Is there a life after Twilight? That's the question the actor is trying to answer to, filming in art-house cinema and working with Dior.
"The most important thing is to be cool". After 5 years spent in the eye of the Hollywood cyclone, Robert Pattinson finally got it. It did not appear to him like this while walking his dog in Los Angeles. We always sensed a sort of uneasiness when talking to him. And even Robert himslef had some trouble hiding (maybe he's not really trying) that he wasn't really fit for the movies he was idolized for. "Playing in movies that you would never go see, it complicates things, it's hard to talk about it, hard to promote it, hard to connect with the public. Until I met David Cronenberg who hired me to play in Cosmopolis, I always felt like I just fell into roles, that I didn't really get to choose. I was trying not to sink. For the first time, I felt like I had been chosen for my talent. David gave me confidence. It changed how I see myself as an actor."
Not the best moment to become the face of an important perfume brand, lend his face (for a lot of money) to Dior Homme and see his image on every billboards around the world? Well, not really. Of course, Dior is not the first to solicit Rob Patz. Before, others certainly thought about making money off of the huge popularity of the Twilight actor. But it seems like the honorable French house found the right words to convince him. Well, more like the right word : freedom. Pattinson used it to realize his dream : shooting with Romain Gravas, a French underground and talented director who alternated between the super cool (the music video "Bad Girls" with M.I.A) and the super controversial (the music video "Stress" with Justice). "It's been a while since I have been trying to contact him and he wasn't answering my calls. When Dior approached me, I told myself "I'm sure he would like to work with me if I was offering a Dior commercial"". Bingo! Gavras accepted the challenge and restored the actor's image looking for an artistic legitimacy while helping Dior building a successful campaign.
The movie he directed is indeed a champagne bobble, a concentrate of coolness with sixties influence in which Rob and model Camille Rowe are being playful, smoke cigarettes, drive carelessly an old BMW convertible on the beach... A very New Wave atmosphere, seductive and fresh. Like a groupie, the actor expresses his admiration for Gravas the anarchist : "He sees the world in a complete different way. he's very confident. I am more neurotic, it's irritating but at the same time, my insecurity is the only thing I find interesting about myself".
Let it be clear, with Robert Pattinson, there's a significant misunderstanding. His love-affair with Kristen Stewart, all the highs and lows of this relationship and the break-up a few months ago didn't help matters. And he knows it : "People saw me in a couple of movies and think this is who I am. It's natural. Now it's my responsibility to look for directors who I want to work with. I try to do it but I have to overcome my timidity. It happened to me a few days ago, I met one of my heroes at a diner party. I texted him the next day saying I wanted to work with him. After 3 hours without hearing anything from him, I was on the verge of sending him another text like "I'm sorry, I'm sorry that was so presumptuous of me ". But he finally texted me back!".
Fragile like a young girl in love, Pattinson has that combination of passion and extreme lucidity that make his professional day to day life difficult. Once again, Cosmopolis and his first appearance at the Cannes Festival were a turn in his career: "I promised myself to only do what I wanted to do". Not really easy in the country of super-productions where the professionals were telling him to build himself an masculine public. "I don't even know what it means "building a masculine public!" I can't force guys to go see my movies!" he says laughing. But the young actor he's not that naive and understood that being cool was the condition in order for the independent filmmakers to take a interest in him. "In fact, it's marketing, and what's important in marketing is to be coherent. It means saying no to a lot of propositions. Of course, the risk in this business that is always evolving is to say no to projects until the moment when projects aren't sent your way anymore. "When that happens, I'll just go and do Dancing with the Stars".
For the time being, he is said to be playing in the next Werner Herzog movie with James Franco and Naomi Watts (he's not confirming anything) and he just finished filming The Rover, the first movie directed by David Michôd who wrote "Hesher" and "Animal Kingdom", a close friend of the Edgerton brothers. The gang it's good to be seen with to be accepted by the aficionados of independent movies in the US. He then will be reunited with his fairy godmother Cronenberg in "Maps to the Stars" written by Bruce Wagner, a flagship figure of the new generation of American writers.
