Robert is no fool. Wherever you are, the English actor, 24 years old invests on the role of romantic hero. It's like that with Jacob Jankowski, the protagonist of Francis Lawrence's film, based on the book by the Canadian Sara Gruen. In this drama, which takes place at a circus in the times of the Great Depression Era (1929-1939), Robert works with two Oscar winners actors Reese Witherspoon (best actress, Walk The Line) and Christoph Waltz (supporting actor for Inglorious Basterds). In this interview, the actor talks about his first love, the hatred that he has for paparazzi and a certain discomfort caused by the hysteria of fans.
How was working with so many wild animals? Did your conception of the circus changed after Water for Elephants, with regard to the way animals are treated?
I know many circus have a bad reputation because of this, but none of the animals we work with were circus animals, they were all actors. I know it must be very difficult because of the amount of injuries that the animals suffer. To teach horses tricks that they needed to know, it took months and months. If one got hurt, there was no substitute. Manage a circus is a precarious thing.
Was there a moment when you were scared of animals?
Once, with the zebras. They are impossible to tame. If they are tied, the simply pull the rope until they're free and if they can't get away, they start kicking. One ran towards me. It was part of a scene, and I got out of the way. Then everyone thought I was a pussy for running.
Francis Lawrence, the film's director, said it was difficult to find a 23-24 year old man who was not too young for the role. And he said that you was already man - thoughtful, intelligent, caring, strong and confident. What makes a man a man?
I don't know. I think that if you feel comfortable with who you are, then you're good. I don't know whether anyone ever gets to be a man.
Do you feel like an adult?
More or less and no way. It's weird when people do a movie. It seems that you're trapped in time bubbles. I feel that way, especially with the fame thing. You stop meeting new people. I never know anyone. You have the same conversations all the time, so you never change the same way that most people grow up. You know, you hear the various perspectives that people have about things, but you go through the same kind of banal things every time you talks with them.
In the end, this ends up affecting your mind. You actually don't know how to have a conversation with anyone about anything. If the person is not talking about you, you're like, "Huh?" (Laughs).
Where do you go when you want to have a bit of normal life?
When you're part of a movie, not only as an actor, you force yourself to attend meetings. People are forced to treat you like a true coach, then that's what I do. If you're just an actor, it's very funny because people think they need to hide everything from you, all the time. It's like, "Oh, he can't be bothered with anything," and this is bizarre. You're like a little bird. Have security around all the time.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe, completely.
Has this happened to you?