March 25th, 2016 / 8 Comments


Wow.  So Claire Denis originally wrote this with Philip Seymour Hoffman in mind and now Rob’s faith in her convinced her to move on with Rob.  That’s pretty damn impressive. Those are huge shoes to fill and I’m thrilled that both Rob and Claire agree that they can do it.  Brilliant. I especially love this comment from Claire “Robert is very enigmatic, with a powerful presence. He gives off an aura that immediately makes you want to film him.”  Truth.  Good luck on your first day of shooting Claire. You’ll be fine.

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Thanks Posh.

Transcript after the cut.

Transcript thanks to Nicole2Dogs:


Claire Denis BY Didier Peron

Claire Denis, the melancholic director of films d’auteur, teams up with teenage idol, Robert Pattinson, in one of the most exciting partnerships of the moment. Here, she talks about High Life, a meditative sci-fi film, before shooting begins in May.

The Idol and the Eye

Robert Pattinson had been cast to star in Olivier Assayas’s crime thriller Idol’s Eye, but the backers pulled out and the project was shelved. The young British star, who first came into the public eye as vampire Edward Cullen in the gothic series, Twilight, is always on the look-out for adventurous projects, that are radically different from the films an actor who has achieved such success and fired such levels of fan hysteria is expected to make. He is now due to head the cast of French writer-director Claire Denis’s sci-fi feature High Life, co-written by British film director and novelist Zadie Smith. Patricia Arquette and Mia Goth have already been announced as Pattinson’s co-stars. Completely taken up with preparations for the project, Claire Denis nonetheless took time out between appointments in Paris, London and Cologne, where the film studios are located, to tell us just how she came to meet Robert Pattinson — a long and winding road. “I had a screenplay which was naturally in English, because the story takes place in space and, I don’t know why, but for me, people speak English —or Russian or Chinese — but definitely not French in space. While I was writing the script, I had a face in mind: actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. No one has ever made me feel such a sense of humanity in them. It was something tangible. I felt I could almost touch it. And then he died, of a massive overdose of various drugs. He was found at home alone with a syringe in his arm. At the time I thought I’d never make this film… In my mind’s eye, I had seen his face, his body, his voice and his enigmatic being. Hoffman was a very broken person whose sudden, and untimely death was so terribly painful for me, as I thought that what I’d liked so much in him was an emotional, spiritual reality that verged on the un-bearable. While I was feeling completely downcast, I learnt that Robert Pattinson had heard about the project and wanted to meet me. I was afraid he’d be disappointed … I thought that perhaps he wouldn’t be interested in working on the sort of films I make! He read the script and told me that he wanted to do it. Something else impressed itself on me, a sense of freedom, an element of surprise. His confidence in me renewed my confidence in the project.

“Robert has the main role: a man a long way from earth. One by one, his companions die, and he survives, perhaps because he has a taciturn, monastic side to him that protects him. He will have to make decisions that affect others, not just himself. He’s rather like a knight of the Round Table projected into a world of science fiction. I imagine him to be secretly hemmed in, so that even when he’s in a group, he appears to be alone, and this reserve or diffidence gives him an ability, which others don’t have, to withstand fear and pain. The first time I met Robert was in Los Angeles. He was on his own territory, and so at ease with the project that I ended up forgetting that he was so famous. When I saw Twilight, I liked it immediately because he has heartrending charisma. It’s strange, though, because it would be difficult to imagine anyone more unlike Philip Seymour Hoffman physically, but Robert is very enigmatic, with a powerful presence. He gives off an aura that immediately makes you want to film him. I remember Beatrice Dalle ringing me when she found out that the actress cast to do I Can’t Sleep had decided to quit, eight days before filming was due to start. Beatrice wasn’t the character at all, but she said, “If you want, I’ll come.” She instantly became the ideal person for the film and captured my imagination. It was so strong that on the first night of the shoot, I felt faint, like being in shock, because I was so moved at seeing her. I hope I can keep a cool head on the first day with Robert Pattinson.“

  • barbara
    Posted on March 25, 2016

    Oh Lordy Maria. I think some time ago I asked you how you managed to stay calm when interviewing Rob, because I had read that when he is talking to someone he holds their gaze,and it is difficult to make a coherent sentence as you get lost in that face and those eyes .
    Well done Clair Denis .

  • sue
    Posted on March 25, 2016

    How wonderful!

  • Carmel
    Posted on March 25, 2016

    Wow. Isn’t it refreshing to hear someone being so unguarded. I can imagine Rob and Claire would have a wonderful working energy.
    As far as the Philip Seymour Hoffman thing. Hot damn! That is huge.

  • Maria
    Posted on March 25, 2016

    Oh yes he does @Barbara image host.

    You know the whole time I was talking to him I was thinking to myself – Jesus I can’t believe I’m standing here interviewing Rob. It was so surreal. Still one of my favourite all time memories.

  • Ephie
    Posted on March 25, 2016

    Awesome!!!!! Another interesting project for Rob with a remarkable director. I like everything she said and totally wholly agree with her description of Rob’s aura and presence. Good luck ms Denis on that first day lol.

  • Maria
    Posted on March 25, 2016

    Ephie!! I was only thinking about you last week. Hope all is well 🙂

  • Ephie
    Posted on March 26, 2016

    Hi Maria! Yes all is well thanks. I’m always looking here and I follow on Twitter but I don’t comment as often. I’m actually really really looking forward to seeing Rob on the big screen again!! It feels like an eternity ago that we saw the Rover…And I missed Life too I hope you’ll enjoy the Easter break.

  • Ephie
    Posted on March 29, 2016

    Hi Maria! Yes all is well thanks. I’m always looking here and I follow on Twitter but I don’t comment as often. I’m actually really really looking forward to seeing Rob on the big screen again!! It feels like an eternity ago that we saw the Rover…And I missed Life too. I hope you enjoyed the Easter break.

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