Los Angeles – Robert Pattinson was in a jovial mood when he met us.
The 33-year-old English actor who first captured our attention as Cedric Diggory in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” when he was just 18 years old, then saw his star get brighter with his portrayal of Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” franchise at 22, has indeed spread his wings more in the acting field with his varied choices of roles.
One such role is his strong performance as retired timberman Ephraim Winslow in the Robert Eggers- helmed psychological horror film, “The Lighthouse,” which was shot in black and white in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia in Canada. The film, which had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in the Directors’ Fortnight section, also stars Willem Dafoe as the elderly Thomas Wake.
The story tells of the lives of these two men living in the secluded lighthouse as they slowly deal with loneliness, losing their sanity and dealing with their nightmares.
It was definitely a far cry from the roles we were used to seeing Pattinson do so we asked him about the challenges of making the movie and working with filmmaker Eggers.
“When a script is really good, it makes it a little bit easier,” Pattinson explained. “But the only problem with having a really good script is that you need to be able to, it’s really just down to you to mess it up. And so I could see that there’s the potential to be something good, but it’s just almost an immersive run-up of just taking it, a blind leap into the abyss. But I think a lot of stuff, I don’t know if you are familiar with Maine accents, but a Maine accent is one of the more impossible things that I’ve ever tried to figure out. So that was one thing, I spent a lot of time working on that.
“But also, I think there’s something about when there’s a lot of darkness in it, and I can’t describe how to get into it, to push yourself into that world. It’s quite cathartic at the same time, but you are just in quite a strange place the whole time. But yeah, I think doing something pretty dark but then doing it with someone like Willem, it changed it because there’s something anarchic. He’s like a friendly demon to do it with. And so it’s quite fun to go dark with him.”
From “The Lighthouse,” Pattinson is doing the action thriller “Tenet” for 2020 release with director Christopher Nolan and take over Ben Affleck as the caped crusader in the Matt Reeves-directed “The Batman,” to be released in 2021.
When we told him that when we asked Christian Bale what advice he would give Pattinson when he played Batman, Bale said that Pattinson should start working out already because at one point, Pattinson is going to take his shirt off, and to make the character his own.
So what does he think of these two reflections?
“Yeah the working out is definitely a big part of it,” he agreed. “I’m like just, because I am still shooting Chris’, I can’t. I basically have to wait until I’ve finished it. So, I’m finishing in a few weeks and then my body is going to, (laughs) I am going to torture myself for a few months. I can’t even bear to look at the plan yet, but I am literally going to be doing night shoots for two months and going straight into it. I immediately called my trainer and said, you know what I said about steroids? I take that back!
As for making the character his own, he answered, “Yeah, I mean his interpretation of it was incredible. I can’t believe I’m doing Chris’ movie now as well. I love the way Christian did it. And for a part, where your face is basically entirely covered and there is something quite simple about the character in lots of ways. But to see the scope of how many different people have interpreted it, it could be put into so many different genres. It can be played for laughs. It could be played for anything. I thought Christian’s idea was absolutely brilliant. And still I’ve got a little idea of it, but we’ll see how it works.”