Since the release of the first film, the Twilight phenomenon has just continued to grow exponentially. With the highly anticipated final installment, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, hitting theaters on November 16th, fans will finally get to see the conclusion of the romantic epic that has entranced millions worldwide.
At the film’s L.A. press junket, actor Robert Pattinson talked about his perspective on what the franchise means to fans, what his last moment of being Edward Cullen was like, what it was like to let the character go, what moment in the entire Twilight experience he would like to relive, whether he’s concerned about maintaining this same level of success, stepping into the father role this time around, his favorite vampire movie, and what he remembers of his first impressions of co-stars Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. Hit the jump to watch the press conference or read the full transcript.
In addition, we posted 6 clips and over five minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the final Twilight film. Click the links to watch. Also, here’s our coverage of the Kristen Stewart and the Taylor Laytner press conferences.
ROB PATTINSON: It’s funny, people were asking me how I’d feel when it all ends, on the first movie, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more completely bewildered, knowing that I only have a month of Twilight stuff left to do. I don’t know. I’ve said, I think since the second one, that it’s going to take 10 years to really settle in my brain, and I’m four years into it. But, I don’t think there is any analysis. I don’t think anyone knows why people like it. I don’t think even the fans know why they connect with it the way they do. It’s a visceral thing. I don’t even know if Stephenie [Meyer] could tell you why she was so fixated on this very, very contained story about these very obsessive characters. It’s just an anomaly. That’s a terrible answer. I don’t know.
If you could go back five years, what kind of advice would you give yourself to prepare you for this entire experience?
PATTINSON: Start drinking vodka instead of beer, and try to get a six-pack as early as possible because you’ll be a much more successful actor. I don’t know. It’s fun to deal with the terror and the huge highs and lows of things. We’re still getting massive surprises, anytime there’s any Twilight-related event or anything. I remember, with the third movie, when we went to Munich and the entire Olympic stadium was filled with fans. We walked in there and did nothing. There was supposed to be a Q&A, but me, Kristen [Stewart] and Taylor [Lautner] stood in the middle of the Olympic stadium with 30,000 people just screaming for 15 minutes. It’s absolutely bizarre! There’s no way you can ever compute it.
When you think of forever, what things come to mind for you?
PATTINSON: Death. What is forever? God, I don’t know. Hope, I guess. That’s a difficult question. I don’t know. Lots of things.
PATTINSON: It was hilarious, considering we’d spent the entire series filming in the most miserable conditions, and then we ended on the beach in the Caribbean, filming for two days in the sea. That was fun. We literally did the last shot, as the sun was coming up in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. It was a nice way to end it ‘cause they were considering shooting it in the sea in Vancouver, which would not have worked at all.
Were you sad to let the character go?
PATTINSON: Yeah. It was very, very strange. I still had the same frustration with trying to play it, the entire way through, right up until the last shot. It’s a strange part because, on one hand, a lot of the audience projects their idea of Edward onto him. It doesn’t matter what he is. They want him to be a certain way. And then, my instincts to try to play it were to try to find the fallibility in him and the weaknesses. You’re trying to play both these things at the same time and it becomes very strange. You’re trying to play someone who’s seen by a lot of people as this perfect thing, but what is that? That doesn’t mean anything. So, you’re trying to play an archetype on one hand and a character on the other, so I felt insanely frustrated, right up until the last shot, and then it ended.
What was the most difficult thing to leave behind, with this character, and what were you glad to leave behind?
PATTINSON: There’s a thing, in general, about doing any kind of series, especially when the characters remain the same, to go back and try to improve whatever you did in the last movie, which never happens. That work ethic is nice. You feel quite strangely secure. It’s the opposite of how you’re supposed to feel doing a movie. It’s supposed to feel totally foreign, every single time. But, going back for another go at it is good, on one hand, but it’s also bad, on another hand. Your ideas dry up sometimes, and you get lazy sometimes ‘cause you’re around the same people. That was the good thing about having different directors. You had to stay on your toes. What was the worst thing? Playing the part where you can’t get hurt and you can’t die gives you no framework. There are too many possibilities, if you can’t die. If you’re playing a normal human being, there’s always that.
How do you see the success of this franchise affecting your career, 10 or 15 years from now?
