INTERVIEW: Robert Pattinson Talks About ‘The Rover’ To Esquire UK

In the September issue of Esquire UK Magazine Robert Pattinson spoke about his character Rey in The Rover, what it was like to film in Australia and more.

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Here’s an excerpt from his interview……

His direction seems clear – he’s working exclusively with auteurs, on films that are not obviously commercial, and in roles that are uniquely challenging and wildly different, one to the next.

Last summer, he finished The Rover in Australia, a dystopian western from David Michôd, who made 2010’s brilliant Animal Kingdom. Pattinson’s performance is already receiving rave reviews.

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His friends might well be jealous of the notice he’s getting for The Rover right now. It’s arguably his best performance, and it responds to critics who would call him unexpressive. He might be a minimalist in real life – living in a single room in an unfurnished house, meditating and relishing his time alone – but as an actor, he’s opening up.

Pattinson plays a man who’s been left to die by his brother in post-apocalypse Australia. The brother steals Guy Pearce’s car, and Pattinson and Pearce team up to find him – Pearce to recover his car, Pattinson to find out why he’d been abandoned. His character is clearly impaired somehow. In the film, Pearce asks him, “What are you, a halfwit?” Pattinson is all tics and stumbling speech, a weak, confused look in his eyes. He may not have gone full retard, but he’s on the way, surely?

“That’s not how I thought about him,” he says. He saw his character as someone who’d been severely bullied, like a battered wife who kept going back to her abuser. “He has zero self-esteem, he’s just been criticised so much, that every time he starts speaking, he’s scared that someone will shut him down.”

The location was epic: nine hours north of Adelaide, in the middle of nowhere, 150 miles from the next town. The two actors lived in old shipping containers fitted with windows and swarming with flies, in a village of only 50 people. Temperatures routinely rose to 49ºC. And the kangaroos were so unaccustomed to seeing vehicles that they’d often just jump out in front of them. “Half the crew would have, like, blood splattered all over their cars,” he says. “It’s dangerous. If they jump into your windscreen, they’ll freak out and just kick you to death inside your car.”

He loved it there. David Michôd told The LA Times, “I don’t think I ever saw an actor so happy as when I saw Rob coming down the street toward me all by himself. He was practically bouncing.” No one knew him there. He could go anywhere he wanted. The outback suited him perfectly, and he still misses the isolation. “I forget what the aboriginal language is, but there’s no word for ‘yesterday’ or ‘tomorrow’. And there was this guy, who’d just sit, covered in flies, the entire day, waiting to be called onto set. No comment, nothing. There’s a Zen you get out there. I mean there’s nothing to do anyway. It’s not like you have to get across town for a meeting!”

Head over to Esquire to read the full interview and check out the photoshoot