With The Lost City of Z now playing in in theaters around the country, I recently sat down with Robert Pattinson for an exclusive in-depth interview. During the wide-ranging conversation he talked about got involved in the project, why he wanted to work with James Gray, who decided his character should have an epic beard, shooting on film, memorable moments from filming which included an epic two-and-a-half-hour hike at 3 a.m. through a pitch black forest, why he can’t wait for people to see the Safdie Brothers’ new film Good Time, his experience watching The Handmaiden in NYC, when he’ll be shooting Claire Denis’ High Life, if he’d like to be involved in a superhero movie, and so much more.
If you’re not familiar with The Lost City of Z, the film is based on David Grann‘s best-selling book, “The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon”, and it tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as “savages”, the determined Fawcett – supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide de camp (Robert Pattinson) – returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.
Loaded with exceptional performances, breathtaking cinematography, and a fantastic script, I absolutely loved the film and strongly recommend checking it out. It’s definitely one of my favorite films of 2017. For more on The Lost City of Z, you can read Chris Cabin’s glowing review.
Here’s what Robert Pattinson had to say:
COLLIDER: You won’t remember this, but I actually interviewed you in New York for Remember Me, back in 2010. So, you’ve landed on your feet.
ROBERT PATTINSON: God. So long ago now and it was 2010.
Yeah. Long time ago.
PATTINSON: Doesn’t feel like a very long time ago.
Time goes by very fast. There’s something I want to talk to you about: I’m a legit fan of your acting. One of the things that I am impressed by is the movies you’ve done. You’re going for cool roles with good directors and you’re going after scripts. For example, I really enjoyed your work in The Rover. And I think that one of the things is a lot of actors have to work because of, you know, they have to pay the mortgage. And I think that one of the benefits you have is you gained that financial freedom after a certain franchise to be able to pick the projects you want to do. Can you sort of talk about what you’ve tried to do over the few years as an actor and the roles you’ve been gravitating towards?
PATTINSON: Yeah, that’s completely right. I mean, I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to do that. But I also think if you get sort of early success there’s always this part of you which feels like, “I need to address the imbalance, I need to kind of earn that success after the fact” [laughs]. And so I try to find roles that are hard and also, I still find now, even after I’ve done loads of really random movies, directors are really surprised that I want to play the parts that I want to play. They just assume that you want to only do the honorable good guy lead who saves the day or dies at the end [laughs]. It’s like, I don’t know, I just kind of don’t think any audience would want to see me do that, or I always think that you have to have a certain understanding of what an audience would want to see from you as a public person as well as a character. So yeah, I generally try and find ways to get my characters severely punished [laughs].
The other thing though is a lot of people I’ve spoken to talk about getting pigeonholed in a certain type of role and the only way you can sort of break that is to show people that you don’t want to do just this one role again and again and again.
PATTINSON: Yeah, and it’s amazing as well how people if you want to get a different role, the majority of time the producers or directors want to see you play a similar role already, whereas the only thing I really want to do is swing wildly from one end to the other [laughs]. But then I think after it’s just starting to kind settle into the kind of area that I want to be in. I knew it would take a long time, but like this year working with Claire Denis and I’m probably going to work—I don’t know if I can say it yet [laughs].
Yeah, don’t. I don’t want to get you in trouble. But by all means, say it.
PATTINSON: I think I’m going to do something with Antonio Campos as well. Do you know Antonio Campos is?
PATTINSON: The part with him is like –I mean, he actually wanted me to do a different part and I was like, “No this is the part.” It’s this absolutely degenerate [laughs]. But then I did this thing with the Safdie Brothers. I don’t know if you know the Safdies?
I’m not as familiar.
PATTINSON: They did that film called Heaven Knows What about west side junkies.
I definitely didn’t see it, and I don’t think I want to pretend that I did.
PATTINSON: It’s incredible. I have this movie coming out this year with them, which is really like, I don’t know why they trust me on it but it’s playing –It’s like so specifically Queens-related, and I’m obviously not at all acquainted [laughs].
You’re not from New York? I’m surprised to learn this!
PATTINSON: And everyone’s non-actors in it, and we’re pretty much…
Well, American Honey did a great job without traditional actors.
PATTINSON: Yeah, I think it’s the same, man. Elaine or Jen, who cast that? God, my memory is so shit. Yeah, I think it’s the same casting people who did American Honey. But a lot of the people from American Honey came from the Safdie Brothers’ first movie Heaven Knows What.
Oh, there you go.
PATTINSON: Yeah. But she is an amazing street-casting person, she is incredible. And some of the people in—There’s this movie called Good Time, and it’s crazy. I literally can’t wait for it to come out.
That’s what Megan was saying.
PATTINSON: Oh really?