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Robert Pattinson Talks About 'New Moon' and Playing Edward Cullen

Interview with 'New Moon's Brooding Vampire

By

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in New Moon

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in 'New Moon.'

© Summit Entertainment
Nov 6, 2009 - Twilight fans know that the second book of the series, New Moon, is light on Edward Cullen and heavy on Jacob Black. But Robert Pattinson has such a massive fan following, and Edward is such a popular character, that director Chris Weitz and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg found a way to work the character in more than he is in Stephenie Meyer's bestselling book. In the book, Bella hears Edward's voice whenever she's doing something dangerous. But in the film, we get to see Pattinson as Edward telling Bella (Kristen Stewart) to be careful.

At the LA press conference for New Moon, Pattinson talked about the decision to include more of Edward in the film and how he's really embraced the role of a passionate, sensitive vampire who doesn't feed on humans.

Robert Pattinson Interview

What were your thoughts while you were filming the scene in Italy where Edward is ready to reveal himself in the sunlight?

Robert Pattinson: "I just came to a realization about that scene. It was one of the closest moments I really felt to people’s emotional attachment to the character, because there were so many extras there who were just Twilight fans, who had flown in to be in the town square. Just taking that one step into the light, it’s been the one moment, since the first Comic-Con, where I’ve felt the whole weight of anticipation and responsibility to all the people who are so obsessed with the stories. It was a good moment. It was very nerve-wracking, but I probably felt the most in character that I’ve ever felt, throughout the whole series, at that moment."

Can you talk about working with Chris Weitz and how the syllabus he gave the cast helped you?

Robert Pattinson: "I’ve never had that, from any director. It was 40 or 50 pages long, in addition to a bunch of letters and emails, trying to show that he was on the same page as us and was completely with us, in making the film. And, he didn’t falter from that attitude, throughout the whole movie. It probably sounds ridiculous how much praise he gets. I was just with him and his wife in Japan, and she was even kind of sick of it. But, he is like a saint. He’s one of the best people I’ve ever met, let alone directors. In a lot of ways, it shows in the movie. It’s got a lot of heart, especially for a sequel in a franchise. He’s just a great person to work with."

Appearing in most of the movie as only a series of visions, did you feel disjointed from your cast mates at all? Did you wish you were in more of the film?

Robert Pattinson: "Those scenes were the hardest scenes. They weren’t really, at the time, but after I saw the first cut of the movie, they changed them quite a bit in the edit and ADR. It’s not Edward. It’s a manifestation of Bella’s loneliness and desperation. It was always very difficult. I asked Kristen, 'How would you play it?' It’s her opinion, so that was hard."

"As for being alone, I’ve always felt a little bit aloof as the character, throughout the whole series. I think that’s how he is, so I didn’t feel any different."

Do you agree with the decision to make Edward appear as a vision and not just as a voice?

Robert Pattinson: "I was always very worried about that. Even before we started shooting, people were asking questions and saying, 'Oh, are you worried that people will think there’s not enough Edward in it?,' but he’s not in the book. I was so worried that it was just going to be random scenes. There was talk, at the beginning, of showing his backstory in South America, going around moping. That would have been terrifying for me, and I think it would have been catastrophic for the film as well. I fought as far as I could to keep it as limited as possible, mainly because it just doesn’t happen in the book. But then, at the same time, it’s scary just to do a voice-over because it could end up being very cheesy. I guess there was a medium. I’m not just there. I was supposed to be playing this vision and, if you play it as realistically as possible, it becomes an interesting thing to try to figure out. It was interesting for me, at the time."

How did you fight for that?

Robert Pattinson: "I just talked to Chris. He wasn’t ever going to just do things for the sake of doing them. He was always on the side of the story. Even since it’s been edited, there were loads and loads of the apparition sequences cut out. A lot of them Chris cut out without me saying. But, when I was doing ADR, I was saying, 'It will be more interesting and mystical if you cut out more of these shots. It becomes more eerie and more realistic the less of these visions you have.' Just having head-on shots makes it something other than a vision. It becomes a super-imposed image, which is not interesting."

What has this past year been like for you? How are you dealing with things? Are you more comfortable with everything now?

Robert Pattinson: "I guess it’s inevitable that you become more comfortable. You still fight against some things. There’s nothing really scary about the franchise itself. I like all the people I work with. I generally have very few disagreements about the script or anything while we’re doing it, especially on New Moon. It just seemed so relaxed and easy. I’ve been on three different sets since January 14th. I’ve had like three days off. I’m going to be on set all next year as well. I don’t know what doing errands and things is really like because I haven’t had a sustained period of time where I’ve been off. I don’t know how it’s really changed. I still feel like I’m pretty much exactly the same, which is maybe not a good thing."

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