In casting Robert Pattinson, you have an interesting tension between a big percentage of his fanbase — teenage girls, many of them — and a film they might find inscrutable. Is that conflict appealing to you?
David Cronenberg: It was not really an issue at all, in terms of casting. On the other hand, what was interesting was while we were shooting the movie, all these “Cosmopolis” websites popped up that were created by “Twilight” fans and Rob fans, and they were reading the book and exchanging notes about the book and how it might work in the movie. Really, I wasn’t thinking that this was necessarily going to be an audience for this movie, but then I started to think, “Well, some of them, it definitely is going to be.” And that was exciting ’cause these are young girls who maybe had read “Twilight” and “Harry Potter,” and suddenly they’re reading Don DeLillo. That’s pretty good.
I don’t really have an audience in mind when I’m making a movie … I’m making it for me and all of us who are excited about the script. I’m making it for an audience, but that’s kind of an unknown and amorphous audience, so anybody who’s part of that audience is okay with us, let’s put it that way.
Robert, knowing that younger fans will cross genres for you, do you worry that you need to choose parts carefully? Is that on your radar?
Robert Pattinson: It’s like I feel a responsibility to myself. If you’re doing stuff just purely for money, you’re probably disrespecting your audience as well. It’s not good for anyone. It’s not even really good for you. The only thing I really know is what I think I would find interesting to watch and if I try and make that, I feel like I learn a lot out of doing it and watching it. And so , I don’t know, I think I fulfilled my responsibility. Read more…
Most movie junket interviews do not have hordes of paparazzi and two burly security guards standing outside them. Then again, most junket interviews do not feature a subject who is currently in the midst of a tabloid scandal. Unfortunately, this is where Robert Pattinson finds himself right now, as he attempts to promote his new movie, “Cosmopolis.”
Thankfully, if anyone can handle the pressure, Pattinson can. Case in point: when I sat down with him and “Cosmopolis” director David Cronenberg, the 26-year-old “Twilight” star was relaxed, as he discussed his new film and its decidedly more adult tone. The movie, based on the Don DeLillo book of the same name, follows Eric (Pattinson), a billionaire asset manager who takes a ride across town in a limousine to get a haircut. Along the way, he deals with financial loss, random sexual encounters and an angry anti-capitalist, Occupy-esque crowd.
Here, Pattinson and Cronenberg talk about the fandom surrounding “Cosmopolis,” the movie’s stance against one-percenters and what it’s like filming an extended prostate exam in front of the camera.
Considering the anti-capitalist bent in this film, I thought it was ironic that you two were ringing the bell of the NYSE this morning.
David Cronenberg: It was a much more surreal experience than I thought it was going to be. I thought, Yeah, we’re visiting the scene of the crime now, and it’s going to be kind of cathartic to ring the alarm bell.
Robert Pattinson: I am curious to know if anyone had actually seen the movie or had any idea what it was about.
DC: Yeah! And [people there] seemed so excited about the movie and so excited about us and were very sweet and friendly. Yet it’s such a completely different world. It’s so familiar to them. I think they think everybody knows all about what they do. And I think the infamy and fame of stock traders and fraud only enhances the idea for them, that everybody knows what’s going on. But once you’re there you realize “Oh my god. I don’t understand anything at all.” But it was a very interesting, and I would say ironic [opportunity]. To use that moment, ringing the bell to open the Stock Exchange, for “Cosmopolis,” it was very strange. Were we selling out? I don’t know [laughs]. They gave us little medals! Read more…
Eric Packer, the icily charismatic asset manager played by Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis, does a great many interesting things in a single, fateful day. In his white stretch limousine, he attempts to traverse Manhattan in gridlock traffic amid violent Occupy-like protests, and all in search of a haircut. He forfeits hundreds of millions of dollars in a suicidal currency-speculation bid. He enjoys afternoon sex with a comely security specialist wearing a body-armor vest with a stun gun on hand. He also has sex with Juliette Binoche. He also endures a weirdly erotic prostate exam while staring into the eyes of a sweaty associate. He gets a pie in the face from a “pastry assassin” who travels with a crew of paparazzi. He is stalked by an actual would-be assassin as well.
