If you’re a fan of the Twilight series, especially the newer films, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the work of musician and film director Robert Pattinson. Since making his directorial debut with the 2012 drama Water for Elephants, Pattinson has gone on to develop a reputation as a bold and creative storyteller; a director who doesn’t shy away from tackling difficult issues. Most notably, he has tackled the subject of mental illness, resulting in the highly-acclaimed film, The Lost Girls, which he also wrote, produced and scored. In 2016, he tackled another taboo subject, sexual harassment, in the form of the biopic Shame. In an effort to promote these films, Pattinson appeared in a series of interviews with leading ladies Fearne Cotton and Elle Macleman; discussing themes such as mental illness and sexual misconduct. Here, we’ve collected those interviews, along with some interesting tidbits about the making of each film.

Water for Elephants

After making his name as one of the leads in the Harry Potter films, Pattinson decided to take a step back from the spotlight and focus on developing his directing career. It was during this time that he was contacted by British producer Andrew MacLeman, who wanted to work with him on a film based on the bestselling novel, Water for Elephants, by Thomas Mann. After reading the first few chapters of the book, Pattinson was immediately struck by its imaginative storytelling, complex character dynamics, and rich historical context. He promptly requested the rest of the book, and after finishing it, felt that he had “never read a more exciting or dynamic novel.”

It took Pattinson and his team three years to perfect the script for Water for Elephants. During this time, they traveled to the American Southwest, where they spent three months living among the Navajo people and learning about their culture.

Production on the film was a mammoth undertaking, involving hundreds of extras, dozens of locations, and a 10-week studio shoot in Budapest, Hungary. The team also had to learn to operate heavy machinery, such as cranes, bulldozers, and water tanks, which they used to create the film’s breathtaking visual effects.

The Lost Girls

Pattinson next tackled another taboo topic in the form of the biopic, The Lost Girls. The film tells the story of five young women with supernatural abilities, who reside together in a psychiatric hospital. After hearing that one of their co-workers is being courted by a wealthy businessman, the girls hatch a plan to steal his money, using their otherworldly abilities to satisfy his every desire. At least, that’s the theory.

Pattinson found the idea of telling a largely feminist-themed story compelling, as it allowed him to explore issues such as predatory behavior and male entitlement. The director also found it interesting that while the majority of the movie’s action centers on the girls and their battles against men, the movie is actually about the strength of female friendship. Indeed, the girls form an almost unbreakable bond, as they depend on one another in order to complete their dastardly plans.

To research the story of The Lost Girls, Pattinson and his team traveled to London, where they attended dozens of literary, scientific, and psychiatric conferences. They also conducted interviews with the likes of child psychiatrist, Susan Cobbe, and forensic psychiatrist, Professor George Williams. The director also drew upon his own personal experience as a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, which provided some great insights into the characters’ journeys.


Shame is the story of a man whose life is destroyed by his own selfishness and blind ambition. The film also explores themes of sexual harassment and predatory behavior, as we follow the protagonist, Brandon, as he navigates the machinations of a powerful media conglomerate, which sets out to destroy his life. Along the way, he is abused, falsely accused, and forced to fight for his survival.

Pattinson didn’t shy away from depicting a dark and seamy side to Hollywood, portraying a film industry dominated by men, who use their power and influence to prey upon unsavory types, such as himself. The director called the film an “apology to Hollywood,” as he wanted to show how it really is; a place where men prey upon one another, through their power and influence.

Pattinson’s interest in mental illness informed the making of his next film, as he found the story of Shame to be quite similar to that of his previous movie. He wanted to find a way to combine his interest in both films, by telling the story of a mentally ill man, who is the victim of sexual harassment and abuse. This combination of dark fantasy and stark reality resulted in what many have deemed to be Pattinson’s best film yet.

The director is currently in post-production on the biopic, Pattinson’s next project. While they are currently staying silent about the details of the story, they have described it as being “quite different” from his previous works, and say that they want to avoid categorization.

These interviews are a great opportunity to get a glimpse into the minds of these talented men, as they discuss issues such as mental illness, sexual misconduct, and gender inequality. Since breaking out in 2010 with the critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful film, The Twilight Saga, the world has been eagerly waiting for the next instalment in this exciting franchise. Though the main characters are no longer together, the world remains eager to see what Bella, Alice, and Emmett have been up to since the first film.