Robert Pattinson Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters (2024)

Hey, I'm Robert Pattinson,

and I'm gonna talk some of my iconic performances.

[Robert laughs] So stu-

[upbeat music]

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,

Cedric Diggory, the head of the Hufflepuff clan,

and he's the first death in Harry Potter,

which is my claim to fame.

[dramatic music]

It was definitely my concept to jump out of the tree

at the beginning, for my intro,

which I then kind of repeated later on

in Twilight.

For some reason, I always have a suggestion

to be like, Why doesn't he just appear

just jumping out of a tree?

[playful music]

And this strapping young lad must be Cedric.

Am I right?

Yes sir.

I'd sort of fallen into it.

I mean, it was so terrifying.

I remember the first scene I ever shot on that

was in the magical maze at the end,

and I'd never done anything with special effects

and stunts, and it was a big deal at the time.

It felt very, very intimidating.

I think I'd read a book on method acting.

The only thing I really got out of that was just beating

yourself up before every single scene.

That was basically my only concept

of how to prepare for a scene.

I was psyching myself up as if I was getting

into a fight or something before these scenes,

and just screaming into a pillow and fighting,

punching myself and kind of ripping my clothing

and stuff, but I had all these prosthetic wounds on,

and all of the prosthetics would melt

off my face, and I'd have to have all of my makeup done

again, but I had no concept of how to kind of

get into a psyched up physical state.

I remember holding a wand and thinking

that it felt so dorky to hold it

like a magic wand, so I'm holding it

like a gun with two hands, [Robert laughing]

thinking I'm in like a Die Hard movie.

I think I even have one eye closed

when I'm looking down, like it's got

a viewfinder on it. [Robert chuckling]

I spent a lot of time living off the Harry Potter money.

I moved to an apartment in Soho in London.

I really thought I was gonna do music at that point.

I don't know where I had the kind of belief in that,

'cause there was absolutely no one saying

that there's any kind of music career on the table,

but I was doing a lot of gigs all the time.

I was just constantly doing open mics all the time,

and then I ran out of money basically. [Robert laughs]

I was definitely going the wrong direction

in terms of a career, up until Twilight.

[upbeat rock music]


I'd started to develop

this absolute terror of auditions,

which I'm sure a lot of actors have,

and I kind of could be so enthusiastic

about something, and then the day of the audition just

my confidence would just entirely collapse.

The same thing happened

the morning of the Twilight audition.

I used to live on my agent's couch at the time,

in her apartment, and she sent me the e-mail exchange.

It was like, I'm freaking out.

I don't wanna go to the audition anymore,

and then underneath it saying, Well, find Valium

in my bathroom, and I'd never taken

a Valium before.

I just remember just feeling so glorious

in the back of the taxi with the window open

and just being like, Wow, this is what I've been missing,

and so I think I had this sort of

quite spacey, detached kind of thing in the audition,

which must have kind of worked for the character.

That's Edward Cullen.

I do think there's something in that first movie.

You can see that people were taking it seriously,

and it kind of has this-, it has a passion to it.

Everything about me invites you in,

my voice, my face, even my smell.

You know, I was 21 and kind of wanted to make it

as arty as possible, and so I was kind of-

we had this strange tension

where the studio was kind of a little bit scared

to make things a little bit too emo and stuff,

and I thought that was the only way to play it.

It just seems so ridiculous talking about it now,

'cause I was literally enra-

I spent so much time just infuriated the whole-

it's definitely something about being 21 as well,

'cause I was-, I can't believe the way I was acting

half the time, when I think back on it.

The scene [Robert chuckles] when Edward introduces Bella

to his family the first time,

I remember that being the day,

'cause my agent and my manager came up

as a surprise visit, and I was like, Oh hey,

and just thought everything was fine,

and then at lunch they were like,

Okay, so whatever you're doing right now,

after lunch just do the opposite,

or you'll be fired by the end of the day,

and I was like, Okay.

And so that was the only thing that got me

to sort of smile a little bit.

You're like my own personal brand of heroin.

I also think that if I tried to play it lighthearted,

the way I would do it would end up looking so wrong

that I'd probably end up looking

even more like a psychopath.

[mysterious music]

There was this big-, tons of people signing

this petition to have me not cast,

but nothing about my life really changed

until the weekend, or maybe like a week before

the movie came out.

So when the signatures came, it just felt

such an abstract.

