INTERVIEW: Robert Pattinson's New Romance!
Between Twilight films, gorgeous, hot actor Robert Pattinson tries to take on other roles that challenge him. No matter what the story is, he likes to play "intense" characters!
Now, in New York, Rob is telling us that his character Tyler, in the new romantic drama Remember Me, a volatile NYU student trying to cope with a family loss and reaching out to the daughter of the cop who attacks him, reflected his own need to grow up and mature. He admits he was "a bit of an idiot" when younger and his "actorly" swagger tended to make people want to beat him up!
Robert confides that he's known a lot of troubled teens in his life and really seems to "get" it.
Rob's leading lady, "Lost's" Emilie de Ravin was very impressed with him saying that he brought "all these intricate details" to the role. She thought, "how do you come up with these things?" One of those "things" was literally beating himself up in frustration on camera.. but the moment was cut from the film.
Rob says he was thrilled to be out of his pale vampire make-up for a while but admits that all the crowds gathering in New York to see him shoot "drove me insane" for a while until he learned to just mentally block them out in order to focus on his character. When asked if he is worried about continually playing brooding, worried young men, he just kids that 'maybe I am brooding and wounded'.
TeenHollywood: Was it refreshing to be in a film where you didn't have to bite someone?
Rob Pattinson: Oh, I've bit people in this (laughs). No I didn't. It's different. I feel like I'm missing out on something. It's nice. It's kind of a relief especially not having all the make-up on. That was one of the main things.
TeenHollywood: What attracted you to the role of Tyler in this film?
Rob: I read it after the first Twilight film and I always kind of liked it. It was always in the back of my mind and the opportunity came up in between the second and third ones; only a small period of time so you can only do a certain type of movie. I was trying to remember all the little things that I'd read and that was kind of perfect.
It didn't need any real prep time or anything and there was something different about it. It didn't fit into a typical teen movie type of thing. I hadn't really read a script like it and it seemed quite realistic and I found the character to be very accessible for me. I'd always really connected to it and I don't really know why (laughs).
TeenHollywood: The character has anger issues and is tormented and has issues with his parents. Do you have any of these issues in your own life?
Rob: (laughs) Not really. But, at the same time, I connected especially to who they cast for the family around Tyler. I knew a lot of kids who were troubled teenagers and you meet their families and they're all just saying 'I don't know what his problem is'. All of the families seem really nice and supportive around them and it's this unknown.
You have this energy and you don't know where to place it. I think the reason he has a problem with his father and not his mother is he knows his mother is not strong enough to take it. If he suddenly started attacking her, she'd just break and Charles, his father, is still a fighter so he's always going to fight against him. But, I don't think I have any particular problems myself in that respect.
TeenHollywood: The relationship between you and your little sister in the film, played by Ruby Jerins, seemed very natural. Can you talk about working with her and forging that relationship?
Rob: Yeah. She was amazing. Right from the first day, she was kind of completely at ease with me. I remember sitting around with Alan and Emilie and Ruby and we're all talking about relationships and I asked her just to be kind of nice, 'what do you think (your character) Caroline would think?' And she said 'well' and went off on this whole diatribe about her character's whole backstory and stuff and I thought 'oh, okay. I won't patronize you anymore at all' (he laughs). But, she's an amazing improviser as well and just seemed so completely at ease. She didn't seem like an 'actory' kid either so I loved it. Anytime I was working with her, you just knew you didn't have to worry about anything. I'd just kind of look at her and it was always interesting what she did.
TeenHollywood: You play an NYU student and the apartment and other locales seem very real. What did being in the actual places do for you performance-wise?
Rob: I always felt, if this is a typical NYU student's apartment then (wow!) He's living in the East Village in this really nice apartment, just a little bit messy, I always thought that was a little bit much. It looked like a million dollar apartment (to me).
But it did help. Before I went to New York, I thought it was going to be really easy and I could just hang out there and pick up on a lot of New Yorker's mannerisms but it ended up being a more kind of circus than I thought it was going to be (laughs). But, yeah, it definitely was (helpful).
(It was helpful) especially shooting at NYU. I knew quite a few people who went there as well so that was easier and I think the script helped as well because you always see college movies and there is always like beer pong which is like 'this can't be real'. Maybe it is. I have no idea (laughing).
TeenHollywood: Was it hard to get in character with all the (fan) craziness around you in New York while filming?
Rob: Kind of. At the beginning it was. Then about halfway through, I just suddenly had an epiphany about it. I don't know what happened, but it's just learning to block things out. But at the beginning it was just driving me insane especially for a character who is lost and supposed to be looking for things all the time and you can't look up because suddenly all the (camera) shutters accelerate and you can't smile or behave normally but you've just got to be more disciplined about it.
TeenHollywood: What do you think if people say you remind them of classic Hollywood icon James Dean?
Rob: I don't think that's a bad thing. Do you? I mean that would be great. I don't know if they will but I think James Dean was one of the most influential people on young guys, especially actors, definitely in the last fifty years I'm not ashamed to say, 'yeah, I am very much influenced by him'.
TeenHollywood: This character does bear a few similarities to Edward Cullen. I wonder are you worried about being typecast as the brooding, wounded hero?
