Yahoo Movies - April 13, 2017
ĎThe Lost City of Zí Star Robert Pattinson on His Epic Beard, His Embarrassing Amazon Habit, and If Heíd Ever Return to ĎTwilightí
by Kevin Polowy
Robert Pattinson has been waiting for his new movie The Lost City of Z to be revealed to moviegoers for nearly a decade. Thatís
about how long ago the 30-year-old Twilight alum was first approached by writer-director James Gray for his adaptation of David
Grannís popular nonfiction book about explorer Percy Fawcettís lengthy, dangerous search in the early 20th century for a hidden
indigenous civilization in the Amazon.
Pattinson hung with the project through multiple lead changes (from Brad Pitt to Benedict Cumberbatch to, finally, Charlie Hunnam,
who plays Fawcett). He even outgrew the role he was initially in the running for: Percyís son Jack, played by Spider-Man Homecoming
star Tom Holland. Pattison now portrays Henry Costin, a minor character in the book expanded for the screen, Fawcettís hard-drinking,
thick-bearded aide-de-camp. (The movie opens in theaters on Friday.)
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Movies, Pattinson talked about the risks heís attempted to take over the course of his career
(even if no one noticed), if heíd ever consider returning to role of vampire Edward Cullen, and his embarrassing online habit that
will pay dividends in one of his next films, Good Time.
How familiar were you with the source material for Lost City of Z? Had you read David Grannís book?
Yeah, James gave me the book when it was a totally different script. Or I may have read it long before there was even a script at
all. I think at the time he was thinking about me to play Percyís son. Because I mustíve only been about 21. And then I just kind
of stayed with it as time went on, and it went through all these different casts. [Laughs]
It sounds like the script changed a lot through the years. What were the biggest changes made over time?
When I first read it, it was a straight action movie, like Indiana Jones. It was this rip-roaring adventure movie, and not this
kind of epic, elegant saga that takes place over 30 years.
Costin is a much more minor character in the book. What did you build off of to shape him?
Well, I always thought with Percyís character it would be a good idea to have a foil. I always interpreted Percyís character as
this man determined to fix the reputation that he thinks heís deserved, and which his father has ruined for him. Ö He keeps going
back to the jungle again and again and again, just to fix this insecurity. So I liked the idea of Costin being this character who
basically had a total disregard for the English aristocracy or any kind of social climbing whatsoever. So he didnít really want to
bring anything back from the jungle, anyway. The entire point for him was just to go because he had nothing to live for in England.
How much information was out there about the real guy? Any sense of his military career?
Well, Costin in reality was a refrigerator salesman. There was an advert in the Times of London saying, ďAdventurers Wanted.Ē
Thatís actually how he got the job. [Laughs] He was one of the only people who applied for it. But he was in the army ó he was a
physical fitness instructor. But really, I liked the craziness of just applying to be an adventurer.
You rock some pretty rad facial hair in this movie. Did that look grow on you ó pun intended ó or did you not care for it?
By the end, I was definitely over it. But at least when youíre shooting a movie with your face covered, thereís very little
makeup to be done. It was definitely a ďGet out of bed and thatís itĒ situation. That helped in the middle of the jungle.
Youíve played lead roles, youíve taken supporting parts ó this is more of a supporting role in an ensemble. Do you have a preference
There are certain directors I just really want to work with, and you bring what you can to a part. But in some ways itís kind of
nice [to play a supporting role]. It is a little bit liberating because you donít have to concentrate on the narrative thrust of the
story. Youíre just purely thinking about character and just embellishing it a little bit. But with this, I wouldíve played any part
in it, pretty much.
Costin has some great lines in this movie. I think one of my favorites is when you say to Hunnam, ďWeíre too British for this jungle.Ē
Did you guys feel out of your element filming in the jungles of Colombia?
No, I really loved it. I guess in some ways, it was kind of hard. But itís just incredible, going to work every day in a little
boat, going up river in the middle of virgin jungle in Colombia. It was very, very close to being on vacation, to be honest. [Laughs]
But the type of vacation where you couldnít eat anything?
