ETA: A Nous Paris (you can check the scans at Robert Pattinson France) has an interview with Rob that is the same of Direct Matin interview with a few differences (probably because of the translation). They have an extra question about Life and James Dean. Here’s the translation:
You’re not the one who plays James Dean?
No, it’s Dane Dehaan but it’s funny because there’s similarities to my path, with the fact that everything happened in 2 months, between the moment where he was no one and this incredible success that was dropped on him. The famous picture where we see him smoke at Times Square, it
Teen icon at the beginning of his career, Robert Pattinson definitely settled himself in the Hollywood landscape. In ‘The Rover’ by David Michiôd, he plays a simple minded guy forced to work with his enemy to find his brother in the Australian desert. It’s a controlled shift the British actor admits it was made possible thanks to his meeting with David Cronenberg.
Was it the world of ‘The Rover’ or its character that sparked your interest first in the project?
I found the script really interesting but I had a really strong connection first with my character, especially the way he express himself. I had never seen a character like this before.
Was it difficult to play someone who’s simple minded?
Not at all, it came naturally (laughs). I approached him like a beaten up street dog that would keep on going back to his master for a little bit of affection.
The film imagines a ruined world by men’s madness. Do you think this is where we’re heading with our society?This could happen but I’m more optimistic than that. I have more faith in humanity. In ‘The Rover’, men aren’t completely lost, they all didn’t become mad. Some still have hope and try to revive the Earth. But this economic collapse is totally conceivable.
You play, one after the other, in two movies ‘against the system': ‘Maps to the Stars’ and ‘The Rover’, are you engaged in politically?
I’m more or less liberal.It’s hard to be an actor and not be liberal by the way. Maybe we should be more worried about the oceans but I don’t take politics very seriously. When you see that most Western countries are under the leadership of a handful of multinational companies, it seems like voting is some kind of a joke.
From teens’ sex symbol to an actor seeked by the biggest directors, what was the secret to your career change?
It took some time. It’s been 4-5 years that I’ve tried to create priviledged relationships with directors whose work I’ve admired and it appeared that things settled at the same time. ‘Cosmopolis’ changed everything. Ever since my meeting with David Cronenberg, my career took a new turn.
You were in Cannes with two movies: ‘The Rover’ and ‘Maps to the Stars’ by David Cronenberg.
It’s one of the most exhilarating places to screen a movie. There’s an incredible energy that dominates over there. I like doing press at Cannes. The journalists are actually interested in the movies and don’t ask you questions like ‘What’s your favorite food?’ In France, journalists love the cinema.
You just finished filming Werner Herzog’s movie ‘Queen of the Desert’ about the spy, Gertrude Bell. Who do you play in it?
I play the young Lawrence of Arabia. He was a close friend of Gertrude Bell during WWI.
You also play the photographer, Dennis Stock in ‘Life’ by Anton Corbijn.
We just got done shooting. I saw the trailer the other day. I play this guy who photographed James Dean right before he became famous. James was unknown at that time.
What else do you have planned?
In November, I’m working with Olivier Assayas in a movie called ‘Idol’s Eye’. It’s a gangster movie on the true story of a group of thieves who robbed a pawnbroker’s shop that belonged to the mafia. It takes place in the 1970s. I met Olivier Assayas two and a half years ago but the project only came to be a few months ago.