Rob: Maybe I just am brooding and wounded. I'm just realizing that. Nah, I'm not. You just take little steps. I'm always aware of how people are going to view things so you've kind of got to go halfway. If I did something playing a 400-pound woman people are probably going to judge it more harshly than other people who have been doing character parts for twenty years. Not in a calculated way but all of the projects I'm doing seem like little baby steps toward other things. The thing I'm doing now (Bel Ami) is completely different in some ways but, at the same time, it's got a lot of intensity. It's what I like in characters.
TeenHollywood: Do people judge your work differently after the Twilight films?
Rob: Yeah, I think people do judge things differently after the Twilight films. They view it differently but I mean there's nothing you can really do about that. I do take that into account more now than I used to. Doing the Dali thing (Little Ashes), when I was doing it, I didn't think anyone was ever going to see it. It's a very different place to be at when you think you're making a movie which nobody is going to see; you're not afraid to experiment with things.
TeenHollywood: Do you feel that you were able to bring your all to this role in Remember Me?
Rob: I don't know. I don't know what my 'all' is. I always felt very connected to it right from the beginning when I first read the script.
TeenHollywood: How so? We're dealing with random violence in this film. Was there something from your own past that you could bring?
Rob: No. It was more about the reactions after (the random violence). The way he dealt with random events. Little bits were cut out of it but I remember after the first fight with Chris Cooper's character, his mother was saying 'you need to sue the police force' and I was like 'for what?' He doesn't really care. 'Well, at least, get an apology' and I was like 'I don't think you can sue the police force for an apology'.
It was kind of this blasé attitude, even when it's been him who's been the one who is harmed. I always related to that. Looking back into the past and bearing grudges, I don't really do that. The way that his violence comes out as well, it's illogical. It's not against really legitimate targets. I kind of relate to that. When you have a spasm of rage it goes, almost inevitably, to the complete wrong target and it causes you more problems. So, it's better to keep it chained up all the time.
TeenHollywood: A lot of that anger goes against the dad character played by Pierce Brosnan. What was it like acting with him? And is your relationship wit your own dad, anything like that?
Rob: (laughs) I think my relationship with my dad is the opposite. With Pierce, the part was written as much more controlling. He was incredibly arrogant in the script. And, Pierce seems like a really nice guy and he read the character as 'he's not a horrible man. He's not a monster' and that completely changed what Tyler's relationship is with him. You're looking at a guy where you know the audience is going to be thinking 'he's all right' which is kind of interesting.
This guy Tyler is rebelling against nothing. You're only attacking because you know he can be attacked and he's going to keep standing afterwards but Pierce was great. I had no idea who they weren't going to cast in that part and when (they told me) I was like 'that's a tough act to follow'. But I think he was kind of perfect for it.
TeenHollywood: Did you enjoy your fight scenes; acting with fists not words?
Rob: Yeah. I loved it. It's completely different. I never do stuff like that in reality so it's quite like cathartic in a lot of ways.
TeenHollywood: Was it daunting working with Chris Cooper as Emilie's character's tough dad?
Rob: Yeah, I don't know how I'd feel if I really had any fighting back to do. I was continually beaten up by him (laughs). But, yeah, it was quite daunting. It's very hard being strangled. It's really difficult to look like it's actually happening because he was kind of doing it as well. If you're just being strangled nothing really happens. You just kind of stand there. I was experimenting with myself just before we shot it. I don't really know what the face is to represent being strangled.
TeenHollywood: Have you been in a fight before?
Rob: Well, I've been beaten up a few times. I was a bit of an idiot when I was younger. Always unprovoked, in my eyes anyway. It was just after I first started acting and I liked to behave like an actor and that generally provoked a lot of people into hitting me.
TeenHollywood: Were you hurt in that particular fight scene?
Rob: Oh no, not at all. The only thing that I hurt myself on was a bit they cut out of the movie where I kind of flipped out afterwards out of my own impotence in this fight. You walk into the big confrontation and end up getting completely destroyed by your competitor. I was hitting myself afterwards in a little spur of the moment thing which they cut out of the movie. I hit myself so hard, I was in so much pain for the rest of the shoot. It was the most stupid thing I've ever done (laughs).
TeenHollywood: When you go crazy in the school room it's pretty intense too. The young actress opposite you looks scared.
Rob: There was one take of that they had to cut out because it looked like I'd not only be charged with vandalism but in jail for child abuse because I spun that desk around and it fell over and she just ran away out of the classroom (laughs) and I'm supposed to continue on with the scene and I'm like 'oh my God, I'm actually going to get arrested for this'. It was great. She looked absolutely terrified afterwards which was quite fun.
TeenHollywood: Did you have any trouble with the New York Bronx accent?
Rob: I grew up watching American movies. I learned how to act, to whatever extent, by watching American movies way more than English ones so I kind of, in a lot of ways, feel more comfortable speaking in an American accent. It feels more real to me in a lot of ways.
TeenHollywood: In the Twilight saga you are working with a lot of younger actors. Other than Emilie, the actors in this film are a bit older. Is it different working with older actors?
Rob: Yeah. In a lot of ways, it's different because when you're working with young people it's like you're going on the journey together. Everything is fresh to you. Whereas if you're working with experienced people, they're much clearer about what they want to do or bring to the job right from the beginning which is really good in some ways. But, at the same time, they're very willing. Chris and I were rewriting the scene when we fought each other during the lunch break just before. I never worked with anyone who is really tied down to what they want to do and that's that. It's really good either way.