PATTINSON: I don’t know. People ask me if I’m afraid of getting typecast, but you can’t be afraid of that. It’s really not up to you. I’m getting other parts that aren’t vampires. I don’t know if people will accept me in them, or whatever, but there’s really nothing to be afraid of. But, in 15 years, I have no idea. I don’t know how people will remember this series, at all. It’s crazy how intense people are. The fan base is still five years on, and I don’t know how long it’s going to last. It would be insane, if there’s still the same tenacity in 15 years.
Is there any moment, in particular, during the entire Twilight experience that you would like to relieve?
PATTINSON: The whole first movie was pretty fun. I had never really done a movie like it, when there’s such a big cast of people that are around about the same age. Everyone didn’t really know what was going to happen with the movie, but there was a good energy. There was something which people were fighting for, in a way. They wanted it to be something special. None of us were really known then, as well. It felt like a big deal, at the time. It was really exciting, doing the first one, and the whole year afterwards was an exciting year.
PATTINSON: Well, I don’t know. If I could get any semblance of, not really anonymity, but control over my public image, that would be nice. But no, I think it’s impossible [to maintain that], for one thing. I don’t think anyone can do that, apart from Denzel Washington. It’s a strange place that the film industry is at, where you can just play superhero after superhero. That seems to be the only guaranteed big-money thing. I don’t know. It’s not necessarily that satisfying getting monetary success, but sometimes it keeps the door open to make what you want to make. Other times, you can make five massive hits in a row and still not get cast by the directors you want to work with, doing little movies. There are no guarantees. I’m trying to sign up and do movies that I’ll be proud of, if it’s my last one. That’s how I think about it.
At the end of the day, are you glad this is all over?
PATTINSON: In some ways. After the first one, people started referring to it as a franchise, but a franchise is a Burger King or a Subway. It’s not a movie. The people who start to say it are generally the people who are making money off of it. They love it when something becomes a franchise. But, as an actor, I think it’s scary. You really, really feel like you have no control. It’s a huge juggernaut, especially when something becomes part of the cultural landscape, as well. It’s really scary ‘cause you get trapped and you get scared of changing, which is the worst thing that can happen, if you want to be any kind of artist.
PATTINSON: I don’t know, actually. I used to be able to be in England and just be fine. No one had any idea who I was. It came later in England. Now, it’s relatively similar. I get a lot more abuse in England. That’s just a general English attitude. I did the same thing to famous people. It’s just your instinct.
How was it to step into the father role?
PATTINSON: I actually quite like working with kids and I like working with animals, which everybody says you shouldn’t do. It makes you feel like you’re not acting, as soon as you have someone who’s providing stuff to react to. Especially working with a baby is great. I would say, put a baby in every scene. You can put a dog in a scene and everyone’s going to be better, I guarantee it. And if they’re not better, just shoot the dog. But, it was fun.
What’s your favorite vampire movie?
PATTINSON: I really like Blade. I wish people would make hard R-rated fantasy movies again. It’s completely irrelevant, but people should do that more. I haven’t seen that many vampire things. It’s always been strange to me that someone can say they’re a vampire fan. I’m not a non-fan, but it’s such an unusual thing to be a fan of. That’s like saying, “I love zombie movies! I just love ‘em! They’re my favorite!” That’s more of a psychological problem than being an actual fan.
PATTINSON: I like Benjamin. Rami [Malek] plays him. Mainly ‘cause he’s a great actor. He only had a couple of scenes in it. It was nice having actors who came in and were really, really enthusiastic. They were like, “This is a big deal, being in a Twilight movie! I’ve got these fives lines, and I’m going to own them!” Bill [Condon] got some great people.
What were your first impressions of Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, when you met them, back at the beginning of this whole thing?
PATTINSON: I met Taylor on the movie, I think, when he was wearing his wig and stuff. I met Kristen at the audition. I’m still just trying to come to terms with acknowledging being an actor, at all. Taylor was like 15 when I met him. When I did Harry Potter, I remember looking at Dan [Radcliffe], Rupert [Grint] and Emma [Watson] and being like, “Those guys are actors.” I was starstruck by them. And I was starstruck by these guys, when I met them, even though I’d only seen Kristen in a few thing. I’ve always had this separation. It’s funny to see people get humanized. With Dan, Rupert and Emma, I still see them as that. I was with them for 11 months and I still see them as massively famous people. It’s strange to have gone through the same experience with Taylor and Kristen, as well, and to see people retain their sanity, as much as possible. I’ve seen a lot of people have minor amounts of fame and just lose their minds completely, after a casting announcement, let alone having done a movie. It’s amazing to see that people manage to maintain.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 opens in theaters on November 16th.