Robert Pattinson refused to let anyone hear the voice he would use for his movie "The Devil All the Time" until he began making the movie.
Its director, Antonio Campos, told Insider about Pattinson's process and what it was like when the actor finally revealed his high-pitched Southern accent.
"There was no way in my mind that he wasn't going to come on set with something bad," Campos said.
Robert Pattinson had a special treat for everyone making Netflix's newest drama, "The Devil All the Time," when he showed up on set for his first day of work.
When he opened his mouth, he had a high-pitched Southern drawl that he had been crafting in his room for days and didn't let anyone hear — not even the movie's director, Antonio Campos.
The movie, available now on Netflix, is based on the 2011 Donald Ray Pollock novel, which is set in southern Ohio and West Virginia after World War II and looks at a group of people all dealing with their own evil temptations. Pattinson plays Preston Teagardin, a new preacher in town who has an eye for young girls, most recently Lenora (Eliza Scanlen). Teagardin's actions eventually lead to a confrontation with Lenora's protective friend, Arvin (Tom Holland). The movie also stars Bill Skarsgård, Riley Keough, Sebastian Stan, and Jason Clarke.
Campos said that when he had completed an early draft of the script he had recently become friends with Pattinson, who was in New York City making the 2017 movie "Good Time." One day, he gave Pattinson the script and asked, "Who do you want to play?"
"Rob said right away, 'I want to play that guy Teagardin. That guy seems like he would be fun to play,'" Campos told Insider.
Campos knew Pattinson wouldn't be using his real English accent for the role, but he didn't know how Pattinson would sound. As production neared, other actors sent Campos recordings of the voices they were working on with a dialect coach — but not Pattinson.
"Rob was impossible to get dialect coaching," Campos said. "He just didn't want to do it. He was just adamant about figuring it out on his own."
And when Campos would inquire about Pattinson's progress, the actor would talk in circles.
"He would be like, 'I'm going to do this thing and that thing, with a little bit of this,'" Campos said in his best Pattinson English accent.
But Pattinson would never reveal the voice.
Finally, it was Pattinson's first day of shooting — a scene where he seduces Lenora in his car.
"That was the first time I heard his voice and saw the character in person," Campos said.
In the scene, Pattinson speaks softly as he persuades Lenora to take off her blouse as he prays. In other scenes when he's passionately preaching, his voice gets even higher and more powerful and menacing. It's a performance that is yet another unique turn in Pattinson's evolving career.
But through all the time waiting for Pattinson to reveal the voice, was Campos ever concerned he wouldn't like it?
"I don't get worried about those things," the director said.
"There was no way in my mind that he wasn't going to come on set with something bad. I might not have dug it, but it wasn't going to be bad. I'd rather have someone come with something weird that's a choice than something that isn't thought out. So I knew he would come with something interesting."
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