I just didn't really care,

and I was very excited about doing the movie,

but yeah, then when it came out,

it just changed everything so fast.

I mean it was overnight.

[upbeat rock music]

The Batman.

That was no hesitation yes.

Even my agents and stuff just thought,

Oh, this is interesting.

I mean, I thought you only wanted

to play just total freaks all the time.

[Robert chuckles]

He is a freak. This is another freak. [Robert laughs]

You look for things that kind of scare you.

You look for things that feel incredibly out of reach.

It's such the kind of the jewel in the crown

of characters.

You know, you really could be doing more

for this city.

[engine revving]

[Batman yells] [engine revving]

My family has a history of philanthropy,

but as far as I can tell, you're not doing anything.

It's just a totally different vibe.

I mean, it's sad.

It's something which I always thought about that one.

I thought it's really really sad.

It's a tragedy.

That's one of the reasons it feels

kind of different, 'cause it's kind of-

It's year two.

We're not gonna do the origin story again.

Instead of him getting over his parents dying

at the beginning, and then just becoming Batman

and saving Gotham, now he really hasn't gotten over them

at all, [Robert laughing] and it's kind of-

and I'm basically, I'm playing the parent's death

constantly throughout the whole time.

Riddler's latest, [dark music]

it's all about the Waynes.

If we don't stand up, no one will. [cats meowing]

I always like approaching the kind of major character

like that, and if you look at it very literally,

or from an emotional context, it does end up

becoming something kind of strange,

and it always kind of shocks you

what comes out of it.

I mean, I didn't really realize how sad

it would me make me feel.

There's something about his relationship

with Selina Kyle as well,

and it's very present in the graphic novels,

when I think a lot of those writers really touched on that.

There's ways to reinterpret that character,

in an infinite number of ways.

This is the maybe ninth or tenth Batman movie,

and it does feel incredibly different.

It's funny, I was talking to other actors

who are in the movie, and everyone else they're like, No.

Even Matt was saying, Don't watch the other ones.

Don't watch any of the other movies.

Don't be thinking about that kind of stuff too much,

but I was like, I've already seen all the other movies,

and they're incredibly familiar to me,

and I like all the other movies.

It's not like you're trying to rescue a dead character.

I mean they're all really really good portrayals,

and I kind of really watched a lot of them

on the run-up up to it to just see where's a gap

and something that hasn't really been explored yet.

I think it's also really fun as well, doing that,

'cause every single person who's played Batman

is a pretty heavyweight actor,

and they all had great interpretations of it,

and very, very different, so it was fun watching them all.

No, and I definitely don't have a favorite.

No, No. [Robert laughing]

[Robert and interviewer laughing]

I mean, I think Christian Bale did just such a-

I mean it's so kind of iconic as the voice

that he was doing in it,

but it's almost impossible to not do that.

Where were the other drugs going?

I don't know. I swear to God.

Swear to me!

It's really hard to get into

an artificially lower register,

and to do it a long time,

'cause I mean there's a lot of scenes in this as well

where you're kind of-, long dialogue scenes

as Batman, which is quite unique

out of a lot of the other movies in the series,

and trying to kind of stay really really low

and have kind of nuance in the lines and stuff,

I mean it's really hard. [Robert laughing]

It's really, really hard.

When that light hits the sky,

[dramatic music]

it's not just a call.

It's a warning.

I think I was doing vocal exercises

without actually really knowing

they were vocal exercises.

I think your larynx or something just got

strengthened when I was doing the movie.

[Batman yells indistinctly]

When I was doing ADR for it,

I mean I couldn't even do the voice again.

I mean, I had to kind of-,

it had completely reverted back to normal.

Who are you under there?

[intense music]

[gunshots firing] [intense music]

I'm vengeance.

There's a kind of understanding,

which I think every actor who goes into it,

there's some way of playing Batman that just feels right

as Batman, [Robert chuckles] and if you try and do something

too different, it sometimes feels really off,

but it's funny, it's like as soon as you put on the suit,

it sort of does something to you.

You start behaving in this quite particular way,

and it might be about the kind of restriction

in the movement and stuff,

where there's definitely elements of just

the kind of practical aspect of it.

You wanna be able to turn your head.

It'd sure make backing out of the driveway easier.

You don't know how you're gonna feel

until you put on the suit,

and then just because the suit was

a little bit more articulated,

'cause I'd done the audition in,

I think it was George Clooney's one,

and it was incredibly difficult to move in.

