Robert Pattinson Interview

A few days after the premiere of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, we got the chance to speak to the British actor about making his directorial debut, the legacy of the Twilight franchise and his feelings about being typecast.

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Making Your Directorial Debut

You made a huge impact as the infamous vampire hunter, in Underworld: Awakening, and now you’re set to direct your first full-length movie, No Time To Lose. How did you come to be behind the camera and what do you hope to achieve with this movie?

It’s quite a long story – as most of my stories are! I had always wanted to be a director, I think, since I was a little kid. I suppose my parents must have thought it was a bit much, as I was only nine when I started acting in commercials and on stage. Then I did a couple of kids’ films and a couple of one-offs, and I was on my way. I had a bit of a break when I did Underworld, and I managed to get my hands on a camera for a short while. I just sort of fell into it.

I have no grand designs for my career. It’s just that I want to make films that I feel passionate about. That I want to see myself acting in. Also, I’d like to make films that inspire other people, make them think ‘Oh, I wish I’d thought of that!’, or make them cry. So I suppose if I can do that, then it’ll be a success.

Vampire Hunter Signature Move

What is it about the vampire genre that makes it so appealing to you as an actor?

I suppose it’s got something to do with the mystery of it all. Especially with the old-school vampires like Louis and Lestat, it’s never really been done in film before, so there’s always that element of discovery and surprise. And then there’s the sense of style with these characters – the way they dress, their use of accessories. It’s all very dashing!

And for me, personally, I find it fascinating how much these creatures have influenced popular culture over the years. I mean, vampires are supposed to be monsters, right? Yet, here I am, over a decade later and they’re still very much a part of popular culture. It’s always nice to be recognized for your work, but it’s wonderful when fans recognize you from a show like Buffy, where you played a vampire, or from a movie like New Moon. So, from a personal standpoint, it’s interesting to see how much impact these creatures have had on people. Especially young people. I’m sure that when I was a kid, the idea of a werewolf or a vampire being cool was a new concept to me, but I’m sure that it wasn’t to my classmates! (Laughs)

Is There Any Specific Character That You Would Like To Play In a Film or TV Show?

There are so many characters that I would like to play. It depends on the script really, but I’ve always had a soft spot for pirates! I have quite a large collection of inflatable ship’s figures, which I’ve yet to display in actual boats on the high seas. It’s just a dream in my head, really!

Besides, who doesn’t want to be a vampire for a day? (Laughs)

I suppose it’s all about the money, really. As much as I’d love to play a vampire, the fact is that I can earn more money as a pirate! It’s all about priorities, I guess. You have to look at what’s going to pay your bills and what’s not. It’s easy enough to find jobs that are consistent, but it’s a pain when you have to take whatever comes along. You can’t really control it all. That’s what makes it so interesting for an actor – sometimes you’ll get a role that you feel is a step up from your previous projects, but sometimes you’ll get a bit part that doesn’t do justice to your talents. You just have to find the good in everything and wait for the other shoe to drop. If you keep your head down and your agent is looking out for you, I’m sure that you’ll continue to land high-profile work and make an impact on all fronts.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

What was it that first attracted you to the movie adaptation of Twilight?

I think, for me, it was the script. I’d never read any of the books, but I was aware of the fact that they were something of a phenomenon. Especially since they were written by a relatively unknown author, but went on to become one of the best-selling book series of all time. I thought it would be interesting to see how she developed the characters and the story line, and how she was able to pull it off. It was mostly a case of just wanting to see how she did it – learn from the master! (Laughs)

But beyond that, I also felt that it would be quite an interesting experience to see how a project of this magnitude was brought to life on the big screen. Especially since I’d never really been a part of a project this large. Just the sheer magnitude of what went into it, the amount of people that had to be somehow involved, the time that it took to make something as big and complicated as this. It’s no wonder that everybody waited so patiently for the ending of the first movie before the release of the second one – they must have been exhausted by the effort!

It’s all very fascinating. Especially since so many of the scenes in the movie are quite extraordinary. The opening battle between the vampires and the werewolves, with all the blood and guts flying everywhere. I just loved how she shot that – it was such an explosion of violence, yet it was all in slow motion. It was quite a juggling act, I suppose, to shoot something like that and keep it all making sense. The idea that you’ve got these two factions going at each other, with all these creatures swarming around, it was quite an adrenaline rush to be a part of!

And what about the ending? Did you feel that she made the right decision about how to finally bring the saga to a close?

I suppose that’s a matter of opinion, but I really do believe that she did the right thing. I mean, she didn’t want to make the same mistake twice, and she didn’t want the saga to become dull or predictable. I suppose the ending is quite emotional, but you may feel a little differently. I wanted to see more creatures – especially the werewolves! (Laughs)

But she made the right choice too – what she did was end it on a high note, with both factions uniting against a common opponent. It was a great way to conclude the story and bring the franchise full circle. The end credits rolled and there was a collective sigh of relief from the audience. Everybody in the theater knew that this was it – it wasn’t going to get any better than this! (Laughs)

The idea that these creatures have been a part of our pop culture for so long, and have had such an effect on everyone that’s encountered them. They’ve changed the way that we look at certain themes and questions – many people attribute the Harry Potter series to the success of the Twilight films, even down to the fact that the character of Luna Lovegood was inspired by a real-life werewolf, Billie Piper!

It’s all very fascinating! I’d love to see what other directors might do with the material. I mean, I’m sure that it’ll be quite a chore to keep such an amazing story flowing smoothly through all of its various adaptations. As long as people are willing to invest the time and the money to come back for more, then I’m sure that somebody will keep on making movies about werewolves and vampires!