Here’s a great interview of Robert Pattinson with Collider
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].
No, it’s fine! It’s just I really, really enjoyed this film. I walked in not knowing that much. I was captivated beginning to end. Was this a part that you went after? Did James [Gray] come to you? How’d you get involved?
PATTINSON: I met James like a billion times over the years. He was in my top five of people I wanted to work with. I loved We Own the Night, Two Lovers and everything he’s done, really. Even when I just started acting that was the guy I wanted to work with. I’ve been attached to a bunch of different things with him. With this, he gave me the book and I read the book and went “Yeah the book’s really cool. But I mean like, what part?” Because normally the person’s not mentioned that much and I was really young when he first gave it to me, so I was like, “Uh, is it the…?” I think initially he was thinking about me playing the son, and it just kept kind of developing, but he never quite mentioned which part it was [laughs]. But yeah, I really just wanted to work with him and also Darius Khondji.
We should mention that you are eating peanut M&M’s.
PATTINSON: And if there wasn’t a tape recorder, I’d just pour them into my mouth [laughs]. Well, the beard thing was because Costin in reality had this big Victorian mustache and so I was initially intending to have a mustache, but the real Costin was kind of a stout, stocky, short guy and having a big mustache looks very different on that body shape person when I’m kind of a tall, skinny person, it ends up looking sort of quite like Noel Coward-ly. So I thought the mustache wouldn’t really work. And then we just did the screen test, and I was just about to shave off the bottom, and James was like, “No, no! Don’t do that!” which is weird because I end up being the only soldier in World War I with a beard. [laughs] You weren’t allowed to have beards.
Artistic liberty. I understand.
PATTINSON: It’s one of those parts where it’s so Charlie [Hunnam]’s movie and I had a ton of ideas about stuff but nothing really mattered until I could see what story Charlie and James wanted to tell. I had a very specific idea of what the story was, it was actually quite different how it ended up being told when we’re doing the movie, and so I was just kind of just reacting on the fly, and I guess that in a lot of ways just became my character just being along for the ride in a way.
You can read the full interview here