August 29th, 2013 / 11 Comments

Updated: Better quality scans & transcript of the second part of the interview.

image host  image host
image host  image host
image host image host   

“Editor’s Note:  Robert Pattinson speaks exclusively to us about his palpable reluctance to celebrate his position.”

Transcript of first page of interview below – once clearer scan of second part of interview is available – I’ll add the extract.

“There’s a shift in energy when a star of a certain status enters a building. You feel it when Kate Moss walks into a room – the atmosphere becomes oddly charged. And you sense it when Robert Pattinson is ten feet away, on the other side of a door in a Beverly Hills Hotel suite. Even though the hotel is a daily stop-off point for celebrities – Rachel Zoe is in the polo lounge today having lunch. In a large floppy hat January Jones was in the lobby the previous night – Robert’s presence has created a palpable current in the air. Trim, immaculate Parisian women from the house of Dior (he recently signed a deal to be the new face of Dior Homme Fragrance) wander up and down corridors, wielding clipboards looking prettily nervous. “Robert – ‘e is ready, yes?” whispers one through the door as an inscrutable security guard nods me into the room that contains one of the most endlessly discussed movie stars of the decade.

The figure who gets up from the sofa doesn’t carry himself with the self-entitlement of someone who commands $25 million a picture. Or like Edward Cullen; the mysterious, ethereal teenage vampire that handed Robert Pattinson fame on an almost unimaginable level. He’s boyish and self-consciously polite as he shakes my hand, like a nervous, well brought-up adolescent meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. The hair that launched a thousand fansites is concealed today with a baseball cap worn back to front. He’s wearing a soft, navy jumper, dark jeans and spotty socks with his black trainers – the uniform of the middle-class west London boy; strangely incongruous amidst all this LA affluence. It seems ridiculous to describe him as handsome. Of course he is – he’s Robert Pattinson. But he’s not beautiful in the pristine, toweringly confident way you expect of screen icons. More like a teenage boy who doesn’t feel entirely comfortable with his aesthetic lottery win.

Pattinson famously doesn’t like this part of the job – interviews and scrutiny – but there’s no hostility in the room today, more the sense of a friendly young man at a wedding forced to sit next to an elderly relative, chuckling diplomatically at my jokes, connecting his thoughts with a lot of LA-inflected “kindof”s, “sorta”s and “like”s. He’s sweet, surprisingly open and giggles a lot. Swigging Diet Coke and endlessly puffing away on electronic cigarettes, he chats about Dr Who (“I’ve never seen a episode. That’s really bad isn’t it?”) and Game of Thrones (“Everybody’s obsessed by it. Crazy”). [Maria:  don’t worry Rob I’ve never seen an episode of Dr Who either]

He knows a great deal about “crazy”, having been catapulted to a level of fame that defied all expectation. A role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire saw him heralded as “the next Jude Law”.  Then, in 2008, he beat 3000 others to land the lead role in the Twilight saga.  His life was transformed.  [Maria:  I’m pretty sure Rob can “define” batshit crazy better than anyone]

These days fragrance campaigns have become a deliberate career move for A-list stars, who sign endorsements with big fashion houses for beautifully shot campaigns with reputable directors. And who better to represent your brand than the man at the centre of a movie franchise worth over three billion dollars?  Clever Dior. The ads are impressively atmospheric, like a grainy, Warhol movie shot against New York skylines by Nan Goldin with Robert running along rooftops and engaging in passionate clinches with a young french actress. He looks like a brooding James Dean. His hair had been cropped almost army regulation short.

“Initially I was going to shave it off. I wanted to have really short hair for it,” He pauses thoughtfully. “I guess it was out of fear, really. You’re doing an ad and you don’t want it to look like you’re posing.” He’s been offered big-money deals before of course, probably on a daily basis. It seems an unlikely move for someone so overtly private though, doing an ad campaign. So why now?