So, even if he likes to hide behind his geeky and tortured persona, Pattinson is not lacking determination and he's valiantly building a career that is beginning to look like him. After all, DiCaprio was also subjected to young girls shouting their admiration and Brad Pitt showed some abs in "Thelma & Louise" and even in several episodes of Dallas before David Finche, Neil Jordan or Terry Gilliam gave him more substantial roles. Nobody blamed them for it. And we will forgive Rob Pattz for playing in not so great movies. Especially since, laughing, he promises, under the gaze of his new Dior female colleagues to make an effort on the fashion side : "I like fashion but I'm not really comfortable with the idea of being judged by what I'm wearing so I'm always wearing the same clothes. But look, I have this Dior jacket that I was given and I wear it everyday!". It's never too late Rob. Let's hope that even with a impeccable look he will never lose his frankness. "A few months ago I started designing women dresses, couture dresses...". He burst out laughing. "I was certainly having a nervous breakdown!". Fragile, touching and irresistibly sexy despite himself. Pattinson, the teen idol, has become a man.
Enough of vampires, werewolves and sugary romances. The british actor Robert Pattinson, who earned worldwide fame and millions of dollars to star in the five instalments of The Twilight Saga is completely redirecting his career to more dense and original projects. His most recent choices have been critically acclaimed, as are his performances.
The starting point of this transition was the movie Cosmopolis, by David Cronenberg, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. In this talkie film, he plays Eric Packer, an expert in the world of finances, who spends his time inside a limo, receiving unusual visitors, whilst a major crisis erupts outside the car.
Bel Ami (which premiered in Brazil in 2012), based on the work of Guy de Maupassant, starring Uma Thruman; Mission: Blacklist (in pre-production), where he plays a soldier who helps in the hunt of Saddam Hussein; and The Rover (shot this year), where he portrays a mentally disturbed man, are other great examples of the actor's current phase. Last july he started filming a new movie with Cronenberg, Maps To The Stars, a mixture of drama and black humor, inspired by society's obsession with the celebrity industry.
And the news don't stop there: The boy who started doing theater at 15 years old, in Barnes Theatre Company, and had a brief modelling career is the new face of the fragranceDior Homme. To represent such an important brand and be able to work with partners he admire (the photographer Nan Goldin and filmmaker Romain Gavras) were the necessary fuel he needed to jump on this "wild" adventure, in his own words, inspired by James Dean's quote: "Dream as you'll live forever. Live as you'll die today." Check out the interview:
After Twilight, your career has been going through lots of transformations. How's this transition going?
I just turned 27 and only now I'm realizing no one looks at me like I'm a kid anymore. Being an actor is weird, and the idea of success changes through the years. But there's the good side of fame as well: I don't have to work just for the money. So now I'm trying to use my time, my energy and my influences to make interesting choices no one else is making. Indeed, there's something about Dior's work that is very similar to my current state of being: an almost agressive independence!
The partnership with Cronenberg seems to be going really well.
I had such a good experience in Cosmopolis! David is an incredible person, and the most fun, intriguing man to work with I've ever met. He has been making movies for the last 40 years, and every film he makes shows just how unusual he is. We started shooting his new movie recently. It's called Maps To The Stars, with Julianne Moore and John Cusack. The scripts of these two films are amongst the most original ones I've ever read, that's why I hope to continue working with him forever.
You just closed the partnership with Dior. Was the invite for the campaign a surprise?
When Dior contacted me, I was truly shocked at first because their name alone is almost mythical. It's a very sofisticated fashion house, that never compromises their image. They approached me in the right way and at the right time because Twilight was coming to an end. I remember I was impressed when I met with the creative team and saw that they had an extremely open mind. Their interest was in an artistic collaboration, more than the commercial itself.
