Interview with a Vampire

Robert Pattinson dishes on playing Edward in New Moon

In the upcoming The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen (Pattinson), but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black (Lautner). Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested.

Although Robert Pattinson has become one of the biggest stars on the planet, the British actor seems to shy away from the spotlight. But despite the paparazzi following his every move, Pattinson insists that his life remains the same—despite the fact that his vampire alter ego, Edward, is always in need of rescuing by his true love Bella.

How has your life changed since the last film?
Pattinson: I don’t know. I’d like to think that I haven’t changed that much. Within myself I don’t think I’ve changed. I think I look down a lot. There’s something wrong with my neck [laughs]! No, it’s kind of extraordinary. I don’t think that any of us expected any of this to happen and especially that it seems to keep building and building, the magnitude of this franchise. It’s just gotten bigger and bigger.

What would you say have been the highs and the lows of this whole experience?
Pattinson: I don’t know. I still think it’s still so young, to me anyway. I can’t claim anything to be a low. I pretty much live an almost identical life apart from being recognized. That’s not exactly the worst thing in the world.

According to the story, Edward isn’t around much. Will fans be disappointed not to see you onscreen so much?
Pattinson: They won’t be disappointed. If he [Edward] doesn’t go, you can’t miss him, and that’s what this whole movie is about: that empty, completely dark place where Edward is absent.

Has the experience of working with a new director, Chris Weitz, changed the vibe?
Pattinson: It wasn’t just the director that made this one different. It was different as well because we kind of knew what type of animal that we were dealing with. I play much more of a supporting role in this one. I started three weeks after they started shooting, and I did a lot of my first scenes doing the apparition scenes. That’s a lot of me doing maybe one word. It was actually one of the most relaxing jobs that I’ve ever done! Chris has a really peaceful presence and I got on really well with him. I had a pretty much stress-free job for three months. It was great for me. All the pressure was on Taylor [laughs]!

What’s your favorite scene or moment?
Pattinson: I think my breakup scene was my favorite scene. I mean, hopefully it’ll come off as having quite a few more levels than the relationship in Twilight. It was interesting. It was like a five-page-long dialogue scene. That didn’t happen at all in the first one and it’s quite an interesting little moment. It completely bypasses all the supernatural elements of the story.

Why do people love vampires and vampire stories?
Pattinson: I don’t know, the thing is that when I looked at it from the beginning I never saw it as a vampire story. When I try to play it, I try to eliminate the vampire element as much as I can and just kind of see it as a tool to make their relationship a little more fraught. Right after the audition I found myself kind of bizarrely invested in the story, and I hadn’t even read the books at that point. I’ve kind of gotten more and more attached to it. I’ve been talking about the script for Eclipse to people over the last few weeks and I find myself getting very argumentative, which I’m not usually. They definitely have some kind of power.

Which of the novels resonates the most for you as a reader, and which movie are you most enthused about working on?
Pattinson: I think that New Moon was my favorite book as well. In New Moon – the way that I read it anyway – Edward’s just so humbled. It’s a character that is looking at Bella and thinking that he loves something too much but he can’t be around. He deliberately starts breaking up their relationship, which I think is a very relatable thing and I think is very kind of painful. Yeah, the fight sequence at the end, Bella ends up saving Edward as she does in every single one of the books. So it’s really funny how everyone looks at Edward as the hero, and yet the damsel in distress is continuously saving him. I think he really realizes that in New Moon.

– Robert Hayes

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