Well I'm totally over it, all right? Positively.

Me too. Definitely.

You had to choose the suit by the size of your head,

[Robert chuckles] and I think my head was about- [Robert chuckles]

was the closest to Clooney's head.

[Interviewer] Was your head locked?

It's locked and you're boiling hot,

absolutely boiling.

If you have any lights on you,

you're just pouring sweat,

and then as I was doing it-,

and you're also doing an audition,

so I'm kind of terrified anyway,

and people are saying, What can we do about this sweat?

And you're thinking, If I don't stop sweating,

I'm not gonna get the part,

and so you're trying to shut down your body a little bit.

[Interviewer] If I'm not mistaken,

that's the one with the nipples, isn't it?

It is, but then I keep getting confused with...

'cause I think there might be two nipple suits.

[Robert laughs]

I think one has more prominent nipples.

I think on the Val Kilmer suit as well,

I think there's some nipples on that.

Maybe there might just be one nipple.

[Robert laughs]

[upbeat rock music]

Good Time was another wonderful experience,

and also a totally unexpected reaction to it as well.

I remember talking to Josh and Benny

at some hotel in L.A.,

and I said, I wanna do whatever you guys are doing next.

I wanna do it, and I remember Josh saying,

Do you mean that? 'Cause I'll have a script

in six weeks,

and we'll do it,

and then the first iteration of Good Time came

after six weeks, and it was unbelievable.

I mean they're great directors, but I love

the way they write so much.

[Peter] Excuse me.

Are you Peter?

Yes I am. We're in the middle of a se-


Nick, what are you doing?

Come on. We're in the middle

of something here, we're in the middle of an exam.

Come on, get up.

Hey, hey, Nick. He's asking me

about the sauce and the pan

and the chicken. Wait, wait, wait. Please.

How would you like it if I made you cry, huh?

Would you like that?

Benny is also just a phenomenal actor as well.

I mean, he just stayed in the character all day,

and would kind of slightly change his voice

when he had to kind of suggest something to Josh.

It really felt like the character talking.

Benny would be doing a scene with me.

He was also operating the boom at the same time,

so he's holding the boom between us.

It is definitely the definition

of run-and-gun filmmaking.

Nick, Nick, come here.

Stay with me. [sirens blaring]

[Nick] Where'd he go?

Where are you? [sirens blaring]

Is he at the bank?

You're circling around? I'm on the corner.

I'm on the corner where you dropped me off.

You gotta get back here right now.

I wasn't really trying to perfect an accent.

It's just something that felt right.

It's all just trying to do everything

in an intuitive way,

and it's weird 'cause it does sound

like a Queens, [Robert chuckles] specific Queens accent,

but it was kind of-,

I wasn't really doing it in a very academic way.

It was much more just feeling your way through it

I think.

Well there's two lines in it, which are just

probably my two favorite lines I think I've ever said

in a movie, which is,

the one was when I was saying to Taliah,

Don't be confused.

It's just gonna make it worse for me.

I don't know anyone else, apart from Josh,

who would ever come up with that line.

And then the line, I'm talking about the kind of

metaphysical connection with Taliah,

and at the end of it it just undercuts it,

saying, All right, I'm just gonna go take a sh*t

in that guys house. [Robert laughs]

Okay, I'm gonna go and take a sh*t in that guy's house,

and I'm gonna try the hospital again in a minute.

Just wait here for me, okay?

All right.

It's just a very, very specific feeling,

which the only other person I've ever seen that

in a script with is The Lighthouse with Robert Eggers.

[upbeat rock music]

The Lighthouse, I play a character called Thomas Winslow.

No, that's not even his name. [Robert laughing]

Jesus f*cking Christ. [Robert and interviewer laughing]

Thomas Howard. [Robert laughing]

Yeah, he's a little bit confused about his identity.

He's kind of-, he's a little bit Ephraim Winslow,

and Thomas Howard. [Robert laughing]

I love The Witch, Robert's previous movie.

I really wanted to find something with him.

I thought he was a very, very special director.

I had such a good time on Good Time, and I wanted

to swing wildly the other direction,

but I wanted everything to be strange,

and I kind of said to Robert,

I only wanna do strange things,

and Robert came back with The Lighthouse and said,

If this isn't strange enough for you,

then I don't think I'm capable of anything

stranger than this.

