Interview with a Vampire
Having an e-cigarette with Twilight star and Dior Homme model Robert Thomas Pattinson.
He gave water to the elephants, fought against werewolves, and became immortal as a vampire. But it wasn’t until the yellow press began to dissect Robert Pattinson’s relationship with Kristen Stewart for months, that the teen idol turned into a real man. It was definitely no easy time for Robert Pattinson. The more comfortable was our meeting the shy Englishman.
Rob: I hope it doesn’t bother you that I smoke?
Interviewer: What do you smoke?
My e-cigs. I’ve been trying to quite for quite some time now but this one here is pretty unique: each cigarette can be smoked for as long as it would take you to finish to packs of cigs. And, um, if it stops glowing, you just throw it away. Just like with real cigarettes. I like that. Do you want one?
I like everything that smokes.
These are extremely strong. I constantly drive to 7-Eleven and get new ones. You can even smoke these things on the airplane. Oh God, I sound like a salesman for e-cigs.
When you should be doing some promo for Dior. How does it feel to be the new face of Dior Homme?
Actually, I never wanted to do advertisements.
…and then one morning you ran out of perfume?
I don’t use perfume!
Are you allowed to say that?
When I was 13 or 14 I always used perfume, but today, not anymore. At the time I probably thought it would give me some kind of adult touch. So it was important, until the first stubble appeared.
The director Romain Gavras just said you would have crashed the BMW while shooting.
What? We agreed he wouldn’t say anything! And I didn’t even total the car..
I was supposed to drive along a six meter long (ca. 19,5 feet) stripe of sand 100km/h (ca. 60 mp/h) while at the same time, the waves came in, and I just slipped. After that the car, the models, and I drowned in mud full of algae.
Did you confess that to your dad?
Because of the models? No, why?
I thought you father dealt with oldtimers.
Oh, shit, that’s right. I had hoped the BMW wouldn’t be considered old. By the way, after the first Twilight movie, I drove the same model in black. The car didn’t cost more than 1000 bucks - it didn’t make it very long but it’s considered a classic today. Thank God, dad is retired by now.
The scene where it looks like you and the model would smoke pot, that wasn’t the one you were shooting just before that one, was it?
No, I didn’t. (laughs)
Did Roman Gavrais had to do a lot of editing until the pictures fit with the public image of Dior?
Well, the joint wasn’t real.
The girl was, however.
Maybe there will be a director’s cut one day, one in which the audience is allowed to see her breasts. Oh, no, I take that back - what a horrible comment to make.
After all, the audience loves to see you a lot more than the naked girl.
Ever since you played the young Salvador Dali in Little Ashes you are constantly seen naked in front of the camera. Is that something that is unproblematic for you?
I’m English! No! Although, by now, it’s okay, at least if I feel like I worked out enough. But even then it’s more difficult for me than others on set. Just imagine meeting Juliette Binoche for the first time and ten minutes later you’re supposed to shot a sex scene with her. That’s brutal. With the Dali production in Spain it was really bad, almost embarrassing: we hung out at a swimming pool and were supposed to loosen up a little. I clang to the edge of the pool and before I was even able to turn around the Spanish guy was already naked. He happily swam over to me and I had no idea what to do. I felt like Mr. Bean. However, that was the first sex scene I had ever done. And it was with a man.
Does that make a difference?
Looking back, I can actually say no. You don’t really kiss, actually you only make sure that is looks good, you know, whether the angle is right, and if you look good doing it.
Well, at least it feels different than a normal kiss.
Only a few people are being filmed while kissing.
Right, I forgot. (laughs)
Back to your part-time job: do you feel like an Homme or would Dior Boy have worked better for you?
Well, during the shoot Romain always yelled “More Homme!” and “Robert, be an Homme!”
Your predecessor was Jude Law. It seems like the French consider the English more Homme than their fellow countrymen.
Funny, right? Us Brits are especially manly, educated, eloquent, and good looking.
And you have a lot more hair than Jude Law.
During your time in Hogwards it was probably always “That boy a year above Harry Potter is going to be the new Jude Law.”
Yes, that is what was written in the newspapers. But today, there are dozens of young guys who are celebrated as the new Robert Pattinson.
Two weeks ago, some photos appeared where they simply put your head on Jude Law’s head from the photos of his campaign.
That’s crazy. (laughs)
Have you ever met Jude Law?
