Stepping out of the Twilight, the British actor talks about his longing for loneliness, coping with Cannes and why big doesn't always mean better in the movies.
It's late afternoon in Cannes when we meet heart-throb Robert Pattinson, who appears to be having a fine old time promoting his latest film, Australian director David Michod's drama The Rover. Best known for his role as The Twilight Saga's Edward Cullen, starring opposite his on/off girlfriend Kristen Stewart - now very much off - Robert has been working hard to shed his teen image and take on more serious roles, including a new project with French director Olivier Assayas and this summer's Maps to the Stars. A one-time teen model, he's also the face of Dior Homme.
Here, the 28-year-old Londoner opens up about his new projects, learning to shoot and being thrown around by Guy Pearce.
Do you like the pressure of Cannes?
Definitely. It's a different energy and not like a normal premiere, where it's just friends of the studio or whatever. There's a very real chance people are going to be vocal about if they like it or not. It's exciting. I think people are more interested and people talk about the movies afterwards - they're not just going to the screening so they can go to the party afterwards; they actually want to see it.
In The Rover, your character Rey learns how to shoot. Are you comfortable using guns?
Not really, I'm not that big of a fan. I just think it's weird, people having guns, it's kind of silly. [laughs] I mean, I think people should just get rid of them altogether.
How do you feel about violence in films?
I've never really liked films that have reveled in violence. I just think its kind of gross. I don't know - I don't want to see somebody being tortured.
You star alongside Guy Pearce. Was it fun? Was he intimidating?
No - but he's really strong so when you're being thrown around, it actually hurts quite a lot. [laughs] And he was in it the whole time.
He's recognised as a good actor. Is that important to you when you work?
Yes, 100 per cent. I hear some actors saying they didn't read reviews or care about it and I just think they are making it up. Everybody cares about whether people think its good.
Did you like shooting in the Australian Outback?
I loved it. It's so strange and there's nothing for miles and miles and it's peaceful.
Do you like loneliness and open spaces?
Yeah, I like open spaces. And also incredible stars as well.
Do you get to be alone as much as you want these days?
Yeah. Well, yeah, but not like that, where you are really alone.
Have you finished with blockbusters such as The Twilight Saga?
It's [just a case of] waiting for the right director. Nothing has come up. That's not saying I don't want to do it, but blockbusters take a really long time to shoot as well so I think you have to really, really, really want to do it. There's a lot of pressure and you just don't get that many interesting parts in big movies, especially for young guys. It's just the same thing every time.
There are lots of comic book adaptations at the moment. Is there a character you'd like to play?
I was never really that into comic books when I was a kid so I don't really have that connection. You also have to work out like tons. It's just a big hassle. [laughs]
Can you tell us anything about your new project with Olivier Assayas?
It's a true story, about a bunch of thieves who Rob a shop in Chicago without realizing that it's a front for the Mafia. It's quite a simple story but it's so densely written and it follows the real story incredibly well. It's incredibly realistic and a real ensemble thing. It's really cool; really, really, cool.
Will that bring you back to Cannes?
Hopefully. It seems like a bit of a Cannes movie but it's really brutal. But it does feel like a totally un-cliche gangster movie, which is totally difficult to do.
You sang on Twilight and also compose music. Will you release a record one day?
I want to make one, I just don't know about releasing one. I don't know. I can't really deal with criticism very well and I've already got it coming from one angle. I don't feel the need to get it from somewhere else.