What Robert Pattinson Knows Can Save Us All
You want to hate him. But then you get to know him, and he gets to know himself, and you wonder if Vampire Boy might just turn into the man who teaches a generation of jaded sex symbols how to be movie stars we love.
A funny, unexpected thing happened to me on a recent Saturday in New York: I literally ran into Robert Pattinson, and he left me... starstruck. He had to earn it, though, as I tend to cow neither to celebrities nor the young male heartthrob kind. I'd met the actor at an event for his new film Remember Me
, which comes out Friday, but an accidental encounter with him and his entourage in a hotel corridor — where the stench of sycophancy lingered like stale piss — got things off on the wrong foot. About twenty minutes later, Pattinson and a not-quite-as-rank entourage greeted me and a handful of other journalists. I didn't expect much. His vagina allergies
aside, the world's most conspicuous vampire since Dracula is notoriously shy, and Remember Me wasn't especially good. What was left to discuss?
A lot, as it turned out, most of which hinged on the basic separation of persona from character, of public from private, of myth from man. Not that Pattinson himself, as one of the world's most in-demand men, would dare reduce his life to such binary terms. Instead, he went on and on about his limitations. "If I could do supporting roles in things, then I'd love to do that," he told me. "But it's difficult to get supporting roles because it would be really weird most of the time. 'Well, there's the guy from Twilight playing the parking warden,' or something." He smiled and laughed beneath that notorious shock of hair, not quite swearing off ambition as much as suggesting the cost of self-importance was simply too steep to pay — even for a twenty-three-year-old who made $18 million last year. He was down to earth about being stratospherically famous, and it was... refreshing.
Now I don't know what exactly I expected from Pattinson, but it definitely wasn't this kind of canny profile management. In a day and age when other young sex symbols seem to grapple with the burden of perspective, Pattinson transcended his brooding pulchritude with modesty and charm. "What can you do?" he seemed to ask. It's a shame he couldn't infuse Remember Me with some of that lilt, but ultimately, the movie needs it much less than the general culture around Pattinson. And by general culture I mean feeding frenzy from middle school gym class to the upper reaches of Hollywood studios and, yes, to the lives of ordinary grown men who like going to the movies.( Collapse )