I was fortunate to be able to spend a day and a half with Robert Pattinson. The day before the interview, we were both graced with glorious weather. The sky was a beautiful shade of blue and the air was sweet. We were even more fortunate to have a chatty actor join us for lunch. It is rare for an actor to be so open and engaging with a journalist, especially when the journalist is almost 30 years older than the actor. I definitely didn’t expect Pattinson to be so charming. He was even more endearing because he seemed to have forgotten his own English accent and almost babbled like a native speaker instead. It took a little while before I discovered that he had put on a Hollywood accent and was pretending to be American to portray the part of Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies. I got the feeling that his default accent was much more colorful and interesting than his American accent. Even if it wasn’t, in my opinion, he should keep it up. It would certainly make for an interesting counterpoint to his usually dull interviews.
As much as I enjoyed our little chat, I was even more excited to learn more about the actor’s upcoming projects. He has several movies and TV shows lined up for release in the next few years. One of them, an adaptation of Diana Spencer’s bestselling novel, The Duke, will star Pattinson as the protagonist, duke Charles Spencer, and will be directed by Oz the Great and Powerful creator Richard Donner. In a nutshell, The Duke is the story of a shy young man who is the last surviving son of the 9th Duke of Marlborough. The movie opens in theaters on September 25th. There’s also a sequel in the works.
As much as I love The Princess Trudie, I have to say that I’m more excited about The Duke. The first season of Twilight was incredible, arguably one of the best supernatural sagas ever committed to celluloid. I was particularly struck by the performances of the young Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Lautner, in particular, really came into his own as the series progressed. He matured quickly into one of the most believable, if slightly obnoxious, vampire-hunting adolescents ever. Twilight also introduced a whole new generation to the magic of Stephenie Meyer. The combination of the two made for one of the best-selling and most talked about series of all time. The finale, Breaking Dawn – Part 1, was such a critical and commercial success that it’s been followed by four more movies and a TV show.
Though the saga is coming to an end, it’s not before it changed how we look at Meyer’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Princess Trudie. The show inspired the Singer songwriter Rob Thomas to write a song about a werewolf girl he encountered during a Meyer binge-watch. Thomas’ original song, The Princess Trudie (which you can also check out on his channel), won the Record Academy Award for Best Original Song. Thomas, who also composed the music and lyrics for the song, took home the award. I couldn’t agree more with the Academy’s choice. There’s nothing more princess-like than trudging through the woods in the rain with your hair tucked under a royal umbrella.
While we’re on the subject of Twilight, let’s briefly discuss The Donner Party – Atonement. This was a 2014 adaptation of the true story of the famous Donner Party, a company of 19 people who were brutally massacred by a group of Native Americans in the Utah desert in 1845. When news of the massacre broke, people were quick to point out the depravity of the Native Americans. The slaughter of the party was both unnecessary and senseless. Their crime was not having white skin but rather, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The movie is directed by Richard Donner, who also helmed the previous Twilight movies. Donner’s previous films include Superman and Lethal Weapon. His most recent project, The Last Airbender, won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction. The Donner Party will air on Skyward this fall and is likely to go down in history as one of the greatest movies ever made.
The combination of Donner’s direction and George Mallory’s Lethal Weapon score made for one of the most memorable Twilight fantasy sequences ever. Several critics and fans, myself included, named it one of the best scenes ever committed to celluloid.
Winnie The Pooh
Speaking of memorable moments, let’s not forget about Winnie the Pooh, a 2006 adaptation of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. This is the story of Winnie the Pooh and his friends, friends of Milne’s childhood. The movie is a charming, if largely uneventful, look at the Hundred Acre Wood. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Hundred Acre Wood is the place where Winnie the Pooh and his friends live. Though largely uneventful, the movie is still one of the most successful Warner Bros. animated movies ever made. It grossed over $500 million globally and remains one of the studio’s most popular animated films. If you’ve never been a fan of Winnie the Pooh, it’s worth checking out. You may have just found your new favorite animated film. The scenery is beautiful, if uneventful. You’ll need a vacation after watching this movie. The only downside is that the movie is only available in Blu-ray. Winnie the Pooh is a must-own for any Pattinson fan.
Speaking of vacations, let’s not forget about New Moon, the 2009 Twilight sequel. Though it wasn’t as successful as its predecessor, Twilight, New Moon is still one of the best and most critically acclaimed Twilight movies. It introduced several new characters and developed the story lines for several of the movie’s supporting characters. While not quite as strong as the first installment, there’s still a lot to love about New Moon. One of my favorite scenes is Cady Shyster’s (Rashida Jones) funeral. Jones is incredible in the scene, channeling Shirley MacLaine’s imperious attitude and grief-stricken wail. It is one of the most memorable moments in the entire series.
There’s also the diner sequence, one of the best scenes in the entire Twilight franchise. It’s the place where New Moon’s main characters, Bella Swan (Taylor Lautner) and Edward Cullen (Pattinson), have their fateful first encounter. Though not nearly as iconic as the Twilight cinema sign sequence, the diner scene is every bit as memorable. It is a pivotal point in the story where Bella learns what it means to be a vampire. Many fans consider it to be one of the best Twilight sequels. Though it is a bit darker and more brooding than its predecessor, it still has its lighter moments. One of my personal favorite scenes is Jasper’s (Ashton Holmes) birthday party, which is a great showcase for his pet ferret, Pip. It’s a very funny scene, particularly when he keeps throwing cake at Pip. It’s a shame that New Moon was overshadowed by its more successful sequel, Eclipse.
If you’re not familiar, the Eclipse series is a horror-thriller trilogy that was released in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Though each entry in the series is based on a different novel by Stephenie Meyer, they all feature the same vampire legend – the White Walkers. In the novels, protagonist Ella Pimpkin (Amanda Seyfried) teams up with vampire/werewolf hunter Louis Cypher (Thomas Cocquerel) to stop the evil White Walkers from overtaking Earth. Though the movies are largely standalone stories, those who have followed Meyer’s oeuvre will recognize plenty of references, character names, and plot points. The most recent movie is a sequel to the original Eclipse. Like the other two films in the series, it is set to premiere in September.