David Cronenberg compliments Robert Pattinson landing a role in Queen of the Desert
Rotten Tomatoes sat down with David Cronenberg and Robert Pattinson to talk about Cosmopolis. Here's what they had to say:
Congratulations on Cosmopolis, David. It is a wonderfully strange film, even by your standards -- and I mean that in the most complimentary way.
David Cronenberg: [Laughs] Thanks.
I'm sure you're quite weary of answering this question, but we do need to get it out of the way...
Robert Pattinson. There were plenty of people who were a little surprised when you picked him for the role, but I have to say he gives a really sublime performance. You knew what you were doing, clearly -- so what was it that drew you to Robert?
Cronenberg: Well, casting always starts in a very pragmatic way. It's, "Is this guy the right age for the character?" "Does he have the right sort of physique, the right screen presence?" "Is he available, and if so, can you afford him? Does he want to do it?" You know, all of those things. But then you do your homework as a director, more specifically, and you watch stuff. I watched Little Ashes, in which Rob plays a young Salvador Dali; I watched Remember Me; I watched the first Twilightmovie. And I watched -- interestingly enough, I suppose, because people wouldn't expect it -- but you watch interviews with the guy on YouTube, you know. I want to get an idea of his sense of humor, his sense of himself, the way he handles himself, his intelligence -- all of those things you can't really tell from watching an actor play a role in a movie. I suppose in the old days you meet the guy and hang out, and go to a bar or whatever -- [laughs] -- but these days nobody has time for that, or the money, and so you do it some other way. And once I'd done all that stuff, I thought, This is the guy I want. I thought, He'd be terrific and I actually think he's a very underrated actor -- and it would be my pleasure to prove that by casting him.
I think a lot of people will share that opinion after seeing the film. Was he difficult to get? I mean, he's clearly up for it, based on his performance, but how do you go about getting Robert Pattinson?
Cronenberg: Basically, I wrote the script before I went into production on A Dangerous Method, so Rob got the script about a year before we were really shooting. He's a very down to earth guy, and he was surprised that anybody would want him. [Laughs] It sounds odd, I know. Of course, he knows that his name adds value because of his star power, but he knew my movies, and he knew I was a serious director, and I think he was nervous, you know -- I think he was afraid, because he knew it was good. He immediately loved the script, especially because he thought it was very funny -- and the movie is funny; a lot of people maybe don't see that the first time around -- and the script was funny as well. But also he had seen enough of the now conventional stuff that he gets offered to see how different this was, and how it stood out -- and the quality of Don's writing, because the dialogue is really 100 per cent from the novel.