Robert Pattinson: ‘I have basically tried every fad you can think of’

Robert Pattinson covered a recent issue of ES Magazine, the Evening Standard’s in-house magazine. Rob is no longer the awkward sparkly vampire boyfriend – he’s a man in his 30s, working with auteurs and making big-budget Batman movies. He picks up extra cash as a Dior model. He’s working with Bong Joon-ho. He’s still witty, charming, wry and yes, a little bit awkward. But he’s grown up and I love that for him – he managed to stay sane when a lot of people wouldn’t. In this ES Mag piece, Rob talks a lot about his pinup past, his desire to keep some things private, and the genuine battles he’s had with body image, fitness and very disordered eating. Some highlights:

What he’s working on now: ‘It’s with Parasite director Bong Joon-ho and it’s like nothing I’ve ever done before. The movie is so crazy, it’s a completely different style of working. It’s so much talking,’ he says. He’s been staying in a little hotel in Bedford near a vast airport hangar where they’ve built the set. In the evenings he has been back in his room, getting increasingly worried that it might be haunted. ‘Anyway, today I just realised that I’m probably not seeing ghosts — it’s probably just because I’ve been drinking about 17 cups of coffee a day.’

Working with Dior for 10 years, he’s made friends at the company: ‘I’m not even just saying it to be nice. It’s been one of the most enjoyable work, and personal, experiences that I’ve ever had in my life.’ In terms of fragrance, he says he is bad at identifying what his favourite smells are, ‘but — I mean, it’s kind of cheesy — if you’re in love with someone, their smell becomes very particular to you… so yeah, something like “girlfriend in a dressing gown”.’

When he said he didn’t work out for Batman: It was a joke, he says (‘although I got in so much trouble for saying that I don’t work out, even from my trainer, who was like, “Why would you say that?”’) but it certainly hints at his discomfort with being viewed as a sex symbol. It’s also, he points out, ‘quite embarrassing when you get into a pattern of answering questions about your workout because there’ll always be a guy who’s in better shape than you.’

Body image, fad diets, disordered eating: ‘It’s very, very easy to fall into that pattern as well, even if you’re just watching your calorie intake, it’s extraordinarily addictive — and you don’t quite realise how insidious it is until it’s too late.’ Pattinson says he has never struggled with body image, ‘but I have basically tried every fad you can think of, everything except consistency. I once ate nothing but potatoes for two weeks, as a detox. Just boiled potatoes and Himalayan pink salt. Apparently it’s a cleanse… you definitely lose weight. And I tried to do keto once. I was like, “Oh, there’s a diet where you just eat charcuterie boards and cheese all the time?” But I didn’t realise that you can’t have beer as it completely defeats the purpose.’

He wants to get a dog this year: ‘I’ve spent so many hours looking at pictures of different dogs, I mean literally for months and months, so if I don’t get one it’ll be a colossal waste of time. I mean, I really went in.’ He tells me he favours the scruffy, runt variety.

He’s bad at taking a break: ‘There’s just something in me which runs very, very deep and it makes the idea of taking a holiday seem like an impossibility… I find myself going, “No, I have to keep working, I have to keep working all the time, this might be my last opportunity, I’ve got to save for a rainy day. It’s genetic. My dad was always bad at taking holidays. He’d always love it but I remember even as a very young child, there’d always be tears the night before — he’d say, “Just go without me, just go without me.”’

[From ES Magazine]

“Pattinson says he has never struggled with body image…” and then he lists all of the ways in which he has been a disordered eater for years, and admits that it’s addictive to watch your caloric intake, etc. That’s one of the things I’ve always appreciated about Rob, generally speaking though – he’s always been pretty open about how he’s not in great shape, or he tried whatever diet, or what have you. Usually, only women talk about those subjects and only women get those questions. I do think some of this – including his denial that he’s had body image struggles – is Rob’s inherent Britishness, of not wanting to make a fuss or trying to be “humble” about how much he cares about how he looks in an image-driven industry. Anyway… yeah, he’s a disordered eater and I hope he works on that.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red. Cover courtesy of ES Magazine.

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15 Responses to “Robert Pattinson: ‘I have basically tried every fad you can think of’”

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  1. blue says:

    RP disgusts me. His on-set “method” acting in front of cast & crew in Little Ashes and The Lighthouse puts him high on my list of “Most Offensive Celebs.”

    • Mcali says:

      I have never heard anything bad about him. He says method actors are a-holes. What are you talking about?.

    • mimic says:

      I’m curious, too. Never heard bad stuff about him. And he seems like a loveable, quirky dork. Do elaborate.

    • Sudie says:

      Yes, please elaborate. I’ve never heard anything bad about him when he’s on-set. In fact, I’ve only read that he is great to work with, very professional when working.

    • Abby says:

      I just went back to see if CB has written anything and I remember a variety interview for The Lighthouse where he said he did a bunch of gross stuff to get in character. But… it sounds like he was making stuff up, like he does in interviews. He just throws out statements that are off the wall. I have not seen anything else but that one interview though. Has that been confirmed as true?

    • Midnightatthemuseum says:

      Both of these films have an element of, ummm, self-love, I assume that’s what you’re referring to. When Rob implies that this is not simulated, I can only refer you to what others have referred to, he can be economical with the truth! Certainly never heard of cast or crew complaining, he seems very popular. He always will be popular with me, he’s hilarious.

    • Hibiscus says:

      Haven’t seen those interviews where he talks about that but he is a total oddball and very giggly in interviews and you wonder whether he’s just making things up sometimes. Really eccentric guy but a great actor. Can’t deny his amazing dedication and talent!

  2. Abby says:

    His interviews are always so bonkers and I love it. Him talking about charcuterie on a keto diet made me laugh.

    Definitely sounds like some disordered eating there.

  3. HeyKay says:

    I’m not his target audience.
    I can’t see his appeal at all in any of his movies I’ve watched.

  4. P says:

    I feel like he said he went to therapy after twilight, and I do wonder about his mental health sometimes in interviews, but he’s also a liar in these things! He’ll just say something weird because he doesn’t want to tell the truth or whatever! And in a way, I totally get that.

    I like his work. It’s not always for me, and that’s ok, but his performances and consistently good. His co-stars never have a bad word to say about him either. And yeah, he’s gorgeous. He’s nice to look at!

    • Div says:

      I do think his lies can be amusing, but at the same time someone who wasn’t one of twitter’s favorite yt boys would never get away with the type of sh*t he says in interviews. JLaw, who is equally chaotic but never as crass, is seen as try hard, etc., and god forbid a POC ever do it.

      Again, obvs. not his fault, but it does make me roll my eyes that a lot of people/media applauding him for it will turn around and drag a woman for something similar.

  5. Rebecca Cartwright-Teakle says:

    I don’t think he’s wrong to say he’s never had body image issues. He’s obviously describing disordered eating but for him it seems to be a control issue rather than to do with body image.

    • Hibiscus says:

      And/or a movie/role-preparation/obligation thing. We prepare for new jobs by doing research and practising soft skills or whatever. Actors prepare by rehearsing and going on whatever diets their trainers and nutritionists recommend.

  6. j.ferber says:

    Never seen him act even once, but he does seem very model-like, especially with the tousled hair. Sure knows how to strike a pose.

  7. Hibiscus says:

    I believe him when he says he’s never had a body image problem, because maybe all the fad dieting is just about losing weight for his roles. They’re constantly under pressure to be fitter/thinner/whatever. He’s a fantastic actor who’s confident and curious enough to experiment with different movies and roles but I’ll never watch some of his stuff esp Batman.