Unfortunately not. But I’m sure that he probably laughs about stunts like that. We’re English. We have a good sense of humor. It’s what’s protecting us from all the craziness that happens.
When it comes to that you reached a complete new level in the last twelve months.
In the last twelve months? (laughs) It was hysterical, yes, but that’s actually what is was always like, during all the Twilight years. Suddenly everywhere I went people thought they already knew me. They look at a photo of me and think they have a special relationship, a friendship, an affair with me - someone they haven’t met their whole life. That’s crazy. And in some moments really scary and creepy. But I try to laugh it off. Only if you’re able to laugh about stuff is it that you can digest things. Maybe this whole celebrity thing, this hysteria that can hardly get any bigger than it already is, will be over real soon. At least that’s what I hope will happen.
When and more importantly why should that happen?
Oh, maybe in ten or twenty years; once the economic crisis is over and people are able to focus on themselves and their consumption - and not clutter the internet out of boredom the whole day and write complete nonsense about others.
Are you talking about yourself or the general need for fans to get close to famous people?
In general. The internet changed a lot. If you google something long enough you will soon know everything there is to know about me: what I eat, what my poop looks like, with whom I’m sleeping, what my dick looks like, even what I look like when I masturbate…
Well, that might be a little exaggerated. But my hand-job face is recorded for eternity.
Ever since you played the young Dali.
Can one not simply pretend to do it?
Try it. I can tell you right now, no chance. It just doesn’t work. So I rubbed one out in front of the camera.
Because you hoped no one would ever see the film?
Something like that, yes. After the end of the shooting I thought for a couple of days that this would be the end of my - at the time really short - acting career. But then I got the phone call that said “You got the role.” And then Twilight started.
And after the first part of Twilight the film started to sell well.
Mr. Pattinson, you grew up in Barnes, in the south west of London. What was your childhood like?
Pretty normal. I have always been an average guy who constantly made sure not to be the center of attention. A little bit shy and unsure. That’s why I decided to sign up for the theater group, even though I had already played at a theater before I did that.
Your father repaired expensive cars. Your mother worked in a modeling agency. You yourself modeled during high school.
I’m proud to say to have had the most pathetic modeling career in the world.
For that you’re doing a pretty good job with Dior.
In the beginning it was okay. I was tall and looked like a girl. It worked because this androgynous look was in at the time. But then I got older and more masculine - and just like that no one booked me anymore.
Your female class mates were probably impressed by your modeling, weren’t they?
No, not really. I tried to keep my part-time job a secret. I guess I have always been a private person. There was actually only one incident that everyone at school knew about: I modeled for this teen magazine, Bliss, and they had the Bliss Boys. In every issue the girls were able to vote their guys in or out. I was pretty good and was voted in for a year or so - which was probably because I called and voted for myself. Per issue you were given 150 Pounds (laughs). If I think about it now, that was by far my most successful model job. I only ever went to the casting to see female models. But I never dared talking to them.
But in school you haven’t been shy enough to not put red roses in lockers at Valentine’s Day.
How do you know that?
From the young girl with the locker.
Wow. Did she also tell you that the thing with the rose didn’t work? It was Valentine’s Day, we were 13 or so, anyway, I put the rose in her locker and - my best friend said he did it. A week later he was dating her. As I already said, I wasn’t very lucky at the time.
Says the vampire for whose roses millions of girls are waiting for.
That sounds easier than it is.
Were you sad on the last day of shooting Twilight? After all, Edward was with you for years.
There have been so many last days of shooting. One of them was in the Caribbean, on Saint Thomas, that was fantastic. Most of the time we shot during bad weather. But there the sun was shining, we were at the beach and made out in the sea the whole time.
The actual last day of filming had been in Canada. And that was the whole opposite of that day [in the Caribbean]: all we did for two weeks was shooting scenes in which we were naked; so that [last] night it was freezing cold and horrible. The whole crew just wanted to go. Just like me. I didn’t even say goodbye to all the guys but just took off.
In an interview you once said “Most people only take but give nothing in return.” The simple question is: what is it that Robert Pattinson has to give? The more interesting question, however, would be: what was it that you have taken lately?
If you say “take” I immediately think of stealing.
I always steal the pens in the hotel rooms. Look: my backpack is full of it.
You live in way too many hotels.
Sad but true.