Why did you choose Romain Gavras to direct Dior's film?
I've wanted to work with him for a long time. To be honest, I tried to get in contact with him for about a year. He used to be like: "I'm not going to talk to you". Until I told him that I wanted him to direct Dior's commercial. That's when he finally met me! (laughs) He has a visual language completely different from everything I've seen before.
And how was the job?
Romain made it happen! We were driving along a beach in a tiny BMW and there were 6 meters of sand. If I slowed down, the car was going to sink, so, we were going at 90 miles/hour with a camera in the car. The car was skidding a lot and there were three models inside of it, for whom I was responsible. All I know is that after about 2 hours the car got in the water and the bumper fell off. It was wild!
Do you think that perfume is essencial to all men?
When I was 12 and started talking more to girls, I used to think that wearing perfume was the right thing to do. I remember being on vacation in Portugal and watching teenagers going inside bars. I used to think that if I smelled like perfume I was going to convince everyone that I was an adult. And the worst thing is that it worked! Perfume and hair gel were my best friends that summer! (laughs)
How do you spend your free time?
I'm so boring! I spend all day on the Internet looking at what young directors are doing. Right now, I'm also trying to develop a script with a friend.
We know that you are a musician and plays guitar. Do you have any musical project?
I still play guitar and I really have been rehearsing a lot more now than I used to. But I really don't play on a concert or anything like that for years.
Actor Robert Pattinson on scents and the game of men and women
Recently snapshots surfaced of Robert Pattinson making out with beautiful model Camille Rowe. In some she´s fused to his lips while he cradles her head, in other her naked legs lean against the bathtub he´s sitting in. Ok, those scenes are taken from the new "Dior Homme" campaign, but you realize: those two get along well [it´s actually a German wordplay with smell meaning they get along well]. We spoke to the new Mr. Dior about women, his penchant for argueing and being a man.
Q: Now you´re not only an actor, but also a model. How do you feel at this point in your life?
A: Well, I´m 27 and for the first time in my life I don´t feel like a child anymore and like others don´t treat me as one. It´s strange, feeling like an adult. People treat me differently. For many people my age the last ten years were like a transition of sorts and some are still trying to figure out what they want to do with their life. At least that´s what I do!
Q: What exactly do you mean?
A: Right now I´m trying to write a script, together with a friend of mine. I love to compare notes with others, to pore over a script. And I love arguing!
Q: Lately you often mentioned how you appreciate people who live by their own rules. Is that something you´d want for yourself?
A: Definetly! Being successful makes you wary... you spend a lot of time guarding your private life. Whenever I meet people who don´t give a shit about what others think of them, I´m instantly fascinated.
Q: So you love freedom...
A: Yes. The more established I am, the more it restricts my privacy. An the quicker people are to judge me. They mistake you for the role you´re playing, the character the want to identify themselves with. When I shot "The Rover" in Australia I didn´t have any teeth, I was constantly dirty but I didn´t care. I was running around without a shirt all the time and did things I never get to do.
Q: What does masculinity mean to you?
A: The well-trodden image of manliness has changed a lot in recent years and doesn´t really work anymore. These are strange times to be a man... I used to have a very pragmatic approach, but masculinity today means so many different things. Especially in the world of arts men have to be everything at once: neat and wild, a provider and a player!
Q: Do men have a different idea of women today as well?
A: I just don´t get why so many guys feel threatened by strong women. I always felt at ease with women around, I grew up with two older sisters and a very dominant mother.
Q: Memories are often connected to scents. How about you?
A: When I was 12, on vacation and starting to get interested in girls, I thought that perfume would help me appear grown up and mature. I used to drench myself and felt so adult! Eau de cologne and hair gel were my best buddies that summer.
Q: What about today?
A: I still love scents, especially people´s individual scent. This pheromone-thing is really crazy. We´re subconsciously drawn to people we like to smell.
Q: Do you wear perfume to feel better or in order to seduce?
