"I approach animals as I approach human beings."
What's next after Twilight? In "Water For Elephants" the British actor Robert Pattinson expands his dreamboy-image. An encounter.
Robert Pattinson puts his hands - he never really knows what to do with those - in his pockets and leans his upper body forward as if he braces himself against the wind. The body language says it all. The 24-year-old actor has been in the eye of the hurricane since the first "Twilight" movie (2008), that he's only partly able to relate to. He doesn't want to seem ungrateful, but neither he has made peace with the hype yet: "I don't know if you can ever make peace with something like that. At the beginning I had no idea that I have to run along to keep on working. And that's what I'm constantly doing right now, so I'm not too concerned about it."
His latest movie is called "Water For Elephants" and is a in beautiful pictures put, classical love story: Pattinson plays a veterinary student named Jacob (what may make "Team Edward" fans wonder), who joins a traveling circus in the economically troubled thirties and falls in love with the wife of the brutal circus director (Christoph Waltz).
"I've been to the circus only once, when I was seven", Pattinson remembers. "My sister told me a clown was killed in a stunt. That haunted me. Years later she confessed that she had invited the story."
Exaggerator and "understator"
At the beginning of his career Pattinson became an exaggerator and told in auditions that he'd studied at Oxford University. "When you speak with a British accent in Hollywood, everybody accepts it without any problems." Today he's being completely modest wherever it's possible. Just don't sound conceited, that's his name of the game. When asked what he's saved on his iPod, he answers almost apologetically: "That sounds out of this world but right now I'm listening to the composer Penderecki." About the handling of animals on set of WFE he says: "I approach animals as I approach human beings, so it was like I had met just some very nice people." Then he laughs, rubbing his hands he looks into nowhere and adds: "Dude, I sound so stupid!"
Reese Witherspoon, who plays the director's wife in "Water For Elephants", knows how to navigate from the teenie sensation to the "thouroughbred" performer from her own experience. "I admire Rob's enthusiasm and how hard he works", praises the ten year older actress her co-star. "He's shy, reads a lot and watches old movies. I tried to go out with him but loads of fans besieged the set so he stayed at home, understandable."
Although Robert Pattinson has nowhere his peace in public, his fans do not necessarily follow him to the movies. His melancholic love story "Remember Me" (2010) didn't even bring 20 Mio. $ in the US. Therefore, the marketing machine of Fox doesn't build on the girls magnet Pattinson for "Water For Elephants", but on Sara Gruen's bestseller and the subject of love in the circus.
"Rob is smart, he knows that he still has to expand his portfolio beyond Edward Cullen", "New Moon" director Chris Weitz says.
After the Twilight Saga's two final parts of "Breaking Dawn", Robert Pattinson plays next a billionaire in David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis". And besides he also writes: He's currently adapting a novel by Lillian Hellman to a script. But he wants to publish it under a pseudonym, because he's convinced: "I'd automatically be crucified."
In the future the young actor wants to have more control over his films and to have more time for the realizations of those.
"In addition I'd like to live in a neighborhood where no one constantly needs to be afraid of break-ins.", he expands his wish list. With his never officially confirmed girlfriend Kristen Stewart he shares a house in the Hollywood Hills where paparazzis and fans regularly lurk around. Keeping those on the other side of the fence seems to be as tricky as an unnoticed trip to his favourite burger stand.