[woman screaming] [eerie music]

I was really trying to convince everyone

that The Lighthouse was a comedy

and trying to convince, I think it was the HFPA.

I'm really trying to convince

the relatively elderly people, No, it is a comedy.

It's 100% a comedy.

It should qualify for the musical comedy section.

[Robert laughing]

And everyone had watched this incredibly dark movie

and thinking, Uh, I don't know how much of a comedy it is,

but then I see audiences watching it,

and people do-, people laugh so much more

than I ever would have thought.

I mean, I thought it was hilarious when I read the script,

but yeah, I'm always quite stunned about the reaction to it,

and also how much people like sea shanties.

I mean, that is-, I had absolutely no idea.

I remember seeing the first screening,

and everyone's bobbing their head

like they're at a concert whenever a sea shanty came on.

I'm like, Wow.

How did Eggers know that that was gonna be a trend in 2018?

I mean, that is out of the blue.

♪ Took her in, I gave her gin ♪

♪ And danced her on the floor. ♪

[men singing and stomping]

And it's funny, 'cause everyone's like,

Oh, what accent are you doing? Blah, blah, blah.

I always get these strange unfounded criticisms

about my accents.

But there's this area in Maine,

which I guess of how the immigration worked there,

it was a kind of a Devon or Dorset accents in England,

and then mixed with a bit of

certain types of American accents,

and then there was kind of weird elements

of Liverpudlian.

I guess all the different sailors that had come there,

but you kind of listen to this really tiny area in Maine,

and it's been the same accent for hundreds of years,

and it doesn't sound anything like a normal American accent,

but it's very, very fun.

It's also very addictive to do.

A lot of the crew started speaking to me like, Thanky,

and all these different things. [Robert chuckles]

I don't have to say nothing.

Damn ye! [bottle clanking]

Let Neptune strike ye dead Winslow!

Hark! [thunder rumbling]

Eggers said, when I asked him how the movie was,

he said, Well, it's basically Willem going,

'Ar, ar, ar, ar, ar,' and you going like,

'Onk, onk, onk, onk, onk, onk'. [Robert laughing]

I'm like, Oh great, sounds great. [Robert laughing]

Only when he crowned in conchal shells,

his coraltine trident screeches banshee-like

in the tempest and plunges right through your gullet!

It was absolutely great working with Willem.

We rehearsed for about a week before we started shooting,

and he has so much energy.

It's just unreal.

It's almost like working with a six year-old.

They just have kind of-, [Robert laughing]

there's nothing that fatigues them,

and so I was kind of a little bit terrified

at the beginning, 'cause he would literally-,

we'd rehearse the entire movie, and then the second

we got to the end, he's like,

Again! [Robert claps hands]

And just start doing it again,

and his energy hadn't even been dented.

He's the best.


[rain pattering]


The scene where we're saying What? to each other,

just going What? What? What?

What? What? What?

I just remember seeing that in the script.

It was over three pages, where everyone's line was just,

it was just saying What? What? What?

What? What? What?

And you're looking at it going, This can't be

actually in the script.

It's one of those things where you go,

I'm not gonna see this again ever in my entire life,

and I wanna be the person to say this,

'cause I'd be really really annoyed

if someone else gets to do it.

What? What? What?

What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What?

What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What?

[upbeat rock music]


[reel spinning]

It's the most apocalyptic spy movie

that's ever been made.

They're really really big concepts,

but it's kind of-, [Robert sighs]

It's like all of Chris's movies.

You can kind of interpret them.

You can either really really dig into it

and find so many different threads to pull,

or you can kind of appreciate it

as a big, massive adventure action movie,

and you don't really need to know

what's happening [Robert laughing] that much.

[engines revving]

[car thudding]

[brakes screeching]

It's so complicated to make the story work.

You just thought, It's so insane

that this is even happening,

and when we were in Estonia, they'd made a car

where they'd switched the engine.

Where there was a driver driving it

with the back wheels at the front for him,

and me and John David are pretending to drive it backwards,

but with about 700 cars all driving in reverse around us.

I mean, it was like

one of the most exciting theme park rides

you've ever been on in your life,

and when you're trying to do a scene

at the same time, I mean it was-

I don't think they're gonna be making movies like that

ever again.

[upbeat rock music]


Any special reason we're in the car

instead of the office?

What makes you think we're in the car

instead of the office?

Cosmopolis is about a 28 year-old asset manager

called Eric Packer.