Well, yeah. Thereís a certain degree of harshness, and we were trying to lose as much as weight as possible in a really short
period of time. So I guess thereís that element to it. But thereís a reason those guys wanted to keep going back as well. Itís
Do you consider yourself pretty adventurous? Could your relate to that thirst for exploration?
Yeah, definitely. I do sometimes find myself gravitating toward a job just because itís shooting out in the middle of nowhere. If
Iím shooting in a city, generally it can become a repetitive scenario. If you have anyone taking pictures on their phones, it just
constantly reminds you of the reality of your life. And I find it becomes a little more difficult. Whereas if youíre out in the
jungle and everyone is on the same page as you, you just sort of believe in character a little bit more.
What is your own personal Amazonian adventure? What is the biggest risk youíve taken in your career so far?
I donít know: Iíve done things which I thought were going to be really risky, which ended up not being risky at all. I generally
try to keep finding ways to push the envelope as much as I can, and whenever I get the opportunity to do it, I generally try to take
it. But I donít really worry about taking risks, to be honest.
Whatís something you thought was risky that ended up not being so?
I did this movie years ago called Bel Ami, which was at the height of all the Twilight stuff. It was this Guy de Maupassant novel
about a guy who seduces women specifically to screw them out of their money and ruin their lives. I thought that was a relatively
subversive choice to make at the time. [Laughs] And no one really seemed to think the same thing.
What is your relationship with your Twilight fan base these days? Has the madness that surrounded your life calmed down at all?
Itís definitely calmed down in terms of my everyday life, but mainly because I spend more time in London, which is totally
different. And Iím doing more parts that just sort of interest me, while in a lot of ways taking a little bit of a step back just to
learn and get better. I guess Iíve never really acknowledged what the fan base is, or even if I have one. [Laughs]
Oh, you have one.
But, yeah, Iím always pretty curious about what people say afterward, and who turns up, who likes the movie. Itís always kind of
random. But I love it when someone who you just really wouldnít expect says, ďOh, I liked you in this.Ē
What films have been most unexpected?
Itís always just really strange. Iíve done a bunch of movies which I thought mightíve been impossible to be seen. There was this
film Little Ashes, where I played Salvador DalŪ, from years and years ago, and just the other day I was walking down the street and
somebody came up and said, ďOh, thatís my favorite film!Ē You kind of forget that people even watch your films. [Laughs]
What do you think of all the universe building that is going on in Hollywood right now and the possibility that they could reboot
Twilight and expand its world? Could you ever see yourself playing Edward Cullen again?
Really, theyíre expanding it? So Iíll get my own spin-off? [Laughs]
Potentially! It could be called Edward: Homecoming.
But would you ever dip back in if the opportunity presented itself?
I mean, Iím always kind of curious. Anything where thereís a mass audience ó or seemingly an audience for it ó I always like the
idea of subverting peopleís expectations. So there could be some radical way of doing it, which could be quite fun. Itís always
difficult when thereís no source material. But, yeah, Iím always curious.
What type of role havenít you been offered yet that youíre eager for?
I sort of, to a fault, rely a little bit too much on being inspired by things that land on my doorstep. I literally just did this
movie called Good Time, which I think is a really interesting role. But I wouldíve never, ever predicted that I wouldíve liked it.
[Pattinson plays a New York bank robber running from the police.] I think that heís basically the embodiment of an angry commenter
on the Internet.
That sounds great.
Well, if you watch the movie youíll probably be like, ďHuh? What are you talking about?Ē But one of my favorite things to do ó
this is quite embarrassing ó but you know how when you look on Amazon and you see a product thatís got a consumer review that is so
scathing, on like an electric toothbrush or something? Like, literally buying this toothbrush has ruined this personís life. I
always click on that personís buying history, or their other reviews, and Iíll just read them for days and days. And Iím really
amused. These people just have to vent this kind of furious anger on product reviews. Iíve always found that sort of character
really interesting. [Laughs]