“Before, I was so obsessed with thinking, ‘People are going to think you’re a sell out,’ and now of course, every single actor in the world has done one. In the past I always said no to everything, I thought I’d be so judged for it.” What made him change his mind? “Dior came up and it felt right. It was a big decision – I’ve turned down plenty of others at the last minute before.”  [Maria:  Pretty sure you are still being judged Rob, but I think you are having the last laugh]

Of course he has. Twilight was not without its price. Pattinson lives under constant siege from paparazzi and frenzied fans, and his private life is debated on a daily basis. There is to be strictly no mention today of his high-profile split from Kristen Stewart, but I wonder if he feels the pay-off has been worth it? The franchise has, after all, given him the money and studio muscle in Hollywood to pick and choose what he does next.

“Kind of. It can be a really difficult transition from something like Twilight; once people identify you with something like that it’s hard to find your way out of it. And also, I mean, I’m not that easy to cast because of my… physicality. I’m quite lanky. You can’t exactly see me in a sports film or something, can you? I’m never going to play ‘one of the guys’.”

Surely he knows he’s leading man material? “I don’t know,” he puffs on his electronic cigarette and laughs. “Maybe I have body dysmorphia.” Does he see himself as good looking? He frowns. “It depends, sometimes. But I’m weird about my looks. Once you get photographed a lot it changes you. I remember when I first did Twilight I didn’t care about how I looked – there was less pressure , I guess. I was like, ‘I’m cool as shit!'” he laughs.

And now there’s pressure in abundance. The night before I’d seen him at a Dior event in LA to launch the campaign. He’d arrived looking dashing in a navy suit and answered questions dutifully, but he seemed curiously shy for someone so used to being photographed and stared at.

“Every time I appear somewhere, I think, ‘I don’t know how many more times I can do this’. Dressing up to go somewhere and be looked at – I get so nervous. Up until the second I have to leave, I’ll get changed a million times. It’s crazy. Literally just before I go I look in the mirror and think, ‘You look like shit’. I start worrying about wrinkles.” He’s 27. Really? “Honestly. Everyone who works with me knows they’ll have to sit there and wait for me to go through my process of having my panic attack about how I look.”

It’s hard to decide whether he would have chosen this path had he known what he knows now. He was a middle class boy from an affluent west London suburb, the son of a model booker and businessman who fell into joining a local drama group as a teenager. And, as he points out, no one knew that Twilight was going to take off (“it was all so unexpected – the studios hadn’t even bought the rights to the other books, so they ended up getting screwed over”). Actors like Daniel Craig and Matt Smith at least knew what they were signing up to, playing characters that inspire fan conventions and entire industries. Despite the success of the novels, no one could have predicted the feverish response to the Twilight movies.”

Transcript of second page of the interview:  It is readable in the scans but was a bit hard on my eyes so thought I’d transcribe for easier reading.

“No, no one had any idea.  But it was good for me in a way, because I see people who sign up for huge movies and they don’t have the opportunity to say ‘I didn’t know this was going to happen.’  This is my get out of jail free card.”  he smiles ruefully.

“It means I can say I can behave how I want because I just got here by accident.  It makes it easier to say things like paparazzi piss me off.  I can say I didn’t want that and I didn’t know it was going to happen.”  It’s the most emphatic he’s sounded all morning, the one time he doesn’t seem like a teenager.

Twilight was his launch pad but his other movie choices have been slightly more under-the-radar, often consciously choosing independent projects.  He played Salvador Dali in low-budget Little Ashes, and starred alongside Reese Witherspoon in the commercially low-key Water For Elephants.  He recently finished filming Australian thrilled The Rover with Guy Pearce, and reunited with director David Cronenberg this year for Maps To The Stars with Julianne Moore, a satire on Hollywood excess & celebrity culture – something he presumably has a great deal of insight into. It’s his second time working with Cronenberg, who cast him in Cosmopolis, a critically acclaimed sci-fi drama, that won a nomination for the Palme d’or at Cannes last year. There’s a definite sense that Robert Pattinson wants to move on and grow up.  He’s doing a Johnny Depp.