He gets a kind of obscure death threat,

and he starts to kind of intentionally unravel

his own life.

I remember doing it and thinking,

The audience I want for this

is for someone in ten years time to be watching TV

at 3:00 in the morning, and this comes on,

and then you have no idea if you're asleep or not.

This is loss of faith.

It will force the yuan to drop.

Dollar will settle up.

The yuan will drop. Where's Chin?

Working on visual patterns.

We were shooting inside a limo

that was the same size as a normal limo.

It was kind of-, and the camera's on a technocrane.

I've never done a movie like it,

where you're doing an entire movie

inside a kind of vocal recording booth almost.

It was very, very strange,

and it just got to the point where by the end of the shoot

I'd never even left the limo.

I just stayed in it all day.

I love that movie.

I've seen it so many times,

and I think it's really...

I think it's one of my favorite things I've ever done.

[upbeat rock music]

High Life.

You realize nothing is ever gonna grow inside us?!

[intense music]

[baby babbling]

Break the laws of nature,

[woman screaming]

you'll pay for it.

[intense music]

Claire Denis, who directed that,

is just one of my favorite people in the entire world.

If anyone can experience what it's like

to do a Claire Denis movie,

I would definitely say you have to do it.

I mean, it's completely different to anything else.

You just suddenly realize you can approach

filmmaking and acting

in totally different ways every single movie,

and directors like that really allow you

the freedom to do it.

[baby cooing]

Hm, it's our first strawberry.

So fun. I mean with my friend's kid.

It's my god-daughter. Yeah.

We'd cast-, 'cause they normally cast

identical twin babies for that kind of situation,

and the night before the shoot started,

I went to meet the babies, and the babies wouldn't have

anything to do with me at all

and would just scream whenever I came

anywhere near them, and I tried

to kind of bond with them for about four hours,

and it was just nothing but terror

coming out of them, and it was supposed to be

this kind of quite sweet relationship they had,

with my daughter in it,

and I got my friend Sam, and I was like,

What are you doing for the next two weeks?

Can Scarlette just play my daughter in a movie?

And they flew out the next morning,

and I think I'd only ever met Scarlette once or twice

when she was a young, young baby,

but it worked out perfectly.

If my old man could see me now.

Break the laws of nature, and you'll pay for it.

[upbeat rock music]

GQ Hot Dog Film.

This is my fortress of solitude.

Anonymous couch, anonymous room,

anonymous hotel.

[cameras clicking]

A gauntlet of trolls. [cameras clicking]

[Robert laughs]

Classic performances.

I love that thing. I think it's really funny.

[Robert laughing]

I think that was the entire thing,

from conception to completion, was about an hour and a half.

[Robert laughs] It just...

Or maybe two hours at the max.

I remember my manager saying after,

You should do a TV series of this, and I'm like,

Of what? 'Cause there is no TV- [Robert laughing]

So you want me to end my career? [Robert laughing]

But yeah, it was really fun.

I know what I should do to promote this movie,

just do a thing about eating a hot dog [Robert laughing]

and losing your mind.

You can call me Rob. I eat hotdogs.

[upbeat rock music]

The Rover.

[man panting]

Watchya doing with this car?

It's my brother's car.

Who's your brother?

Where is he?

It's funny with acting stuff,

a director who just sees something in you

that you don't really know you have

and kind of shows trust and belief in you,

and you can take a risk, and people trust you for a bit,

and it just, it felt like a very important movie.

Just really just sort of sink into a character.

I mean it really felt like that I could stay in it

all day.

I really, really felt-, there's something

about the environment of where we were shooting

in the outback.

It just felt like there's

almost no sign of a film crew anywhere.

I mean it was just one of the most immersive experiences.

Also beautifully written as well.

I can't tell you nothing more than I already told.

I don't give a sh*t [man grunting]

what you think you've already told me.

Start f*cking talking to me!

The fact that I'm still getting jobs. [Robert laughs]

That just kind of blows my mind [Robert laughing]

every single day.

I don't quite understand.

I think I, by accident, sold my soul,

but I get so excited about it.

There's not even a single element of me

which is jaded about it at all.

It's the great thing about acting as a job as well,

that you always think there is all the insecurity

about not having-, you know, being unemployed

90% of the time, but it has the potential

to completely change your life every single time.

It's very exciting, no matter how small

the movie is.

I mean it can kind of...

It can be a certain kind of explosion in your reality.

Robert Pattinson Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters (2024)


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