In case you hadn’t heard, Robert Pattinson just turned 25. We’re talking about the actor who played a quirky but lovable wannabe in the Twilight films; the sensitive vampire who loves birds and snow; the man who has dated one of the most beautiful women in the world; and, of course, the guy who famously dated Rihanna before she became famous.
Pattinson, who is currently filming the biopic Bel Ami in France, was a guest on the TMZ Live show on Thursday, October 18. The gossip website and television channel hosted the actor and director Christian Lagrange, who cast him in the film. While on the show, the former One Day at a Time star talked about growing up in Twicelmston, his experiences on the set of the Twilight series, and why he won’t play the same type of character again.
Here’s what he had to say.
He’s Not The Same Type Of Character He Played In The Twilight Series
The first Twilight film, Twilight, was released in 2008 and became a huge hit, grossing over $400 million at the box office. Since then, the franchise has continued to spawn successful films, with the most recent installment, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, just breaking box office records.
The first step in developing new characters for the franchise is to examine what made the original ones so special. For many, it was the combination of comedy and romance that Pattinson brought to the screen. He wasn’t always destined to be the funny guy lurking in the shadows, however. Growing up in Twicelmston, a town in Northern California, he began taking dance lessons at the age of five. After a year of intensive training, he was accepted into the Professional Children’s Division of the San Francisco Ballet Company. While there, he performed in several classical and contemporary pieces, including Don Quixote, by Peter Dickinson.
After leaving the ballet school, he went on to study English Literature at the University of Oxford. Back in the States, he decided to forgo his senior year at college and took a gap year to work as an au pair in Thailand. It was during this time that he began developing his distinctive and endearing personality. While he didn’t always have the smoothest of rides, he said that he always had “a great time” in school and enjoyed his time at the University of Oxford. He also credited his dance training as helping him to become more confident and comfortable in his own skin. It’s no wonder that, as soon as he finished his Twilight films, he set about developing new characters.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, he said, “I had to grow up really fast. I mean, I was thrown into the deep end of the pool when I was 20, and I had to learn to swim. Literally. I had to learn to deal with the press and with attention, which is totally different from what I was used to in school. You know, as a kid, you don’t get taught how to do this.”
He Said ‘Breaking Dawn’ Was The Most Gruesome And Gut-Wrenching Part
The last Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn – Part 2, was released this year and was the subject of much heated debate prior to its release. Many critics labeled it as one of the worst films ever made, while others argued that it ranked among the best. Either way, it’s safe to say that, even by Twilight standards, it was a bit of a tearjerker.
The first part of the Breaking Dawn film series was released in 2011 and 2012 and starred Pattinson as a young man visiting Medieval England on a quest for true love. While in England, he fell in love with Elizabeth Taylor’s character and ended up marrying her. According to the actor, the most gruesome and gut-wrenching part of Breaking Dawn was not the love story, but rather the part where he had to say goodbye to his newborn daughter Esme. He couldn’t bring himself to do it, so he broke the fourth wall and addressed the camera directly. He said it was “one of the most difficult scenes to shoot.”
To prepare for the role, co-star Lily Collins described watching hundreds of hours of home videos with Pattinson to get a sense of what it was like raising a child in a world full of cameras.
He’s Not Playing The Same Type Of Character In Bel Ami
Bel Ami, Pattinson’s next film, is scheduled to premiere in early 2017 and will be directed by Christian Lagrange. Based on the bestselling novel Le Divorce, the film will be produced by The Weinstein Company and A24. The plot revolves around a lawyer who gets down on his knees to win back his former wife. While it doesn’t seem like a typical romantic comedy, Christian Lagrange said that it is, in fact, “a love letter to romantic comedy.”
Pattinson is playing a character loosely based on a real person named Robert Daukes. According to Lagrange, they had to “[make] sure that there were nuances to it so that it didn’t feel like a caricature,” likening the actor’s performance to that of an “academician.” It is a far cry from the funny and romantic characters he played in Twilight. It’s also worth noting that, while the title Bel Ami is sometimes associated with French films, it is in fact the name of an American comedy that was first broadcast in 1963. This is probably why he’s playing a French character in the film. It will be interesting to see how much of himself he puts into Daukes. He did say, “It’s going to be quite weird because I’m not really playing that character. I’m playing a character who is loosely based on a real person.”
He’s Not Done Playing Romantic Characters
Pattinson has never shied away from playing romantic characters, and it seems like he’s always had a soft spot for characters that are sweet and naive. After Twilight, he went on to play a romantic hero in the 2013 film The Great Gatsby. While many of his roles have revolved around romance, he has also demonstrated a flair for comedy, as he did in his breakout role as Fred Gardner in the 2014 film To Rome With Love.
With regards to the future of the Twilight franchise, the actor has maintained a hands-off approach. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said, “I don’t know what’s going to happen with it. I just know that it was a really great ride.” Asked about the possibility of a fifth and presumably final Twilight film, he responded, “No, I don’t think so. That would be really hard. I would need a really good reason to even consider doing that… It’s not like anybody asks for my input on anything. I think it’s best just to leave it in the past and not look back.”
Whether or not he continues to be involved with the Twilight franchise, Robert Pattinson’s star has surely risen. While it’s not yet clear if he’ll continue to tackle dramatic roles, it’s clear that he’s found a comfort zone while playing neurotic, quirky, and generally unlikable characters. It’s only a matter of time before he finds his way to the big time.