You have to wonder if being adored by millions of girls would get to a 22 year old’s head – and apparently it has not.
Robert Pattinson appears ill suited to the celebrity life that awaits him. The 22-year-old Londoner is starring as ferociously handsome teenage vampire Edward Cullen in the movie adaptation of the novel Twilight, and thanks to the response to the movie in the US (…) he has become an overnight sensation.
“Really, I’m a bit of a loner and not that good with dealing with loads of people,” he smiles when I ask about his newfound celebrity. “Most of the time, I feel that going out is a complete waste of time. I’d rather stay in a create something rather than go out and talk.”
This is not, I must confess, the response that I was expecting. Pattinson is clearly a creative type – both he and one of his two older sisters, Elizabeth, are accomplished musicians – and yet with his obvious good looks and innate charm, he seems the sort of fellow who would revel in his status as teenage idol.
“Not really,” he says. “It’s funny, but about a year ago I’d talk to girls and no-one would be interested.” This I find hard to believe.
“Really, it’s true, and then when it was announced that I would be in Twilight, and the book’s author gave me her seal of approval, everyone seemed to change their mind. The attention I get now is just mind-bending.”
Not of all of it, he notes, is welcome. During the recent promotional tour for Twilight in the US, Pattinson was subjected to a bout of ear-piercing wailing that would have made The Beatles proud. It should be noted, however, that a fair portion of Twilight fans are even younger than those shrieking and fainting for Lennon and McCartney, and he recalls with horror the moment that a seven-year-old girl approached him and asked whether he’d bite her neck.
“That was really rather freaky,” he notes. “So many younger girls are obsessed with this character and all that desire. They see Edward as unthreateningly sexual.” Indeed, this seems to be the secret to the Twilight saga’s success.
The books’ author, Stephenie Meyer, is a devout Mormon (the idea for her story coming in a dream), and her four novels – Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn – have a sexual undercurrent without featuring sex itself. “I think that’s true,” concedes Pattinson.
“The success of the books does, I think, comes from the fact that fans can yearn and lust after Edward, and yet certainly in the first book, there’s no actual sexual contact.” Hence young readers can splash about in a pool of teenage lust and obsession, without, courtesy of a cleverly constructed plot, needing to dip into the turbulent waters of scary teenage sex. (…)
“Basically, Twilight is a big metaphor for sexual abstinence, and yet it’s both sexual and erotic underneath. There are so many elements in the story which are sexy.”(…)
“I kind of blew it after the Potter films,” (Robert) concedes. “There was a chance for me to really kick on and use the exposure but I didn’t really want to do anything. Looking back, it was a good thing – I was able to teach myself how to act for a start. I could have done some more teen movies, but I thought what was the point? I’m not all that fussed by making loads of money.
“In fact, I’m a bit of miser. The car that I have I got when I came out to LA for $2,000 I still have. It’s a death trap and has nearly killed me five times, but I don’t care. I’m going to squeeze every dollar I can out of that car.”
We will talk about this again in a couple of years, once they have made the other three movies in the Twilight Saga.
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