September 17th, 2020 / 0 comments

Antonio Campos talks Casting Robert Pattinson in The Devil All the Time

UPDATED: 17 September 2020 – The Insider “Robert Pattinson shocked everyone on the set of Netflix’s ‘The Devil All the Time’ with his high-pitched Southern accent+ video interview with The Knockturnal added to bottom of post


I’ve started the interview at the point where they talk Rob, but at the beginning of the interview Antonio talks about why he wanted to make a film from Donald Ray Pollock’s book. I love how Antonio knows how fearless Rob is.

Transcript from Antonio:

Well, the funny thing is that Rob wanted to play that character. I gave him the script, he was the first one that got the draft, a very early draft, it was way longer and he said ‘I want to play this guy’. And I was like “you wanna play Teagardin?’ He’s like ‘Yes, I wanna play that’. I think that just saw someone he could sink his teeth into. I think the language of Teagardin is something that an actor gets excited by, the way he speaks and what he says and the way he looks at the world. Rob is just one of the most courageous and fascinating actors that I ever worked with and he doesn’t want to create anything that you might have seen before. He’s really kind of pulling from so many different places and creating something that is wholly original and I think that is why Rob is one of the most fascinating actors right now. Like he always does the most fascinating characters in everything he’s in.”

Antonio also spoke to Below the Line about casting Rob:

BTL: I also wanted to talk about working with the producers and casting director to put together this huge cast. It’s a little surprising how late before Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson show up in the movie. Can you talk about how you put this cast together?

Campos: With a film like this where it’s such a true ensemble, it takes time to find the right actors for all the different roles. Sometimes, it’s just kind of good fortune that you happen to work with someone that you really like. In the case of Mia [Wasikowska], I had worked with her as a producer in a movie she was in, and we got along really well. She responded to the role, or in the case of Rob, I just happened to get to know him through some mutual friends. When I showed him an early draft of the script, he really responded to Teagardin and wanted to play that guy, so that was very fortunate. He had just come off of Good Time, and then there’s just really good old-fashioned auditioning. I work with a great casting director named Doug Aibel. He’s a New York theater guy, and we’re looking at people that are in film and television and people that are very accomplished theater actors. Then there’s also a very amazing local casting person in the South named Tracy Kilpatrick that I’ve worked with a few times on The Sinner and on Christine, and we just looked for really interesting, unknown actors, that are just acting in the South.  There’s so much production production down there that there’s just like a whole circuit of actors down there. It’s just a really long, methodical process, and you just want to make sure that you’re putting together an ensemble that that all makes sense at the end of the day.

Total Film | Games Radar spoke to Antonio Campos about Rob:

I wanted to very quickly talk about Robert Pattinson, because he’s had quite a year, with the range he’s shown recently from paranoia in The Lighthouse to this suave swagger in Tenet, and a tortured Batman, and obviously the role in The Devil All the Time. What qualities did he bring to the role of Preston?

I think that Rob embraced Preston. The reason why Preston Teagardin works as a character is because Rob didn’t go out of his way to make him likeable. He really embraced all the unpleasantness of him. And for that reason, the character, who is very unpleasant, is very enjoyable to watch.

The other thing that Rob brings to everything he does is that he goes deep into a bunch of different references. His research is that he kind of covers the gambit of all the different… It’s wherever his mind takes him to look.

So there’s obviously the obvious choices of preachers from that period. But I think he was looking at pop stars. He was just kind of putting a lot of stuff into the stew. So what comes out is not like anything you’ve seen before. Rob’s really looking for something you haven’t seen before in his performances. And  that’s why it feels very singular.

From The HD Room *The article contains spoilers for those who haven’t read the book – I have not printed that excerpt below*:

One actor elevates his game from that crowd of talent, as Pattinson turns in a role so steeped in darkness that the audience almost roots for his comeuppance. How did Pattinson’s Reverend Teagardin develop into the alpha monster in a film full of monsters? And in a film full of actors known for playing heroes, how did they find the darkness of these characters?

“We always wanted Teagardin (Pattinson) to have like this other worldly quality, like a big entrance, like he’s designed to come into the movie and shake it up,” Campos said. “When Teagardin comes in you’re like, okay, there’s this, you know, you’re settling into this other storyline with Tom Holland’s character and Eliza Scanlen’s character. And then you’re like what’s gonna where is the danger, and then Teagardin shows up so we always knew that Teagardin was like this force that kind of shakes up the rest of the movie.

“And because Teagardin is so far outside the realm of the the movie, like so far outside of West Virginia and Ohio, he had so much freedom to kind of like just run with that character and go, and I really was like, ‘Go, just go. Just go as far as you want to go. Just swing for the fences. If we have to rein it in we will,’ but I just love performances like that.

Antonio Campos talks Rob with ETCanada (Rob starts around 1.05)

Antonio Campos talks Rob’s accent and more with The Insider “Robert Pattinson shocked everyone on the set of Netflix’s ‘The Devil All the Time’ with his high-pitched Southern accent“:

Campos said that when he had completed an early draft of the script he had recently become friends with Pattinson, who was in New York City making the 2017 movie “Good Time.” One day, he gave Pattinson the script and asked, “Who do you want to play?”

“Rob said right away, ‘I want to play that guy Teagardin. That guy seems like he would be fun to play,'” Campos told Insider.

Campos knew Pattinson wouldn’t be using his real English accent for the role, but he didn’t know how Pattinson would sound. As production neared, other actors sent Campos recordings of the voices they were working on with a dialect coach — but not Pattinson.

“Rob was impossible to get dialect coaching,” Campos said. “He just didn’t want to do it. He was just adamant about figuring it out on his own.”

And when Campos would inquire about Pattinson’s progress, the actor would talk in circles.

“He would be like, ‘I’m going to do this thing and that thing, with a little bit of this,'” Campos said in his best Pattinson English accent.

But Pattinson would never reveal the voice.

Finally, it was Pattinson’s first day of shooting — a scene where he seduces Lenora in his car.

“That was the first time I heard his voice and saw the character in person,” Campos said.

In the scene, Pattinson speaks softly as he persuades Lenora to take off her blouse as he prays. In other scenes when he’s passionately preaching, his voice gets even higher and more powerful and menacing. It’s a performance that is yet another unique turn in Pattinson’s evolving career.

But through all the time waiting for Pattinson to reveal the voice, was Campos ever concerned he wouldn’t like it?

“I don’t get worried about those things,” the director said.

“There was no way in my mind that he wasn’t going to come on set with something bad. I might not have dug it, but it wasn’t going to be bad. I’d rather have someone come with something weird that’s a choice than something that isn’t thought out. So I knew he would come with something interesting.”

Antonio Campos talks Rob and that accent with The Knockturnal (I’ve started the video at the part where they speak Rob)

From Variety:

What made you think of Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson for this project? They seem to have been cast against type. 

… I got to know Rob through a mutual friend Brady Corbet, who had worked with him on his [directorial debut] “The Childhood of a Leader.” Rob was the first person I gave the script to and he came back and was desperate to play Rev. Teagardin. I was shocked, but he had this sense that the character was complicated and he wanted to be the villain in a movie.

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