Robert Pattinson Interview in ‘The Times’

OK, this is a slightly abridged version of the interview which appears in todays newspaper although it gets the essence of it!

Fame as a teen vampire could suck the lifeblood from the actor’s career. And he doesn’t enjoy the attention, he reveals

Despite the best efforts of Summit Entertainment’s publicity team, which has a third Twilight movie to promote, it took more than a month to corral the heartthrob star of the franchise for an interview. Robert Pattinson, various handlers explained, was at the mercy of a chaotic shooting schedule for Water for Elephants, his biggest non-Twilight picture to date.

Fair enough. A guy’s got to work. But Pattinson was also not particularly eager to chat for the quadrillionth time about Edward Cullen, the tenderhearted vampire he will reprise on June 30 in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. When he was finally able to break away from the circus (the setting of Water for Elephants, not the throng of paparazzi and hyperventilating girls who trail him around), Pattinson seemed to have a bit of Twilight burnout.

“It can get a little boring,” he said softly over coffee at the Four Seasons hotel in LA, referring both to playing an unchanging vampire and to chewing over the Cultural Importance of It All. “The good news is that the whole thing is done in seven months.”

Not that he’s counting the days or anything.

Fortunately for fans (and Summit) and unfortunately, it seems, for Pattinson, the tally is short by about a year. Filming may wrap up on the Twilight series in seven months, but Summit has decided to split the fourth (and final) Twilight novel by Stephenie Meyer, Breaking Dawn, into two parts. So Pattinson will probably be out hawking the final instalment in the summer of 2012.

Please don’t misunderstand him. Pattinson, 24, is fully aware that he probably would not have much of a career without the “Twi-hards”, as the mostly female following of the movies are known. His only role of note prior to Edward Cullen was a bit-part in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as Cedric Diggory, the doomed love interest of Cho Chang. To achieve this level of success so soon after coming to Hollywood — Twilight and The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in a cumulative $1.1 billion at the global box office — is the rarely achieved dream of young actors everywhere.

But the searing, worldwide fame that has come with the franchise has left him emotionally raw. Hunted by the tabloid media (“R-Patz Cuts His Hair!”), Pattinson changed hotels six times in the month and a half that he has spent in Los Angeles filming Water for Elephants. He arrived for coffee wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses to cover his floppy locks and haunting good looks, and he immediately vetoed a booth handpicked by a publicist for its privacy as too public.

“Kris is better about dealing with photographers than I am,” he said, referring to his equally sought-after co-star, Kristen Stewart, after finally settling on an outdoor nook surrounded by tall hedges. “I’ve learnt to let it go a bit, but I’m still really bothered by it. The more you are exposed, the more people irrationally hate you, I think we reached a point, a peak with New Moon where the stories became so saturated into the culture that it started to feel normal. It’s like the tabloids don’t know what to write any more because they’ve used up all their scandals.”

He also worries about getting pigeonholed as nothing more than a teen idol. Sure, he excels as a pale brooder in the gooey Twilight movies, as evidenced by how fully Meyer’s legions — the books have sold about 100 million copies worldwide since 2005 — have embraced him. But Pattinson talks about a desire to play “characters that are not parodies”, and he would love to do a comedy with Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse). He would like to have a career like Joaquin Phoenix, somebody who makes unorthodox roles pop. (That’s when Phoenix is working in front of the camera and not pursuing other interests, such as music or showing up all bearded and bizarre on the Late Show With David Letterman.)

To this end the London-born Pattinson has been busy accepting roles that seem linked only by a quirky diversity. In Water for Elephants, an adaptation of Sara Gruen’s novel, he plays a veterinarian who joins a Depression-era circus after his parents are killed. The indie Bel Ami, from the Maupassant novel, co-starring Uma Thurman and Christina Ricci, has him playing an unscrupulous social climber who rises to power in Paris by manipulating wealthy women. A possible role in a western called Unbound Captives calls for him to speak almost entirely in Comanche.

The Times online

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