Robert Pattinson Talks James Gray, Henry Costin & Filming in the Jungle
Studio Canal have provided the full production notes for The Lost City of Z. Below is an extract relating to Robert. They are always a good read:
On James Gray and his role as Henry Costin
Gray cast Robert Pattinson to play Henry Costin, Fawcett’s steadfast right-hand man and surveying partner. The Twilight star has admired Gray’s filmmaking ever since he saw the director’s 2007 gritty crime caper We Own the Night. “I remember thinking that was one of the best pieces of filmmaking I’d ever seen,” Pattinson says. “Then I saw Two Lovers, which is one of my favorite films. I love the performances James gets out of his actors. He shoots in this very kind of classical way so I really wanted to work with him.”
Pattinson enjoyed researching Costin’s psychological motivations in the context of Great Britain’s strait-laced military culture of the early 1900s. “If you’ve been in the Army where everyone’s constantly giving you a hard time and you suddenly have a commanding officer like Fawcett, who’s out of his mind and basically lets you do whatever you want as long as you don’t complain — well, I think that’s something Costin really appreciated,” says the actor.
On Filming in the Jungle:
Most of Pattinson’s scenes took place in uncomfortable situations in the jungle, where he forged a close rapport with Hunnam. “Charlie and I would be an hour up river from the base camp basically covered in sand fleas all day,” Pattinson says. “It’s definitely a bonding experience when there’s no way to hide from extreme conditions. I remember we pushed a wooden raft with horses on it upstream. After just one day of that, you’re completely done, yet the real guys did this for three years every single day, going against the river. It’s complete madness.”
“It felt pretty sketchy at times,” admits Pattinson. “There were enormous spiders and snakes everywhere. And giant, gorgeous, bright blue frogs that will kill you. We were worried about Arbor Vipers that drop from trees and bite you in the face. After someone in the crew got bitten in the neck by a snake, they asked me and Charlie to go into virgin jungle with blunt machetes, and all the Colombians were telling us, ‘There’s a reason you don’t go off the path. The animals will leave you alone until you start smashing the jungle.’”
James Gray on Robert and Charlie filming in the Jungle
Another particularly volatile night shoot brought home how quickly the situation can change in the jungle. As Gray recalls, “we were filming a campfire scene between Charlie and Robert near the river when I started to hear people in the dark screaming, saying the river was about to rise. It didn’t seem that big a deal to me; I figured fine, let the river rise, we’ll be out of here in a few hours anyway. Six minutes later we were about to do close-ups when all of a sudden the river flooded the entire set in about 45 seconds. Everybody ran for the hills grabbing the camera, the film. Within two minutes, the area where we’d just been shooting was totally under water. Fortunately, everyone was okay and I got what I needed. We were dealing with that kind of disruption on a daily basis.”
You can download the full Production Notes from Studio Canal here. Warning: May Contain Spoilers
Thanks Kate|ROBsessed for the tip.