What do your friends from London say about R-Patz, the nickname the yellow press gave you?
Fortunately they ignore it. Just like Twilight. But regarding R-Patz: I’d like to strangle the guy who came up with it!
Do you know who the father of the fighting name R-Patz is?
No. Well, actually I do. Some fat celebrity blogger… let’s just leave it at that.
Do you believe that, what is being reported about your relationship with Kristen Stewart would have been just as hysterical if there had been no Twilight romance?
It’s impossible to give a smart answer to that. One thing can’t be separated from the other.
Well, what am I supposed to say?
Thanks to social networks and the Twilight hysteria you have more fans than Justin Bieber, more than any other popstar of our time.
The real odd thing about this Twilight target group is that they aren’t really teenagers. Most of them are older. Twilight has its own parallel world, its own fan culture that has been forming on the net since day one. And in an intense way that has never existed before. Sometimes I ask myself what these masses of people do the whole day. They sit in front of their computers and comment on anything having even remotely to do with Twilight. Day and Night. So actually really exciting - at least up to point when I became part of that phenomenon.
How do you deal with that?
You learn to adapt. And you learn to live our life a different way. What’s really crass, however, is if 75% of the Internet pack think your absolute shit. (laughs)
Do you ever think of escaping?
Who doesn’t? The real nuisance are not some fans but the paparazzi - those on the other hand you can find stupid; even though I understand them, too: a single photo of me, taken at morning of any day pays the monthly rent for the paparazzo. For them all the pathetic waiting is really worth it.
Did you know what you got yourself involved in with Twilight?
Not in the slightest. But now that it’s all over I feel a lot more grown up.
Rumor has it that you took a valium right before the casting for Twilight, the role that changed your life. Can you remember that?
Yup, and the pill really worked it’s magic - if only that one time. After I knew I got the role I thought Valium would be my thing, like the magic drug that gets me through all these horrible castings.
At the next casting I almost fell asleep. Thank God I only had to do castings twice since Twilight.
One being with Werner Herzog with whom you’ll be doing your next film.
I didn’t have to read for Werner, I was just lucky.
For Werner Herzog you play H. P. Lovecraft. You’ll be shooting in Morocco.
Isn’t the desert sun deadly for vampires?
Very funny. By the way I think the smell of blood is disgusting.
Right after the last part of Twilight you shot Cosmopolis with David Cronenberg. You play an investment banker…
The timing was just amazing. David sent me the script, I was thrilled, I accepted the role right away - and then, while shooting, the global Occupy movement started. And please, believe me: I can more than understand why people went out on the streets! Did you know that even in L.A. there was any Occupy movement?
There really was.
Did you demonstrate?
That would be ridiculous. What was I supposed to say that wouldn’t have sounded dishonest? But I actually know some well-known actors who went there. I thought that was simply pathetic.
Because the lovely colleagues just got into their Audis or BMW’s for which they didn’t pay a single dime, drove downtown, parked their car a block away, and pretended to have come by train. I also don’t understand what they actually wanted to do there. I said to them: “You simply ruin this protest of real demonstrators. No matter how much you can sympathize with them: it’s not your fight. You are not wanted there.”
Do you like living in L.A.?
Well, at least it’s a very comfortable way of living. The sun is shining almost every morning - and if I don’t want to be bothered I simply put on a sweater, wear a base cap and glasses, get in my car and drive off. That’s one of my ways of getting out and letting go.
The bars in this city already close by 2am - not really ideal for a man who wants to drown his heart break in alcohol.
You have no idea how drunk you can get till 2am!
What’s the best thing about L.A.?
The roasted onions on and In-N-Out cheeseburger. That’s the real odor of L.A. That’s what I miss the most when I’m gone!
Do you feel lonely when the cameras are off and you close the doors behind you?
Not just then.
People say, you have only hired a press agent since your break-up with Kristen Stewart because you didn’t see a sense in paying someone to do just that before then.
I’m cheap. And I still have no press agent. Why should I?
And with whom do you talk about things, especially with regards to how to handle the paparazzi?
With my family. And my agent.
On whose couch you used to like to sleep.
I wouldn’t say like. I lived on this couch for three years. My agent worked while I was hanging around her apartment and played Playstation. A wonderful time - until one morning I got the call about Twilight… Do you want another e-cig? You know, just take a few with you!
Translation by @KStewandRPatz