Actor Robert Pattinson is known for playing a leading role in the Hollywood movie The Great Gatsby, which was released in September 2013. The 29-year-old debuted as a DJ in Milan in 2011 and has since been playing gigs across Europe. In this interview, he talks about his new job, his love for music and the city, and how he’s adjusting to life in the spotlight.

On His New Gig: DJing In Milan

At the end of last year, Robert Pattinson was living in a small apartment in London, where he’d moved after splitting from his partner actress Nina Dobrev. The Los Angeles County musician had been playing DJ sets at various London clubs for fun, and when the opportunity to audition for a role as a DJ in Milan arose, he jumped at the chance.

“It was a really interesting process because I didn’t actually know how to DJ,” he recalls. “I’d never done it before, and I’d never been to Italy either. So, I went into the studio and they gave me a little crash course in how to DJ.”

The musician then went on to play gigs in Milan and around Italy, which was a dream come true for a music fan. He even did a residency at one of the city’s most famous nightclubs, Area.

Why Milan?

“Milan is a beautiful city and one of the most well-known cities in the world for fashion,” he says. “It’s just been a dream of mine to play there, and I’m really glad that I got the chance.”

The film star had previously been in London for two years, where he filmed his third movie, Good Time, with Jason Statham. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he currently lives, because he wanted a change of pace. Despite the fame that comes with his role as Jay Gatsby, he still craves the anonymity that comes with being a solo artist.

“I love L.A.,” he says. “It’s such a creative city, and the people are so nice. But, it can be really lonely, especially as an artist. So, I was looking for a change, and Milan was the next city on my list.”

How Does He Feel About The City?

The musician has lived in Milan for over a month now, and he has been taking the city and its people in. Aside from loving the food and the culture, he’s been attending art exhibitions and taking in a opera or two.

“I feel very welcome there,” he says. “Everyone’s friendly, and it’s a beautiful city. I feel very much at home there.”

The actor is used to the bright lights of Hollywood, but he says that he enjoys the smaller, more intimate gatherings in Milan. He also loves that he’s not only a DJ but also an artist, because he gets to exhibit his work as well.

What Does He Want From Life In General?

The future looks bright for the musician, who already has several projects in the works. In addition to DJing, he’s looking into launching a clothing line for men, acting, and writing. He has two films he’s scored so far, and is working with an Italian director on his third.

“I want to make sure that I’m comfortable in whatever I do, and that I enjoy what I’m doing,” he says. “I want to live a life that I know and like, and be happy, and make people around me happy.”

One of the things that makes this solo artist truly happy is his fiancée, the model and actress FKA Twigs. The 24-year-old has been compared to Lady Gaga for her unique and theatrical performances and artistic visuals. While the two are not yet publicly engaged, they’ve been seen around town holding hands and making lovey-type faces at each other. When asked about his ideal wedding, the musician laughed and said, “Dunno. I’m not really sure. I guess I’d like it to be somewhere small, maybe in a church. I’d love to do something different than what people expect.”

How Has Life Changed Since Film School?

Since launching his music career, Robert Pattinson has been busy preparing for his next project while also playing gigs and festivals around the world. Due to his hectic schedule, his studies at university back in England had to take a backseat. He graduated with a 2.1 in Business Administration, and then opted for a gap year to travel and work on his music. When asked what he learned during his time in film school, he said, “I learned how to act. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I know how to write! I’ll be an agent, manager, and producer.’ It was more like, ‘I’m learning how to act. We’ll see what happens.’”

One of the biggest challenges that he’s faced so far is maintaining his anonymity, especially as one of the most recognizable faces in the world. While promoting his latest album, Pattinson said, “I do get unrecognized a lot because I look so much like Nick [from The Great Gatsby]. People come up to me and say, ‘I love your work; I didn’t know who you were till your work was mentioned. Then I saw the resemblance, and it was like a light bulb going off. So, I have to be really careful, but I also want to embrace it.”

The Great Gatsby

Pattinson’s biggest break came when he was cast as Jay Gatsby in the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. The actor received rave reviews for his transformative performance, and the film itself went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of the year. When asked what his proudest moment as an actor was, he said, “Probably when I first read the script and saw the part, I was like, ‘This is it. I made it.’”

He went on to talk about Gatsby, saying, “It was very interesting to play Jay Gatsby. It’s a complex character, and I found it really fascinating to dive into both sides of him, the dark and light. He sees the world in a way that most people don’t see it, and I thought that was interesting to play, especially since his view of the world is so different than most people’s.”

Gatsby is one of the most iconic characters in American literature, and the film itself is considered one of the greatest cinematic love stories of all time. Many have compared the film to Romeo and Juliet, with some even going so far as to call it “Gatsby meets Romeo and Juliette”. The story follows the journey of Nick Carraway (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), who is on a quest to discover Gatsby’s identity. Along the way, he befriends the mysterious George Gatz (played by Tobey Maguire), and together they unlock the mystery of who Gatsby is and why he’s important to Nick.

As for whether or not Gatsby is actually based on a real person, Pattinson says, “I think it’s a combination of everyone. People say that he’s based on a real person, but in all fairness, he’s based on everyone. He’s based on me, he’s based on you, he’s based on the people that he meets along the way. I think it’s safe to say that everyone has a little bit of Jay Gatsby in them.”