TORONTO — For Robert Pattinson, working with a director like David Cronenberg is an emphatic departure from the Twilight world of brooding, sexy vampires.
But then again, the English actor's role in Maps to the Stars does represent a certain redundancy. He is again placed in a limousine, where he spent almost the entirety of Cronenberg's Cosmopolis as a billionaire financier on a slow road to ruin. This time, Pattinson is in the driver's seat as a Hollywood wannabe actor-screenwriter, who at one point is contemplating joining the Church of Scientology "as a career move."
The Free Press spoke with Pattinson about Round 2 with Cronenberg:
FP: So, again with the limo sex?
RP: Yeah, it's weird. Apparently, Cosmopolis was just the audition for this one. I'm thinking that's what I'm going to use as my head shot: me leaning out of the limo window.
FP: David Cronenberg likes to use certain actors, such as Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons, more than once. Do you have to have a certain rapport to be a member of that club?
RP: I think it was just luck at the beginning. I really get on with him. He's a really nice person, and he's fun to be around. I did consider that he likes to use the same cast for years and years, so that's my welfare cheque.
FP: It must be gratifying that he sees you playing roles as different as a solitary, somewhat unhinged billionaire in Cosmopolis and as a hungry Hollywood wannabe in Maps to the Stars.
RP: Very different characters, yes, but both in limos and both in black suits. That's got to be the through line. I'm thinking in the next one, I'm going to be run over by a limo.
FP: You live in Los Angeles, so do you recognize the reality of this movie?
RP: Definitely. Some of the characters seem to be archetypes, but I've met a lot of them. I remember certain scenes, like the scenes with all the young actors when they're all bitching about each other. That really reminded me of when I first started coming to L.A., before camera phones, when you would go to nightclubs and there would be really famous 15-year-olds and you could see them openly drinking and it was so weird. There was like a different set of rules. But now it's not the same anymore, because kids in bars get found out immediately. But I remember coming from England and seeing that, because I was still not being let into clubs in England when I was 20 and here, there were kids drinking!
FP: Are you more comfortable in an ensemble as opposed to carrying the movie as in Cosmopolis?
RP: On something like this, there's obviously a lot less pressure, so I like it a lot. When you don't have to drive the movie forward, it's not as hard a decision to make.
In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.