Q&A: Robert Pattinson on Escaping Twi-Hard Expectations and Dodging the Paparazzi
The Twilight movies were clearly a huge blessing for Robert Pattinson, but also somewhat of a curse: The 28-year-old Brit has been working overtime to break out of the pin-up mold, gravitating toward edgy indies like David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis and this week’s The Rover, directed by Animal Kingdom filmmaker David Michôd. The sometimes brutally violent film features Pattinson as a left-for-dead "half-wit" who joins a vengeful Guy Pearce as they travel across a rural, post-apocalyptic Australia. The very candid Pattinson talked to us about getting down-and-dirty for the role, his strategy for keeping photographers away, and what artist has reignited his love for hip-hop.
Let's talk about your look in this film. People have said you "uglified" yourself for the role.
The one weird thing [I had] was the teeth. I thought everyone was going to have s---ty teeth in it. Then I end up being the only person in it with s---ty teeth in it [laughs]. But I kind of liked the idea of it, because I went to school with people who didn't brush their teeth when they were kids, and they always ended up being weirdos.
What did you do to get those nasty teeth?
It's like paint, and whenever there was a long scene, it would wipe off my teeth. So I would end up with white teeth at the end of the scene, which eventually became a massive hassle. But it was still kind of cool. It was such an odd look when you turn around and see yourself [in the mirror] and there's this weird thing coming out of your face.
Did you go out in public much to get reactions, or even just to get in character?
Yeah, [but] there was nowhere to go, really. It's funny: Whenever you have your head shaved, less people come up to you and ask for pictures [laughs]. That's why I always try to keep my hair really short.
They're like, "No, no, I don't want that Robert Pattinson."
Exactly. "I want the sexy one!"
You very memorably sing along to the Keri Hilson song "Pretty Girls Rock" in this film. Did you have any hand in picking that track?
I do kind of really like that song. I didn't realize how massive a song it was. I had never heard it before. David emailed it to me and I was like, "Wow, where did you find this?" I thought it was an original track, or a really small thing that he'd found somewhere. But I thought it was kind of perfect for it. As soon as he played it, I was like, "That's hilarious."