Robert Pattinson is a young actor from across the pond over in the UK. Undoubtedly he's most known for playing the character 'Cedric Diggory' in HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE and HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (cameo-esque part in that one.) His other credits include some TV movies and a couple flicks from the UK including the upcoming LITTLE ASHES and THE SUMMER HOUSE. He's sure to be in a lot more movies here in the US in no time though, so be on the lookout. While on the set of TWILIGHT, all morning we were told we'd be able to score an interview with star Robert Pattinson 'in 10 minutes.' You know how that goes. 10 minutes turned into 20, then an hour, then two. Finally, immediately after lunch, we were able to sit down with Edward Cullen himself. What we got was a pretty in depth look as to what we can expect from the character.
What's the overview of the character? I know he's a vampire but what's important about him to you?
What's important about him to me? I guess as the book is written from Bella's perspective and she's massively obsessed with him, well thinks she's in love with him or probably is eventually in love with him and he sort of seems to be the hero and he kind of has these superpowers... it's, you know, a turn on and everything but I guess kind of the thing which I found interesting is that he is essentially the hero of this story but violently denies that he is the hero. Like at every point even when he does heroic things he still thinks that he's a complete, selfish, like the most ridiculously selfish evil creature around. Which I kind of like that. He refuses to accept Bella's love for him but at the same time can't help but just kind of needs it, which is kind of what the essential storyline is. But I liked it because there's not many stories which have .. he's always walking the incredibly fine line between someone.. an object being in love with your life and also the thing you want to destroy the most... which is rather nice and he can never really and everything in his life is falling apart around him whilst heís kind of trying to create some kind of relationship with this girl which just seems to end completely and utterly impossible but it happens.
The character is definitely one of, probably the most complex character in the book. Kind of like even a split personality.. in going one second he can be cold and menacing and the next second mean and... how is it playing a character like that?
Well it's good. I mean it's difficult to figure out the, you know the ark. I guess one scene initially he realizes that he's got more control than he thought. It kind of fluctuates between him accepting the fact that he's like this all powerful being and the same time.. it's like he cant even.. he forgets who he is, like all the time from the various different influences. I mean he was so stale for 80 years. He was just... all he wanted to do was either die or become human again. When this girl comes, and he kind of .. it kind of reawakens senses that haven't been around for ages. And so it kind of... It keeps fluctuating all the time and he doesnít even know what's going on half the time. And like.. even if that somebody finds him attractive it's just like absolute bizarre to him. And then when.. he'll sometimes embrace that and sometimes he'll hate it.
Definitely constant conflictions within himself.
Yeah. Constantly. And also the main thing is, the more Bella says... he's been spending so much time thinking 'I'm a monster, I'm a monster. I'm a danger to everybody. I'm going to kill someone all the time.' The more she says 'Your not and I donít care what you are anyway.' The more he kind of drifts into just believing it until it's... what essentially happens at the end, in his head, is that he proves to himself that he is a monster.. which.. but he's not. (laughs) I mean as the audience and Bella still, but he completely believes it which is.. that's the differ veering.. he has a very strange opinion... he has a very negative opinion of himself.
Do you have any other roles done by other actors to draw from for this character? That you were like 'I like that aspect, that would help bring this to life more?'
Um... no... I mean there are bits of.. when I was initially thinking about it... there are bits of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and stuff... which I thought would be interesting to incorporate into it. It's just kind of... Not really though but I mean... I like to ask Stephenie Meyer to kind of try and create... I mean she makes it explicitly clear that these vampires are not like other vampires. It gives you a chance to completely reevaluate what a vampire is. And how... they're just accepted in school and stuff. They just seem loather to outsiders but I mean... You got to kind of figure out how much humanity you can have.. and I think also the interesting thing is .. it's a struggle for them to keep this humanity since so few vampires in the world of TWILIGHT which can actually look human.. and so I think they're fighting against every single natural instinct they have all the time. All the Cullens are just pretending through force of will to be something which they're not... at all. Through .. because of Carlisle they think it's the right thing to do... even though it's just denying what comes naturally.
Did Stephenie give you a lot of help with what she wanted to see? On set or...
Well not really. I mean I read all the books and stuff and I had a couple of meals with her and stuff. I think that because the book is entirely from... I've read also another one of her books, unfinished, which is TWILIGHT from Edward's perspective... which helped quite a bit. It's just difficult when the main... what the script is based on is from Bella's perspective. So you basically... and Edward is just kind of enigma.. he's just this perfect thing, but it's in Bella's eyes. So you never know what the actual truth ... what he is... is. So you basically have to invent it, completely or not.
One fascinating thing about vampires is not the drinking blood and not liking crosses... it's that they are immortal. So your kind of playing a character, when seeing it through Bella's eyes she doesnít really get this at first, but your playing a character who looks like you but is a hundred years old. How do you approach playing somebody who has been through so much more than you have, who is just a completely different...
That's what we try and figure... in the story he kind of fluctuates between having the mentality of a 17 year old or a young person and an old person. I guess.. as your stuck in the body of a 17 year old your gonna keep... people will see you as being 17. So you can have experience. I think that's why he gets kind of angry quite a lot of the time. He doesnít really have that much control over his anger. If your a hundred years old and yet the only experience you have, really in terms of relationships with people and stuff, they treat you like a 17 year old. You get treated very differently if your a hundred years old. You can't have kids, you cant do this, you cant do anything, you can't have a normal job, you can't develop in the same place. You keep having to restart.. and you can only live a like on a 10 year period. From like.. you can look, maybe like an old 15 year old to 25 or maybe 30. And you do that again and again and again. So you have a very skewed way of looking at things. I think the thing with Bella... I think it's very contrast of the fact that he's eternal. So even if... if he can't make her eternal, then... the feelings which she creates in him, which is basically everything he wants, it's just so fleeting... so.. whenever she gets hurt or anything.. that's what intensifies it. (a guy comes in and tells us they need Robert back on set... he is in the middle of making a movie afterall) Thank you.