Believe it or not from the amount of Twilight items I’ve been asked to write for PopWatch (because I enjoyed the books and saw the movie), I’ve never felt the need to know more about Robert Pattinson. But then I was sent the link to his revealing GQ cover story, and the profile of a young star incapable of lying — and prone to panic attacks — clearly intrigued me….
• Being smart, GQ put a link that reads "CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS OF ROBERT PATTINSON" at the top of the story. Obviously, I clicked. First shot is the cover photo of Rob (already, I know him!) in a $2,500 wool suit. Nice, but a little underwhelming compared to that naked Jennifer Aniston cover. Next, a shot of him smoking a cigarette. Brave or bound to get him letters from angry moms? The third pic must be viewed, for it is the finest black-and-white art shot of his hair ever taken. The fourth is the only one I’d consider supersmokin’. This could be because he’s lying down, in a black T-shirt and torn jeans, clasping his hands over his manbits. He’s like one of the Outsiders…bathed.
• The piece, written by Alex Pappademas, opens with Pattinson’s Twilight costar Kristen Stewart saying that Rob cannot lie. It’s her favorite thing about him — and Pappademas’, too. (You’ll understand why when you’ve read the story.) Pattinson says silences in conversation make him nervous. "During interviews I’m literally s—ting my pants. I don’t want there to be a silence, because I’ll start crying." Wait, I don’t think he’s joking.
• Hmmm, maybe my bathed theory is wrong. "His clothes smell like he has recently purchased them off the back of someone less fortunate than he."
• The place he’s staying at in L.A. has the first microwave he’s ever had. (Do they not have modern appliances in the U.K.?) He reports that he spends a lot of time looking for new things to nuke: frozen cheeseburgers. A carrot. Who microwaves a carrot? Suddenly, I’m intrigued.
• The story of how he got Twilight. Blah, blah, blah. Down-and-out post-Potter in Beverly Hills (or wherever his agent lives) and sleeping on a couch…Valium! He couldn’t remember how to do an American accent when he auditioned so he calmed his nerves with Valium: "It was the first time I’ve ever taken Valium…. A quarter. A quarter of a Valium. I tried to do it for another audition, and it just completely backfired — I was passing out." As Pappademas notes, drugs are bad, kids.
• Re: that out of control signing at a San Francisco mall, "Pattinson claims not to remember the chaos that resulted, although he says it in a shaky voice, like someone claiming not to remember s— that went down in Nam." I laughed out loud. Then felt guilty.
• Seriously beginning to worry about Pattinson: As a kid, he’d freak out when someone would make eye contact with him on a bus. He’s tall but hunches over to disappear. He must hate making appearances. "His first thought, whenever he finds himself in one of these crowds, is always, Someone could very easily stab me."
• Someone needs to do a special on Young Hollywood’s 40 Greatest Coming-of-Fame Stories where they tell their most awesome/horrifying story. This one from Pattinson would be Top 10, for sure. After shaking paparazzi and parking at a gas station so he could eat his In-N-Out burger in peace, he looked over to see a woman performing fellatio on a man in the next car. Now I know what I’ll say to Pattinson if I ever meet him: "Did that couple in that parking lot notice you? Did you stay or drive away? Who was the first person you called to tell the story to?"
• Despite tabloid reports saying he’s single and ready to mingle, he says he’s single and staying home to watch movies, microwave, and read all the gossip blogs and Twilight fan fiction. "It’s surprisingly hard-core. And very well written," he says of the latter. I’m guessing by "hard-core" he means he only reads the MA stories, too? Is he reading this blog post right now? If so…. Hi, Rob. See my three questions above.
• A little bit of bio information — "mom worked for a modeling agency, his dad was a luxury-car importer" — bored now. Rob knows it though. "There’s literally not a single [true] story that could be written about me," he says. "I never do anything." I hope it stays that way and we’re not seeing that quote used against him a year from now.
