Six years ago, Robert Pattinson was best known for wandering through a maze as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Now, after five Twilight movies and a perpetually swelling number of headlines about his closely tracked relationship with Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart, the 26-year-old Pattinson is one of the more famous human beings on planet Earth.
As he explained in a recent phone interview, he’s still a bit uncomfortable with the media attention and the crystal-shattering screams of fans who think of him simultaneously as dreamy vampire Edward Cullen and one half of the celeb couple Robsten. But he is sure of one thing: If anyone wants to cast him in the next Star Wars movie, he’s totally game.
Q. I remember being at Comic-Con in 2008, prior to the release of the first movie, and thinking that you and Kristen Stewart seemed particularly shellshocked by the massive fan response. Do you remember what was going on in your mind then?
A. Yeah, I mean, it’s kind of exciting, but it just seems so separate. It’s always seemed so separate – that whole part of it – from doing the actual movies. That’s never changed for me. It’s a totally independent part of the job. You always get asked more about that aspect of it than anything else, you know, all the screaming and stuff. And I’ve never had a single lucid, analytical thought about it. It still just seems like screaming to me.
Q. Some people have been critical of whether your personal lives are being used to market the Twilight movies, in particular your relationship with Kristen. What is your response to that?
A. Being critical of?
Q. You know, people saying Their romantic relationship is being used as a marketing tool for the film.
A. (Pauses, then laughs) For one thing, it would be a terrible marketing tool and it’s not utilized very well at all. People will say anything. I’m still amazed that people even believe anything (that’s said about us). I mean, it’s one of the craziest things about the whole situation, where you can see the whole – is paradigm the right word? – of celebrity gossip, celebrity culture type stuff that’s literally entirely made up. There’s a story line. You have a set character and your story line is written for you. And it doesn’t matter what you do. I talked to Reese Witherspoon about it a while ago and she was the person who really told me, you get given a character. I mean, I’ve literally tried to do things to throw people off and it just doesn’t get printed.
Q. So do you pay attention to the media coverage about you or do you tune it out?
A. I mean, in some ways, you’re forced to. But not really. It’s not going to help anything. It’s not going to do any good.
Q. Signing on to a film series like Twilight is a huge commitment, time-wise and to the same character. Having just completed this one, do you see yourself wanting to do that again in the near future? It seems like you’re choosing projects that are not in that vein.
A. A lot of the stuff I’ve chosen which I’m doing this year, I chose a year ago. And things change – the industry changes really quickly at the moment. It also seems like the only thing being made are franchise movies. (That) only worries me because you just lose tons of control. As I get older, I mean – the stuff you put out into the world is supposed to be representative of who you are. And if you don’t have control over it, I don’t know how to say, This is who I am and this is what I’ve made.’ It’s not. It’s a whole other thing. It becomes more a job than an art. If I wanted to do a job, then I’d be doing a job, however ridiculous that is to say. I probably will be doing a job soon. Cleaning toilets, or something.
Q. I doubt that seriously. So it sounds like you could be interested in a franchise, but it would depend on what the project was.
A. Yeah, I think it’s a powerful thing. You look at something like Star Wars. No one’s going to call Star Wars a franchise.
Q. Well, people do.
A. Just after the new ones. (Laughs) The first three, that was a series, not a franchise.
Q. Speaking of that, if someone approached you with a part in that series, would you want to do it?
A. In Star Wars? Oh, absolutely. In a heartbeat.
What if they asked you to play Jar-Jar?
A. I actually kind of like Jar-Jar. I don’t understand what the big deal is about Jar-Jar.