read Underworld forever ago. For the movie of course, I read Cosmopolis and since then all the others. I’m always asked this question and I don’t want to sound stupid *laughs* But it’s pretty difficult for me to talk about it. I love his style but I’m not sure I’m smart enough to understand all the range of his ideas.

Rob goes on to talk about future projects, it is a fabulous interview. You can read it in its entirety at the translation source HERE

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