When Robert Pattinson announced last year that he was going to make his Broadway debut in Arthur Miller’s play ‘Drama,’” it divided opinion. Critics were divided on whether he should have accepted the offer, while fans were mostly in favor of the Twilight actor playing the part. After all, it’s not often that a celebrity gets the chance to prove themselves on a big stage. But as it turns out, Robert Pattinson did more than prove himself, he completely immersed himself in the part.
Weeks after making his Broadway debut, the 29-year-old British actor is finally opening up about what it was like to play the malevolent genius in Miller’s controversial drama about Hollywood. In an interview with The Independent, Robert Pattinson opens up about his unique experience on Broadway and what it meant to play a character that many people didn’t want to see him play.
The Pressure Was Unsettling
The Independent’s Kate Taylor sat down with the actor for an in-depth interview shortly after his stint in ‘Drama’ ended.
“It was an incredible opportunity and I’m so thankful that Arthur Miller saw something in me that others hadn’t. It was, however, a lot to take in,” he said. “I don’t think anyone saw it coming. It was a crazy schedule with lots of long hours and I was definitely under a lot of pressure. I loved every minute of it, but it was definitely a lot to process.”
Though he was apprehensive about committing to a year of rigorous rehearsals and performances, he slowly began to realize how much the Broadway run meant to him. Having never acted on a stage before, he was filled with uncertainty. How would he hold up under the intense pressure of a Broadway play? Would he be able to deliver the performance the role demanded? Would he even be able to remember his lines?
“I think the biggest thing was just being able to immerse myself in something new and different. I had never done that on a stage before. I did a lot of reading and preparation, but it’s different when you’re there,” he said. “It’s not something that you can really prepare for. Being out on that stage every night was incredible. Even if you’re not used to performing, it’s a feeling that you never forget.”
While the opportunity of a lifetime beckoned, it took a while to get things off the ground. Despite the rigorous schedule, Robert Pattinson was able to take time off to enjoy himself during the breaks. He was filled with anxiety about taking on the role, but also had a lot of fun exploring New York City with his co-stars. The city’s rich history fascinated the actor, who is a self-confessed history buff, and he soaked up as much of it as he could.
“I was really fortunate to have a week off after every other performance. So, I got to spend a lot of time in the city exploring and taking in as much culture as I could. It was great to have a break and be able to step away from the intensity of the work,” he said. “I would do something different every day and would come back exhausted but happy.”
Even before he made his Broadway debut, Robert Pattinson was already an established name in Hollywood. He rose to fame for his portrayal of the lead character in the Twilight film series. Since then, he has appeared in a number of films including last year’s Oscar-nominated psychological thriller, ‘The Lost Symbol’s’. He is currently filming the much-anticipated third installment of the Twilight film series, ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2′, which will be released later this year.
Despite his extensive filmography, Robert Pattinson admits that he is not completely sure how well he will fare on Broadway. While he is grateful for the experience, he would not want to close the door on a possible future performance in a major American theater. He did, however, reassure that he will continue exploring new things, even if it’s on Broadway. In the meantime, he will be keeping his fingers crossed that he continues to be offered interesting projects. He would not mind returning to Broadway one day, but would prefer to do so in a role that he feels confident he can deliver.
A Character Many People Didn’t Want To See
Arthur Miller’s ‘Drama’ is a controversial play centered around the rivalry between film producers Warner Brothers and MGM. The rivalry sees Warner Brothers trying to steal the Oscars from MGM and each plays a crucial role in the outcome. With a number of prominent Hollywood figures openly criticizing the play, it’s not hard to see why. But instead of sugar coating the story, Arthur Miller, who died in 2005, offers a brutally honest look at the cutthroat world of Tinseltown. He doesn’t pull any punches and portrays the powerful Hollywood figures in a negative light.
Miller’s characters, especially those at Warner Brothers, are often described as villains and it’s easy to see why. Miller’s depiction of Jack Warner is particularly unflattering. The play’s titular character is Jack Warner’s son, Jerry, who takes over the company after his father passes away. Though he tries to act friendly, we soon learn that Jerry is a two-faced character who uses charm to get what he wants. A ruthless businessman, he sees the film industry as a way of making money, regardless of the loss it causes. He exploits his actors, directors, and crew, treating them like commodities and often using underhanded tactics to get his way. In Jerry’s eyes, everyone is a dollar sign and there is nothing more to be accomplished beyond making as much money as possible.
It is precisely what Hollywood fans have wanted to see for years. With Miller’s frank representation of the film industry and his unflinching look at the inner workings of a movie studio, ‘Drama’ will no doubt continue to fascinate and infuriate people alike.
Robert Pattinson’s Broadway debut was a resounding success and he continued to immerse himself in his role even when he was away from the theater. Though he would not want to give too much away, Robert Pattinson has a number of projects lined up. Most notably, he will star in the upcoming BBC One series, ‘Wynonna Earp’. Premiering in December, Robert Pattinson will play a mysterious rogue named Doc Holliday, who arrives in the southern town of Earp and sets up practice there. The series is based on the popular pen and paper role-playing game, and follows the same formula as the films: lots of shooting, drinking, and seducing. Though the actor is looking forward to playing an interesting and morally ambiguous character for the BBC, it’s not the only thing he has going on. He is also filming the sequel to last year’s critically acclaimed ‘Twilight’ film, ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2′. With a release date of November 16, 2013, Robert Pattinson will reprise his role as Edward Cullen for what is sure to be another epic battle with Christian, the vampire played by Bill Murray. In addition to ‘Wynonna Earp,’ he will also star in the Woody Allen film, ‘A Rainy Day in New York’, which will be released later this year. With so much on his plate, it’s no wonder that Robert Pattinson was still able to enjoy himself during the downtime in between performances on Broadway. Though Arthur Miller’s ‘Drama’ is over, the lessons it taught the actor never grow old.