Robert Pattinson talks to Metro about life as one of the world's hottest heart-throbs plus working with Reese Witherspoon in his latest film Water For Elephants.
What do you miss about Britain now you live in LA?
I miss the light in London, which is different to anywhere, and also the smell of the city. I miss getting pints in pubs. I miss the newspapers – I still prefer English newspapers to US ones – I miss reading the sport section. I miss the football… Arsenal.
How do you deal with fame?
Actually, I was thinking the other day that no one ever rings me up. No one ever asks me to do anything, so it’s kind of easy. And I’m working all the time anyway. But when I’m not working, I’m still one of those people who calls up every name in his entire phonebook to say: ‘Hey, what you doing? Are you doing anything tonight? Can I come with you?’
What was it like starring opposite Reese Witherspoon in epic love story Water For Elephants? You actually played her son in Vanity Fair a few years ago.
That was my first ever job. I was 16 and she was the same then as she is now: lovely. At that time, I didn’t know what I was doing. I got the job by accident. It was nice working with her this time. I’ve met her a couple times through the years and she’s always great. She has an aura of good energy that she puts out to everyone.
How did you land the role in Water For Elephants?
Francis Lawrence, the director, said he wanted to have a meeting and he took me out to the elephant sanctuary where Tai [who plays Rosie the elephant] lives and I saw her doing a handstand and stayed there for about four hours playing catch with her. I would literally throw a ball and she would catch it in her trunk and throw it back to me, and I was like: ‘OK, even if this movie is the worst movie ever made, I get to work with this elephant for three or four months. I’m definitely doing it.’
Have you always been an animal lover?
Yes I think I have more of an affinity with animals than I do with people. I had a dog for 18 years called Patty and she was great, and I just got another dog a couple of days ago in Louisiana, a rescue dog, from a shelter. He was going to get put down. For some reason, I was feeling in a very sensitive mood and I decided I needed a dog. He’s a kind of mix of everything. He looks like a hyena. He’s a cool little thing and really relaxing to have around.
What kind of roles are you drawn to?
I like to go between people who have absolutely no morals and those with very black and white moral stances. But then I get really attracted to the other side: people who want to burn the whole world down.
What is it like being adored by girls around the world?
I don’t really think about it. It is nice but you hope it’s something to do with you rather than people’s imaginations. The only thing you can do if someone likes your films or likes you is try to be good, which people hopefully appreciate. You hope people like you for who you are rather than what they imagine and how they perceive you to be. Before Twilight, I never got the good-looking guy parts. It’s funny when the world suddenly turns and you’re viewed in a different way.
Have you had much time off and what do you do when you’re not working?
I’ve been working seven days a week. I don’t do anything. I don’t relax. I look forward to plane journeys, that’s how bad it is, and then I can fall asleep. I play this game on the iPhone called FallDown! It’s the most ridiculous thing and it involves absolutely no effort of your brain whatsoever. You just have this little ball and roll it down, and I can literally sit there and play it for 16 hours. But then I just sit there and get more frustrated.