As we’ve established over the last seven years, Robert Pattinson is one of the most versatile actors working today. From his breakthrough performance in the indie darling Good Will Hunting, to his Oscar-worthy turn as John Taylor MCQUEEN in the Academy Award-winning film The King’s Speech, to his role as the vampire, Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga, the actor has proven time and time again that he can tackle any role with ease and panache.
Although he’s mostly known for his acting, the A-list bachelor started his career off in music and became one of the most in-demand bass guitarists in the world. While on the set of his latest film, Twilight Saga: Eclipse, we sat down with Robert to discuss the film, his future, and more. Check out the interview below.
On Making Twilight Saga: Eclipse
I think it’s interesting that you compare [Twilight:] Eclipse to Romeo & Juliet, because it’s kind of a tale of two cities. [Romeo + Juliette] is a tale of star-crossed lovers, whereas these are vampires. They’re not star-crossed lovers in a traditional sense. If anything, they’re more like Cain and Abel: There’s a lot of conflict and a lot of warring between the Cullen family and the Van Helsings.
So there’s a bit of a different feel to it. I think that’s what makes the whole film interesting. It’s a Romeo & Juliet story, but set in modern day London. I guess that’s what I love about it. As a Shakespearean aficionado, I always say that if you can combine those two masterpieces, then you’ve got something unique and interesting. I think that’s what makes this one different from any other in the series.
Even though the series is coming to a close with this film, you still get that traditional happy ending. You still get the big climax at the end. That’s the thing I love about it. The fact that you’ve got two very compelling families battling it out for the ultimate prize. You’re rooting for the vampires, but you still don’t want to see them [win]. You want to see that Cullens win, because it would mean that peace would reign in the valley once again. You want to see the world of vampires and werewolves become one big happy family. It wouldn’t be the first time that two wolf packs, one led by a werewolf and the other by a vampire, lived peacefully alongside each other. That’s what you hope for at the end of the day. It’s not like the two families are imploding or anything; they’re just at war.
I wouldn’t say that I’ve changed as an actor over the years. I’ve always tried to be as versatile as possible, and to learn as much as possible from every role. I think that’s what’s kept me afloat as an actor. As much as I love doing comedy, I’ve also done serious films, and I’ve always tried to do as many different things as possible. I guess that’s the mark of a true Englishman. I love a good fight scene, as much as the next guy, but I also like to feel that I’ve gotten away with something even more clever than what is usually written down on the page. So I like to think that it’s a combination of all of those things that make up my versatility.
How Did You Feel About The Series When You First Read The Script?
I’ve always said that I didn’t read the script for Twilight. My agent found it and I just followed along. I remember when I first read it, I didn’t fully understand what it was that Stephenie Meyer was trying to say at first. I just saw the characters and I thought they were really cool, but all of a sudden, I realized this was something different. Suddenly, I saw a lot more in it than I was originally supposed to. And I loved that. [Laughs.]
There was always something about the Twilight saga that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It wasn’t until I actually started acting in the film that I started to truly understand what it was that I was reading, and why it meant so much to so many people. It wasn’t until I was actually in Twilight that I started to understand what was going on, and I think that’s why so many people were so attached to it. It wasn’t something that was easy to grasp, and I think that’s what kept it fresh and interesting for so many years.
What Did You Learn From The Process Of Making This Movie?
This is my final movie as an actor, so I guess it was a good thing that I didn’t read the script beforehand. It wouldn’t have been easy to play Edward if I already knew what was going on. In the end, it was probably better that I didn’t, because there’s a lot more for me to learn. This was an incredible experience, and I think that comes from a very good place. Even though it was very hard, and there were a lot of ups and downs, I think I learned a lot more than I could ever imagine.
We shot the movie in a very long schedule, almost a year. It was a very tough schedule, and a lot of people didn’t make it, including myself. I think we all realized it was a crazy experience that we weren’t quite prepared for, but that’s what makes it so unique. You’re never really sure what’s going to happen, and that’s half the fun. It was also very exciting to see how much people liked the story even after all these years. It still has that capacity to touch a lot of people. That’s the gift that storytellers have; we can still touch people even after all these years. I think that’s incredibly valuable. It really is.
Looking Back On The Last Seven Years
It’s been an incredible journey, and it’s been a blessing to be able to share it with the world. It wasn’t always easy, and I think that comes from a good place, because I didn’t always feel like I belonged there, either. But I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to grow as much as I could and to try and be the best person that I could be. I also want to thank Stephenie Meyer for giving me the opportunity to play such an important role in her story, even though it wasn’t always easy. It’s been an incredible seven years, and I have very fond memories. Now that I’m doing what I love, acting, I have nothing but good things to say about the experience. I wouldn’t change a thing.