Robert Pattinson: On life after Twilight and wanting to be a pianist
When Robert Pattinson insists he is an ordinary guy – it ignores the elephant in the room of his £13million fortune and superstar status.
The world’s most adored film vampire is hot property and could take his pick of Hollywood ladies.
But Robert, 24, is adamant he has not been seduced by showbiz.
In an exclusive interview with The People, the Brit actor talks about fame, Twilight and getting up close and personal with screen beauties Kristen Stewart and Reese Witherspoon.
Running his hand through his hair, heart-throb Robert said: “I really haven’t changed at all. I have all the same friends I had before Twilight.
“So apart from being recognised more, I still live the same life as I did. The only difference is that now people want to photograph me doing normal stuff, which I find surreal.”
Fame arrived via the role of Twilight vampire Edward Cullen. But understandably the actor has been keen to get his teeth into fresh parts – human ones. And we are about to see his warm-blooded side in the new film Water for Elephants.
Robert plays a trainee vet whose world falls apart after his parents die in an accident. His character runs away and finds a new life caring for the animals in a travelling circus.
Newlywed Reese, 35, plays his love interest in the film, to be released later this month.
But the co-star who really fell under his spell was Tai the elephant.
Rob laughed as he recalled: “All the crew accused the elephant of flirting with me.
“It sounds really disturbing – I had a relationship with the elephant. But it was based on candy.
“I’d suck a peppermint for a bit, then stick it on to my body, under my armpits and cover my entire chest and not tell anyone.
“So Tai the elephant would be constantly sniffing me and I’d be like, ‘She just really likes me.’”
The job helped Rob gain a greater appreciation of the huge mammals. He said: “Every time Tai was on set she created an aura of calm.
“You can stand next to an elephant and it seems as though nothing else matters in the world.”
Reese is only 5ft 2ins – so did 6ft 1ins Robert find it hard to stop their kissing scenes looking awkward? He said: “It was easier than I expected with the height difference.
“I’ve got quite bad posture and I’ve got a big, heavy head so it just slumps down and she was in the right spot naturally.”
Rob has an on-off romance with Twilightco-star Kristen Stewart, 20.
Romance: Rob with Twilight co-star Kirsten
Being the focus of so much interest has put a huge strain on the relationship and this month the pair were reported to have broken up. Within an hour they said they were still together and sharing a house while filming in Vancouver.
Kristen and Rob are in Canada shooting the last two Twilight films Breaking Dawn Part I, to be released in July, and Part II, out next year.
Fans can hardly wait to see Edward and Kristen’s character Bella get together on their wedding night in the first of the two parts.
At the time of filming the nuptials, Rob and Kristen were dating.
He said: “The scenes are pretty incredible. It’s got to be a certificate PG-13. You can’t do blatant. You just do it really, really fast.”
Both stars have mixed feelings about moving on from Twilight.
Rob said: “It has been a massive part of my life. I have thrown everything I have into playing Edward.
“There is a bit of me that’s sad knowing I will never play him again but mostly it’s excitement.
“Now I need to be careful about what roles I pick because after playing the same part for so long it’s important not to be typecast.
“So I am really looking forward to exciting roles.” With a raised eyebrow, he added: “Also I won’t be able to steal Edward’s really cool clothes from the set any more.”
Branching out from vampirism, he has played a French cad in Bel Ami, co-starring Uma Thurman, also to be released in the summer.
Rob has come from a bit part as Cedric Diggory in a Harry Potter film, to being a worldwide teen idol. Not bad for a London-born son of a model and car importer.
In the US he has befriended new teen superstar Justin Bieber, 17, and has been watching the career of Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, 21.
Rob said: “Dan is still staying really grounded and that’s something we have in common. I admire the way he’s chosen different roles.”
Despite his relationship with Californian Kristen, Rob is reluctant to put down US roots.
He said: “In LA all I have ever done is live in rented apartments and hotel rooms. I really haven’t committed to anything.
“I am quite lazy, so hotel rooms really suit me where everybody does everything for you. Also it means I can keep moving around. If I buy a place it means if fans find out it could be very hard getting some privacy.
“With hotels I can just change. Living in LA is a must for working and I do enjoy it. But I really miss London. It’s still the best city in the world. I miss everything about it – the smell, the noise, the atmosphere.
“I treasure being able to spend time with family and friends in London.”
What if Rob had not gone into acting? “I really wanted to be a pianist when I was younger,” he said. “That is probably still my dream job now.
“Being famous isn’t the worst thing but there are times when you wish you could just walk down the street like you did five years ago.
“I am grateful for every single fan but the attention is not something I am entirely comfortable with.”
Can he say where his post-Twilight acting career will lead him next?
Rob said: “When you start as an actor you have to fill out a form saying what you’re capable of.
“I just ticked everything. I can do any accent in the world. I can do any technical skill. I still haven’t changed it. I ticked that I can do Lithuanian accents, fluently, so you never know what I’ll turn up in next.”