“I got really lucky with Cosmopolis.  I got it towards the end of the Twilight movies and I felt it kind of legitimised me a bit.”  Did he feel he needed legitimising as an actor then?  “Not that I’m putting any of the Twilight stuff down, but it’s kind of -”  he pauses carefully, fast forwarding to how this might read in print & sensibly changes tack.  “It was more that it was so out of the blue getting a David Cronenberg movie and then getting to go to Cannes afterwards.  It was like, massive, I guess”   He adds, “I never really felt like an actor before.”  Why not?  “Because I just sort of fell into it.  I mean, I knew I had quite good taste in film and I knew what I wanted to be in, but I don’t think I really knew how to act.  It felt like I was just figuring it out as I went along.  With Cosmopolis I was like, ‘OK, so I can actually do this other thing.’  It’s a struggle once you do teen movies: the bigger they are, the harder it is for people to allow themselves to see you in anything else, and it feels like a massive thing to overcome.”

He’s at pains to lead a a relatively low-key life here in LA.  The paparazzi photographs are still in plentiful supply, featuring him loading a ping-pong table into his pick-up truck; buying groceries (“Robert Pattinson stocks up on toilet paper!” screamed one headline recently), but he shuns red-carpet events and publicity, and hates Twitter:  “That thing is a nightmare – why would I want to attract any more attention to myself?”,  and he seems to have the same group of friends he always had, noticeably Sienna Miller’s partner, the actor Tom Sturridge, who he;s known since childhood.  Famous people always retrospectively say they had a sense of their own destiny – did he?  Was he the school poster boy who everyone wanted to date, captain of the pretty team?

“No I never hung out with the ‘cool crowd,'” he says, aghast.   “Actually, in my school, if you wanted to be in the cool crowd you had to go around and jack people’s phones, so I wasn’t part of that set.  My little group of friends – who actually are still my little group of friends – and this sounds lame, but we were artists really.  We never got invited to the cool parties and if we did, we just stood in the corner on our own.

There’s something slightly vulnerable about Robert Pattinson. He’s an unusual candidate for the job of Hollywood movie star, where soundbites, media training and thick skins come with the territory. He strikes you as an introvert who’s found he has a great talent doing an extrovert’s job, and learning how to adapt. But what if he adapts too much? How does he stop becoming spoilt?

“Because you see other people doing it all the time. It’s so easy to go down that road and be a total dickhead. I remember working with this guy once. It was his first movie and we were three weeks in. He was having a conversation with someone and he’d just finished his water bottle and was holding it out, waiting for someone to take it. I thought, ‘You’ve been here three weeks!'”

“I guess maybe I’m too sensitive. I don’t want people not to like me,” he shrugs. “I actually find it difficult to ask people to do things for me. If you start bossing people around, they’ll just take it, because they have to. Then they thing, ‘OK, you’ve bossed me around, now I’m going to talk shit about you behind your back.'” We get on to the subject of his nickname, R-Patz. He pulls a face – he’s not keen. “I just don’t understand that nickname. It’s just so random. I don’t think it’s a term of endearment, either. It’s just like…” He shrugs and holds out his hands in a gesture of bemused frustration. “You can’t force people to respect you.” He laughs. I guess… it’s an odd little thing, is what it is.”

He’s fronting a fragrance campaign so we inevitably discuss scent. I wonder what smells he likes on a woman? “You know, it’s funny, but you can tell quite a lot about someone from the way they smell, don’t you think?” I tell him I once dumped a guy because I didn’t like his smell. “Exactly, it’s weird. You can tell how good a person is, in a funny sort of way. People who are weird – I think they smell weird. It’s like a totally animal thing. If someone’s body scent reacts to you in a certain way, it can be amazing. It’s massively powerful.” I ask him how I smell. “I couldn’t say,” he laughs politely. I’m the elderly guest at the wedding again. “I don’t know you very well.” My embarrassing moment is relieved by one of the Parisian ladies telling me we’ve almost run out of time. “One more question,” she says.

What would he like people to say about him? What would he like his legacy to be? “I don’t know. I guess I’d want them to say I’m a really good friend.” He smiles. “Does that sound like I’m saying I’m the greatest person in the world?”

There’s plenty of women out there who think he is. But perhaps he’s just a guy in a baseball cap, trying to give up smoking, who’s doing his growing up in public. And I think he’s making a pretty good job of it.



