It is the beginning of the end for the Twilight series, but for Robert Pattinson's vampire, Edward, it is the happiest he has ever been. The vampire doesn't sparkle once in this film, but he also doesn't brood or mope. Sure, that may not be a selling point for those who love the moody vampire figure, but Pattinson seems okay with it. As Breaking Dawn part 1 approaches, Pattinson talks about how Edward has evolved and how he said goodbye.
You've been playing Edward Cullen for nearly five years. Can you describe the journey he has taken, and the journey you have taken with him?
Right from the beginning, I ignored the fact that he was a vampire; I ignored the fact that he was 108 years old, except for in sort of metaphorical senses. You are left with a troubled teenager with a very simple story of him finding contentment with himself. He gets content by finding a woman and having a child, which I guess is how a lot of guys balance themselves out. At least, that's the hope anyway.
Director Bill Condon mentioned that there was this self-loathing that you told him you had been playing with for the first three movies, that had never really been presented as a plot element.
Yeah. I thought that would be the key ingredient to Edward's character. He's 108 years old, but he's never achieved anything he wanted to achieve. He's been stuck in adolescence. When you are in adolescence, you think nothing is fair - he's been living with that for 100 years. You'd eventually get to the point of desperation. It is very difficult to portray that and a love story at the same time, unless you want to make a very different movie. So I was trying to push for that angle. Breaking Dawn is probably the happiest Edward has ever been in the whole series.
Can you talk about the scene where the baby is born, and you turn Bella?
I read the script [for Breaking Dawn] before I read the book - that was the first time I had ever done that. I was astonished when I read that scene - I couldn't believe we were actually going to do it. I was terrified going into it. It ended up being one of the most incredible scenes in this movie. There is definitely an R-rated - or even NC-17 rated - version of it - of a few scenes in this movie. Because of the violence, it gave a lot of freedom, and having every character so desperate, it became something very, very different. Especially for Edward, who has always been a pacifist, who is always very logical and objective. Suddenly I was playing edward, stuck between an emaciated dummy's legs, chewing through a placenta, cream cheese and strawberry jam all over your face, and then pulling out this three-week-old baby with a wig on... it's like something out of a Bunel movie.
What were your last moments playing Edward like?
The very last moments I was in St. Thomas in the Caribbean, on the beach, and it was incredible. It was the only time I had ever experienced anything like that in a Twilight movie. The last scene with everyone [the wedding scene] was actually kind of horrible, because it was cold, it was after two weeks of night shoots. It was five in the morning, it was freezing cold, pouring rain... it was kind of symbolic of how a lot of the movie was shot. It doesn't really feel like the end of it yet though, because the press tour is so huge and you are always being asked about it, so this just feels like part of the process of making the movies. So until the last one is released, I don't really feel like it's over.
Do you prefer doing big franchise films or little indie films? What's next for you?
I don't really know. I honestly approach [roles] the same way. Smaller movies are great because you don't have to argue with so many people all the time, but then again, I kind of like arguing, so there is a balance either way. With independent films, it's nice to see a director who... I just worked with David Cronenberg, and he's left alone by everyone - obviously, he's proved himself time and time again, but I've never really worked with anyone with absolutely no pressure from anyone else beside themselves. It's nice to know that the pressure isn't caused by compromises or anything like that, it's just because they have taken the responsibility upon themselves and it's up to them to get what they want. People get a lot more pleasure out of it that way.
You have mentioned in the past wanting to get back into music. Have you been recording anything? Is music still a priority to you?
I record stuff a lot. There is something about doing movies... I can handle the criticism because you can always blame someone else. But with music, as soon as you put something out there, it is there for people to judge it. And I don't necessarily wan't people to judge it; I don't care what they say. But I know that if I did release it, the day it came out I would be on the internet looking at [reviews] and I'd probably shoot myself. So I don't know if its worth shooting myself.
Any chance of you putting it out under an alias or a false name?
I like that idea, but it's very embarrassing if you get caught.
How do you feel about having your handprints and footprints immortalized in the courtyard of Graumann's Theatre?
I stayed at the Magic Castle the first few times I came to Los Angeles - I was about 17. I used to walk down to [Graumann's] all the time, and I had no idea Hollywood Blvd would look the way it does. I was totally unemployable back then. It wasn't even in the realm of [possibility] or any kind of understanding. I don't even really felt like I've even done it. There is just this wave that happened, and I'm on it. I was kind of embarrassed when I did it because I messed it up and stepped on my own handprint. It's incredible; it represents something amazing.