• Asked to cite an untrue rumor, he says he’s never even met Annelyse, a Brazilian model with whom he’s been repeatedly linked. Then he’s asked about an alleged love triangle with Camilla Belle and Joe Jonas. It’s not true, he says, providing a long story that even GQ didn’t follow. (He and Camilla are just friends, he explains, in a way that leads Pappademas to write "Either Pattinson can’t lie, or he can’t lie very well.") Can I just say that if I ever find myself seriously lusting after Pattinson I will come back to this page and remind myself that I’m too old to be hot for someone who’s been implicated in a love triangle with a Jonas Brother.
• Pattinson wishes he could handle (or not handle) press like Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando. "The only way to establish any kind of mystique," he says, "is to completely shut up and never talk to anyone. And I’m contractually obligated not to shut up." I get what he’s saying. But honestly, there doesn’t seem to be anything so enigmatic or eccentric about him (save the microwaving) that’s worthy of being hidden.
• Now we’re talking about Little Ashes, his next film, shot before Twilight. He plays a young Salvador Dalí. He was afraid he’d look like an idiot in the role. Bored again.
• Oh wait, I’m back!!! "In a lot of ways," Pattinson says, "I was kind of crossing lines of what I thought I was comfortable doing. I had to do all this naked stuff." According to Pappademas, some of the film’s homoerotic scenes are "portrayed artfully and obliquely" and some aren’t. "Trying to do it doggie-style. Trying to have a nervous breakdown while doing it doggie-style…" he says, laughing. Pattinson might have a better sense of humor than I’ve given him credit for. He admits that the film probably wouldn’t have been released had he not become Twilight‘s Edward. That’s honest.
• Ten minutes into the film at the American Twilight premiere, he had to leave his mother in the theater and go have a panic attack in the car.
• Retraction: Maybe there are some things about Pattinson that should remain a mystery: He hates watching himself onscreen because he’s afraid he’ll see a fraud, someone who’s faking his emotions. He’s caught himself doing it in real life. One time, when he was a teen and thought his girlfriend cheated on him, he pretended to cry and climbed into his dog’s bed and held on to the pup — even though he actually felt nothing. I will return to this page if I ever think about dating an actor.
• This is the longest profile I’ve ever read. Or maybe it’s just because I’m writing a dissertation on it. Pattinson gets approached by two fans during the interview. Patty and Eva. They’re happy that he looks just as good in person as he does onscreen. (They work at a Victoria’s Secret store and claim Heidi Klum doesn’t.) Pattinson seems charming enough, signing autographs and posing for pictures. You were in a restaurant, Rob. They could’ve had knives. Just sayin’.
• He says he’s "never told s— about anything" and hasn’t seen the New Moon script. (The interview was done in December.) He’s curious about how they’ll make the darker book into a teen film when there’s "very, very little happiness." He must be psyched that the studio just hired Juan Antonio Bayona for Eclipse. Go dark, Rob. BRING IT.
• Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke says she sees him in the kinds of interesting roles Johnny Depp does. I’d like to believe that, but I’m not there yet.
• Turns out Pattinson might not be there yet either. Asked what he wants to do post-Twilight franchise, he mentions having a production company or indie record label, but not acting. Called on it, he says, "If it all just went, right now, I’d be like, ‘All right. I don’t really care.’" His only concern is not to do anything so embarrassing that he becomes a joke and can’t get another job in another profession. (Pappademas wonders if he’s really that carefree and flexible, or if it’s just easier not to set acting goals when you don’t know if you’ll be typecast as a beautiful bloodsucker. Good question.)
• It’s official, his sense of humor IS better than I thought: Asked if there’s anything he wanted to talk about that Pappademas didn’t bring up, Pattinson says, "’Okay." Takes a deep breath. "I f—ed Joe Jonas…I love him."
• He takes out his cellphone, has no messages, and says, "Not a single person calls me." Now he’s GOT to be lying.
• Oh, this is great: Leaving the interview, Pappademas and Pattinson are accosted by a 16-year-old paparazzo. When the pictures show up on the Internet a few days later, the day and time are wrong. Pappademas is a "mystery male." That’s a nice look into the machine.
• The piece ends with a nice metaphor as Pattinson, who gives Pappademas a ride to his hotel, finally figures out which button he needs to push in his rented Audi S4 to clear the foggy windshield and see where he’s headed.
After reading the GQ piece, which direction do you hope that is? Up?
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