  • Carmel
    Posted on August 25, 2013

    ‘Robert’s presence has created a palpable current in the air.’ – I know. I call it The Rob Time Bubble. I still pinch myself that I have been in that bubble even for just a few seconds

  • Sue
    Posted on August 25, 2013

    Notes to Rob. 1. Dr Who & Game of Thrones? Pffft! (Guess you wouldn’t get my slight SOA obsession LOL)
    2. I’d find you VERY easy to cast. And in the right movie, you would SO fit in as “one of the guys”.
    3. You’re still “cool as shit”, even if, or possibly because, you don’t see it.

    ps. ‘Clever Dior’. You got that right.

    Thanks Maria.

  • Trish
    Posted on August 25, 2013

    Gosh, they’re all so different, these interviews. Some journalists see him as confident and grown-up, others like this one, as shy and awkward again. I guess that’s one of the reasons I love following his career – he’s amazing, brave and strong (and physically, unbelievably stunning) but also sweet, genuinely humble and very tender. He’s just a lovely actor to watch – absolutely riveting on-screen presence. Cannot wait to see him in more roles in future. Maria, thanks for posting this article. All of them so far have been enjoyable, some side-splittingly so.

  • Cindy
    Posted on August 29, 2013

    So true Trish that is why i take most print articles about Rob with a fair amount of scepticism i like to hear Rob say the words preferable but interesting article none the less thanks for posting. Maria

  • Roberta
    Posted on August 29, 2013

    Thanks Maria!!!!!!

  • Sue
    Posted on August 29, 2013

    Agree @Trish. He’s certainly a lovely actor to watch/follow. And, I suspect, a ‘really good friend’ to those lucky enough to call him friend.

    Thanks for the update, @Maria.

  • Maria
    Posted on August 29, 2013

    LOL I was wondering why I’m being thanked since Michelle updated, but then I realised I did original post.

  • Sue
    Posted on August 29, 2013

    haha. I take back my thanks @Maria.

    Thanks @Michelle. *wink*

  • Vertigo
    Posted on August 29, 2013

    Thanks for taking the time and transcribing this one Michelle.

  • Michelle
    Posted on August 29, 2013

    Pleasure Vertigo 🙂

    LOL @Sue!

  • Jules
    Posted on August 30, 2013

    Absolutely wonderful and thanks a million for transcribing this Michelle – a great read 😀

  • Current Mood
    image host
    Public Appearances

    No Upcoming Appearances

    RPAustralia Exclusive Interview

    Watch our interviews with Rob. You can check out our other interviews with David Michod, Liz Watts & David Linde at our dedicated film page for The Rover

    RPAustralia Twitter
    Rob’s Contact Details
    UK Agents - Curtis Brown Group

    Haymarket House, 28 - 29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4SP, UK

    US Agents - William Morris Endeavor (WME Entertainment)

    9601 Wilshire Blvd, 8th Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA

    Rob’s Films
    Average Height, Average Build Role: TBA
    Director: Andy McKay
    Release Date on Netflix. TBA possibly late 2024 or 2025. Film currently in pre-production | Was scheduled to start filming 31 July 2023 - postponed indefinitely .

    Mickey17 Role: Mickey17
    Director: Bong Joon Ho
    Release Date: 29 March 2024 (US). | Currently in Post-Production since 22 December 2022. Check out all upcoming release dates at our Film Page by clicking on News below

    The Batman Role: Bruce Wayne | Batman
    Director: Matt Reeves
    Release Date: Aust: 3 March 2022 | US: 4 March 2022. Check out all upcoming release dates at our Film Page by clicking on News below

    Tenet Role: Neil
    Director: Christopher Nolan
    Release Date: 26 August 2020. For DVD release dates head to our dedicated film page by clicking "News" below.

    The Lighthouse Role: Ephraim Winslow
    Director: Robert Eggers
    Release Date: Screened at TIFF Sept 2019 | US 18 Oct 2019 - DVD releases at Film Page - click News below

    Information for all of Robert's past films can also be found at RPAU's individual film pages by clicking photo below.
    Site Meter

    Rob Fans Online: 3,158,595

    Total Views: 10,093,904

    RPAU Calendar
    imgbox "

    Free download - Click on photo below. Thanks to Suze for putting together.

    image host

    Welcome to Robert Pattinson Australia your definitive source for all news, photos & exclusives concerning Rob's career since 4 November 2008. We are a fansite and not affiliated with Rob or his management.

    No copyright infringement is intended, if you would like any photos removed, please contact us at before taking legal action.