I first heard of Robert Pattinson when, as a teenager, I watched an un-aired episode of Game of Thrones. I immediately became obsessed with the gorgeous English actor and, for the longest time, would dream about what it would be like to meet him. Little did I know that one day I would actually get the chance to interview him!

I had the pleasure of speaking with Bobby about his latest film, King Arthur: Legend of a Legendary Knight, the action-adventure film that imagines the journey of one of Arthur’s greatest warriors, and how he feels about the comparison to his other role as the Batman in the upcoming movie, The Batman.

In the film, Bobby plays the titular character who, alongside co-star Emily Blunt, is pitted against arch-enemy Richard the Lionheart (Robin Hood). The pair struggles to save England from civil war as they face dangers both alive and dead as they traverse the country on horseback in order to unite the warring factions and bring peace to the land.

Bobby is the first to admit that he didn’t see much of King Arthur before making the film. However, he did watch the original stories by William Tennison and gain a lot from the character. According to Bobby, we shouldn’t expect the modern-day Robin Hood to be like any of the characters we have previously seen him play.

An Inspired Decision

After deciding that he wanted to take on the role of the Joker in a future Batman movie, the 34-year-old English actor read as much as he could about the character and decided that he would like to try his hand at portraying the Clown Prince of Crime. However, director Matt Reeves had other ideas and decided to give Bobby one of the most iconic movie roles of all time: King Arthur.

As Reeves saw it, there was no one else who could embody King Arthur other than the actor who would go on to play the famous fictional character King Arthur in the 2002 film, Arthur: The King’s Knight. As a result, Arthur became one of the most requested characters of all time, and the film was a box office success.

In the film, Bobby doesn’t play the titular character but instead takes on the role of Arthur, the son of Uther Pendragon (portrayed by Sean Bean). As an English aristocrat, Bobby had to get into character by reading up on medieval history and also spent a lot of time studying the speech patterns and mannerisms of the 1840s.

At the time of the interview, Bobby was in the middle of filming the third season of the hit HBO series, Westworld, so he was a bit limited on his answers but went on to say:

“I have an idea for a show right now, and it’s an homage to Arthur. So, maybe I’ll see you in season three.”

The first two seasons of the movie series, titled simply Westworld, have centered around the theme of artificial intelligence. In this upcoming third season, the plot focuses on a character called the Man in Black who, as the season comes to a close, turns out to be more human than previously thought and faces off against the protagonists, who are essentially superhuman AI’s trapped in a closed-loop existence.

While we wait for the third season of Westworld to premiere, check out the first two seasons on HBO Now.

A Dazzling Performance

If you saw the hit series, The Handmaid’s Tale, you know exactly what to expect from Bobby when it comes to acting. The 34-year-old English actor gives a dazzling performance as Canada-born, New York-raised Offred, who is forced into becoming a handmaid in the religious order known as The Resistance. In the show, Offred is referred to as a vessel for the Son of God, and it is Bobby’s job to guide her as she slowly comes of age and learns to trust anyone other than the Chaplain and the other servants in her life.

During our chat, we discussed how he approached the role, the differences between playing Arthur and Offred, and what it was like to work with Elisabeth Moss who plays his wife, Aibileen. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

The Handmaid’s Tale Is Unique

“I think it’s very brave of Emily to have chosen such a complex role. I mean, think about it: she plays a character that’s in a completely different place and time. It must have been difficult to research as well. And I think she did an incredible job! “

As for how he approached the role of Offred?

“Well, I read as much as I could about the Regency era, which is when the show is set. So, I knew what to expect from the character. I also spoke to as many people as I could who were from that time period, especially women. That helped me a lot, because Offred is meant to be an empowering role. She is supposed to show the strength of a woman in a time when women didn’t have that much freedom.”

Since the characters are set in the 19th century, they speak with an Upper Midwestern accent that sounds quite similar to that of William Petersen, who plays Maj. Hamish Ross in the series. Bobby also noted that, in some ways, it was easier to play a character from a different time period than it was to inhabit the skin of a wealthy, young man from the 1840s. “I read a lot about the era, and it wasn’t just about learning how to act. I wanted to understand what it was like to be a woman at that time. And that wasn’t easy! It was a real challenge, but also a really fascinating one.”

A Difference In Character But Not In Approach

“There is one big difference between playing Arthur and Offred: with Arthur, you are playing a character who is already established. Offred is a blank slate, and that’s a very different thing. It’s like saying hello to somebody who doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t know your name. And it can be a very disconcerting experience to play a character who is supposed to be so different from yourself. But, in the end, I think it’s a beautiful thing, because it makes you show up every day and bring your best game. “

As for the differences in approach between the two roles:

“With Arthur, you know what to expect. You know what he’s like, and you also know that he’s not going to change. He’s a very principled character who won’t do or say anything he thinks is wrong. It’s very easy to play Arthur.”

As for Offred, Bobby noted that she should not be compared to the previous female lead, Ann Dowd, who played the role in the first six seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale. “I think, ultimately, you could say that about any role you play. It’s the same with Arthur. You could compare him to other characters, but, in the end, it’s not the same. Each one of us, as an actor, brings something new to the role.”

A Different Type Of Bond

It is quite an event when two extremely famous and popular American film stars decide to collaborate on something. In the case of The Handmaid’s Tale, it was both Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman who, along with director Reed Morano, came up with the idea to team up for the story of a women’s liberation movement in the United States in the 1880s. This revolutionary idea led to Kidman playing a labor leader while Witherspoon portrays a lawyer who joins the fight for equal rights.

While playing a character who is part of a female empowerment movement might sound like an easy task, it actually requires a lot of preparation. According to Bobby:

“It really is a different type of bond. Usually, when you find yourself working with an actor of Reese’s or Nicole’s caliber, you are already used to a certain level of fame and recognition. But, in this case, it was very different. I don’t think either of them quite understood what was going on, because it was so new and different. It was certainly an education, but also very challenging.”

“I think, in the beginning, it was quite hard for both of them to understand what their characters were supposed to be saying, because it was a very different way of speaking. But once they got used to it, I think it became an interesting bonding experience.”