So much to talk about! But overshadowing Pattinson’s press tour for Cosmopolis—directed by the great David Cronenberg and adapted from Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel—is the recent tabloid frenzy surrounding his breakup with Twilight costar Kristen Stewart. (The final film in the Twilight franchise is out in November.) TIME sat down with Cronenberg and Pattinson—fresh-faced, sweet, totally affable, smoking an electronic cigarette— in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood the day after the New York City premiere of Cosmopolis. We mostly stayed on topic, if occasionally tiptoeing awkwardly around the heartbroken vampire-elephant in the room.
TIME: Cosmopolis was published in the first year of the war in Iraq, and in a wave of novels that were all described as being “post–Sept. 11” in one way or other, but now the story maps on remarkably well to Occupy Wall Street and other protest movements around the world in 2011. David, at what point did you encounter the book, and when did you know it was a movie?
David Cronenberg: It was about three years ago, and the attraction wasn’t that the novel was prescient or because of its historical place. It was the characters, the dialogue, the intensity, the humor—it’s constantly funny. I wasn’t looking to make any kind of statement. Inevitably, though, if you’re making something with integrity, it will say something about the time it’s being made in. When the novel came out, people were saying, “All this demonstrating-on-Wall-Street stuff isn’t very convincing.” Now it’s obvious.
Robert, DeLillo’s dialogue is hyper-stylized, very formal, and often steeped in theory. How did you approach it? Robert Pattinson: The first thing I connected to was the humor. Everything else seemed kind of arbitrary. I liked that it was absurd and unrelatable in a lot of ways. I thought that Eric doesn’t understand himself, so that was my angle—play the part as if you don’t understand the part. [Cronenberg laughs merrily] Try to remain lost. I noticed that every single time I came into a scene with an idea or an angle about how to do it, it would feel wrong, and David would know it was wrong. When I was kind of somewhere else, not thinking at all—that was when it felt right.
What’s relatable about Eric might be that his world is so mediated by technology—he experiences the world at a remove, through screens, and so he’s struggling to feel something, whether it’s through sex or shooting a gun or gambling away his fortune. Do you think people can relate to that kind of alienation and wanting something real?
DC: One of the investors in the movie is a genuine French billionaire named Edouard Carmignac. He’s known as the French Warren Buffett. He wanted to be involved with this movie because he said it was absolutely accurate. He knows many people who are like this character, who have created this strange bubble that they live in. Within that bubble, they’re very alive and in control, and yet they’re completely disconnected from normal humanity, normal relationships. So Eric Packer says things to his wife like, “This is how people talk, right?” He’s trying it out, because he really doesn’t know. He’s dealing with billions of dollars, but he’s never actually touching real money and he doesn’t know how to actually pay for things. Of course, Carmignac doesn’t think of himself as that person, but he recognizes it completely. So I take him at his word that it’s not such a stretch. People create a limo for themselves, a little spaceship, a little bell jar in which they insulate themselves from things that hurt.
RP: I think Eric is confused between genuine power and ego. He’s mixing the two up. I think a lot of people in that job find that empathy is a weakness, so he realizes that it’s a strength. I’ve read things that describe Eric as a monster, but I always thought the story was a hopeful progression. His biggest problem is that he’s totally self-obsessed. But he’s taking baby steps toward coming to terms with it. He’s had an extended adolescence in a lot of ways, and he’s really smart—he’s a savant. Some people are so entrenched in what they think they are, and he realizes that the only shock that can snap him out of himself is that someone is going to kill him. Read more…
Just days before “Cosmopolis” opens in limited release, star Robert Pattinson has joined the cast of Werner Herzog’s indie “Queen of the Desert,” which will star Naomi Watts as English writer Gertrude Bell.
Pic will chronicle Bell’s life as a writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer and political attache for the British Empire. One of the first women to graduate from Oxford at the turn of the 20th century, she traveled through the Middle East, defining the borders of Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Pattinson is attached to play T.E. Lawrence, a British Army officer whose writing earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, on whom David Lean’s classic 1962 epic is based. Lawrence was a good friend to Bell over the years, as the duo helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in Jordan and Iraq. Read more…
MrPattinson.com is an unofficial website - we have no official
affiliation with Robert Pattinson nor his relative or his management.
Please do not send me any fanmail. All graphics are made by me
unless stated, please do not reprint, copy or steal without
premission given. No copyright infringment intended. This website
is created on April 1, 2009 and is maintained by Grace & Angelic. Feel free to read our disclaimer
policy. If you have any further comments, sugguestions &
complaints, please do not hesitate to contact us.