waz-online.de - August 22, 2015
Thanks to Anita Ahlers for the translation !
What price does a teen star pay?
As “Twilight”-vampire Robert Pattinson caused screaming- alarm on the red carpets, now he is barely recognizable. He stirs honey
into the coffee, giggles and hides his face behind a full beard. The 29-year-old struggles with leaving the time behind when he was
a teen heartthrob. “Most of the time I was busy trying to hide myself,” said Robert Pattinson about the “Twilight” time. Today, he
goes again to the supermarket.
WAZ: Mr. Pattinson, usually you are chased by celebrity-photographers. How does it feel to play a photographer in your new film
“Life”, who vice versa chases after stars?
Rob: I play the very young Magnum-photographers Dennis Stock, who is aware of the equally young James Dean before he is an icon -
not least because of the shots by Stock on which a grumpy James Dean can be seen with a cigarette in the corner of his mouth on rainy
Times Square. Stock would certainly have hated you if you had called him a paparazzo. He saw himself as an artist, made every effort
to be perceived as such. And I also see him as such.
WAZ: Okay, in the fifties, the times were still cozy. How would you react if someone approaches you today and says: “Hey, Robert, I
want to make a few photos of you” - as Stock did with Dean?
Rob: That would be impossible. So I would definitely come to the idea that a psychopath is after me. But at that time it was
different: There were no mobile phones and no amateur photographers, only professional photographers - and then they still had to
find a magazine that published their pictures. Today, the Internet is flooded with Smartphone-pictures.
WAZ: How do you cope with the omnipresent mobile phone-photos?
Rob: A lot depends on my mood. When I’m in a good mood, everything is okay. If not, I feel harassed. You just have to also be aware
that you don’t become weird and feel hounded: At some point you think that also people that want to shoot your pictures that have to
do something much better with their day.
WAZ: Do you have coped well with the “Twilight” - Media Hype in your early 20’s?
Rob: Most of the time I was busy trying to hide myself. You find yourself in a state of shock. You don’t quite realise what’s going
on all around you. In a way, my personal development was stopped. That was strange: Even if I was 22, suddenly I was two or three
years older. I’ve also been working all the time, filmed a lot in this time. That was lunacy. The first real break I had was after
the last “Twilight” movie.
WAZ: But it is quieter now? With the Beard, which you wear currently, nobody recognize you anyway.
Rob: Right, now I’m going to a supermarket again without looking behind me. I have fortunately gained self-confidence. But I’m still
cautious: You don’t want a picture in public, on which you are drunk or something.
WAZ: Do you think that you have shaken off the teen heartthrob image now?
Rob: The real problem was: You’re going to be judged by strange criteria, if you are involved in huge expensive movies, which are
under so much pressure. The key question is always: How many millions bring these movies in? This is ridiculous! You have to be
careful not to get stuck in this world.
WAZ: You have certainly earned so much money that you could retire. Why don’t you do that?
Rob: It’s certainly not so much money, but you know: You don’t really think about it. Money is not the primary target of a young
actor. And having enough money is no reason to quit.
WAZ: What is your target?
Rob: Hard to say. A way only slowly crystallizes out, also thanks to my selection of films. In the “Twilight” era I quasi pushed
repeatedly on the reset button, and then came the next movie.
WAZ: How did it continue?
Rob: I have taken careful steps into reality. I’ve always tried to strictly differentiate: There was the character which I played in
the movies, and here was my real life, entirely independent of each other.
WAZ: And today?
Rob: Now I try to make more personal films that have more to do with me and I have more control over them. I film with auteur
directors like David Cronenberg and now with Anton Corbijn.
WAZ: What is different about them?
Rob: They protect you. They don’t let others conduct from the outside - unlike a director who works on behalf of a major studio. When
it really matters, then a call comes from higher authority, and then it is no longer the movie of the director, but of the studio.
WAZ: Now in your turn you open doors for filmmakers: Cronenberg says that your name on the poster of his film “Cosmopolis” made it
Rob: Well, I just hope that the directors don’t book me solely so that they can finance their films. And I take really very small
roles, for example in Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert” as Lawrence of Arabia. Anyway I do not think that today any actor can
still guarantee that his name draws the audience in droves to the cinema. Those days are gone. With very few exceptions. One of them
is called Brad Pitt.
WAZ: Much of what you say sounds bitter: Would you want to wish young people in general, to have such a success as you had with
Rob: Just a minute, it was a great time! “Twilight” was a very special thing, because of the enthusiastic fans. But I would advise
young actors not to get overwhelmed. They should be careful to maintain a healthy relationship with reality. Otherwise you can
easily drift off - and then you only realize it perhaps much later. So: Take good care of yourselves!
Thanks a lot to