Robert Pattinson is promoting The Lighthouse, his bizarre little black-and-white film where he and Willem Defoe play lighthouse keepers who go mad in isolation. It’s getting great reviews and even Oscar buzz. We’ll see – to me, it looks more like the kind of film which will sweep the Independent Spirit Awards and not much else. But Rob is dutifully going through promotion, which is how he ended up giving an absolutely charming interview to the New York Times. I don’t mean “charming” in that he was trying to charm the journalist or the readers. I mean “charming” in the sense that Rob has gotten to the point where he actually likes talking about his work and he seems pleased that he can show that in real life, he is quite a funny, eccentric guy. He’s no longer Sparkles, the brooding vampire. He’s Rob, the guy who does a bonkers French accent in The King because he felt like it. You can read the NYT piece here. Some highlights:
Playing the Dauphin of France in The King: Pattinson hadn’t quite figured out his character until he saw hair-and-makeup photos of his co-star Lily-Rose Depp, who was cast as a royal ingénue. “I was like, ‘I want to play a princess, too,’” Pattinson said. The hairdresser capitulated by giving him long, honeyed locks, but Pattinson had one more surprise in store: On set, he unfurled a French accent so deliciously over the top that his scenes became charged with a camp jolt. At first, “I couldn’t quite tell, is this ridiculous?” Pattinson recalled. But after the first take, he found another co-star, Joel Edgerton, doubled over in laughter. “And then I thought, ‘I love this! This is the best.’”
Whether he knew ‘The Lighthouse’ was a comedy: “I thought the script was hilarious when I read it, but I had a similar experience on “High Life” [a space drama about convicts sent to a black hole]. When Claire Denis and I watched that by ourselves, we were pissing our pants laughing — it’s insane, that movie. But at the premiere of “High Life,” there was this deadly silence as everyone watched it. I was like, “Oh God, no one’s seeing the absurdity of this.”
Signing on to The Batman: “With “Batman,” if I’d done it a few years ago, I would have been incredibly nervous, but I’ve still got a few months before we start shooting. Plenty of time to have a panic attack!
Batman’s not a typical hero: “Batman’s not a hero, though. He’s a complicated character. I don’t think I could ever play a real hero — there’s always got to be something a little bit wrong. I think it’s because one of my eyes is smaller than the other one.”
On giving interviews: “I just fear that when I say anything about “Batman,” people online are like, “What does this mean?” And I don’t know! I used to be very good at censoring myself, but I’ve said so many ridiculous things over the years, so I’m always curious when I’m promoting these movies how many times I can mess up. It feels like with every movie that comes out, there’s always one quote from me where it’s like, “How? What kind of out-of-body experience produced that screaming nonsense?”
He expected the reaction to his Batman casting to be worse: “Maybe I’m just used to abuse by now. At least I didn’t get death threats this time — that’s a plus! It’s funny that people are so very angry about “Twilight.” I never particularly understood it.
He’s not worried about getting more famous with Batman: “People don’t really mess with me in the same way now that I’m older. When I was younger, the paparazzi would be crazy to me — I’d be leaving a place, and people would be screaming abuse — but I can’t imagine it going back to that. Do people really care anymore? The gossip magazines have all kind of gone away, and everyone just puts their stuff on Instagram anyway. I’m old and boring. And I only have abs, like, two weeks a year.”
Robert Pattinson is only 33! He talks like he’s some out-of-touch old dude. Plus, I think Warner Bros will probably ask him to start an Instagram once Batman promotion starts up, so he can’t put it off forever. As for this: “I was like, ‘I want to play a princess, too.’” This quote is perfect. And the reaction to his bonkers accent was laughter and he thought “I love this! This is the best.” Theory: if Rob wasn’t so physically beautiful, he would be recognized as one of the bravest character actors ever.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.