by Jeanne Wolf
Robert Pattinson is taking a break from his Twilight stardom to play a rebellious New York college student in Remember Me. In the indie flick, the 23-year-old gets to explode with rage, fall in love with a girl (played by Lost's Emilie de Ravin) and go head-to head with his domineering father (played by Pierce Brosnan).
Parade.com's Jeanne Wolf found out what Pattinson had in common with his character's search for identity.
Acting as therapy.
"I try and pick roles that will help me develop as a human being and I think I was going through a similar kind of experience as my character Tyler, which I guess you could call being rebellious. I thought just doing the film would actually help me to think about and discover things that would help me in my life. I was kind of using it as a therapy exercise."
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His personal struggle.
"You're so focused on trying to be an individual and trying to like stamp your identity on something. But you kind of doubt what you want to be. You don't accept just being part of the world. I sort of had that feeling. I had this obsession when I was younger about everything feeling kind of fake. Eventually, you just stop sort of railing against everything around you because most people only cause problems for themselves. They're just blind to the reality of things."
Connecting with losing a loved one.
"I keep talking about my dog all the time. It was an incredible dog, and I said in an interview recently he was the most important person in my life. My family went crazy with me for saying that. But, however ridiculous it may seem to some people, my relationship with my dog was a defining moment. Having the dog die was, literally, like the worst day of my life. It was like losing a family member."
The reality of becoming an overnight success.
"I think you really cause yourself a lot of problems if you start fighting against it. There's nothing you can do. I mean, there's no mysticism to it. People recognize you and they want to talk to you, or want to see you. My trick is not to see them as a crowd. If you break down every crowd into individuals, then it's more manageable. It's just when you start seeing these huge masses of people screaming at you that you start going crazy. So I try to focus on a few faces and not the mass."
But when you're filming on location in New York...
"It ended up being like more of a circus than I thought it was going to be. At the beginning, it was terrible. Then, about halfway through, I just suddenly had an epiphany about it. I don't know what happened, but I know it's just fine. I guess it's just learning how to sort of block things out. It's like you've just got to be more disciplined about it."
A lesson in anger control.
"While we were filming, one of the security guys saw me getting more and more upset with the paparazzi guys. He just sort of came up and was like, 'Imagine going out there and trying to hit one of them while, let's say, 40 cameras are clicking away.' That was enough to kind of calm my frustration. But, at the end of the day, you can't say, 'I'm not doing it until these people go away.' You have to keep acting. So it was definitely way more intense than any of the Twilight films."
Maybe he skips the reviews.
"I didn't like the way New Moon was treated by the critics. I think it was reviewed in the context of just being a big franchise movie. When something is so hyped, inevitably, there is a backlash against it. I think Chris Weitz is an amazing director. I really enjoyed the film. So the naysayers kind of annoyed me."
So why not try an album?
"I kind of want to do one at the end of the year. All my friends are recording albums and I'm very annoyed about it. But I can't do two things at once. I don't know how people like Jennifer Lopez can act and also sing. I'm just like, 'I can't.' But, hopefully, I'll find some time to get it together."
TOMORROW, READ PART TWO OF PARADE.COM'S INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT PATTINSON WHEN HE'LL TALK ABOUT PLAYING THE DATING GAME AND MORE...