A: See, now that's an adult-thing: someone who applies a nice scent in the evening is up to something. At least that's how I do it!
The Hollywood actor, new face of the perfume Dior Homme this fall, has fallen under the spell of the Parisian women.
If his next love story is as the sexy ad campaign of which he is the muse - a tribute of the New Wave cinema, broadcast for the first time on TV on Sunday night September 1st - it would be as intense. On screen, Robert Pattinson seems he would like to devour the beautiful Franco-American Camille Rowe Pourcheresse. "When everybody was watching the footage of the kissing scene, I was already embarrassed. Suddenly, Camille said 'Oh la la!' I glared at her and told her 'Are you kidding me?' I thought that the British would say 'Oh la la!' as a way to make fun of French. I didn't think that French women would say it for real. Then I realized that I would like to have a French girlfriend with all her clichés." said Pattinson over a coffee at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.
This new campaign is primary for Christian Dior Parfums whose goal is the international success - that is annual sales reaching at least €300 millions - of the Dior Homme perfume. "This perfume can be interpreted of multiple ways, it can have thousands of faces." emphasized François Demachy, creator of this manly and sensual harmony, a manly iris mixed with leather, wood, amber and spices.
In this very fast black and white clip, however intimate, Pattinson, the chilled British, named several times "Sexiest man in the world", seems to be enamoured of Pourcheresse. He is in a deteriorate house in the Bronx neighborhood, in NY, languid in a cast iron bathtub, he holds out a cigarette to Camille, who puts on a tank top on top of her underwear. They are two lovers on the run. He represents the fantasy of the sensual guy and she personifies the French beauty with a sullen charm.
From one end to an other, the video spreads an an exhilarating atmosphere: the couple introduces itself in a wedding at the last story of a building, drives a convertible BMW on a vast beach… "The first day of the shooting was tricky. I drove a BMW at 100km/h, because the sand was unstable. Eventually, I found myself in the water… with a camera inside the car," explained Pattinson with a laugh. "the people from Dior were very understanding." Even if Robert is a multi-millionnaire, he keeps being thrifty especially when it comes to buy his own cars. "The first that I bought myself was a BMW 325i, when I first started to learn to drive in California. It was a the time of the release of Twilight. I bought it on internet, from an actor. Of course, I tried to bargain. So, he showed me the screen of a laptop and told me 'You are third on IMDb!' But I insisted to pay $1,000 instead of $1,200." confirmed the sensitive ex-vampire.
Since then, the man did not become a big spender. Despite his three big hits at the box office, who made the studios earn $1,17 billion these last three years, he drove in Hollywood a Silverado truck that cost $1,500, bought also on the internet. "I love the second-hand truck, you can drive many people and nobody dares to come close to me. Sometimes, paparazzi chase me. With a beautiful car, they could block me. But when they see my Silverado, they know that I can bump into them!" he laughed and continued. "It may seem curious but I don't like being taken in pictures and being followed. So I only go where I know it won't happen even if it comes to only five places in LA." explained Pattinson who, at the night of the presentation of the ad, was at Chateau Marmont where twenty beautiful girl paced the place to try to capture his attention.
A very rock'n'roll idea
After some digressions, Pattinson comes back on his passions at the time: French women. "They are amazing. When you come in Paris, it is the first thing you see. I think Paris and New York are the two cities where the women are more beautiful than anywhere else. They are more confident of themselves, of their personalities but also of their looks. They are elegant and have a natural grace." said Pattinson. His masculine icons are also French:"Belmondo was very important to me when I was a child and I love the way Jean-Luc Godart dress and how he wore his sunglasses." he said before to confess that he just had torn off a picture of the Swiss movie director in a magazine to ask to a stylist to found him the same.
Pattinson had refused many big ad campaigns. If he has accepted the one for Dior Homme which could make him earn more than $10 millions, this is on condition he could choose the director, Romain Gavras famous for his controversial videos for bans as M.I.A. Otherwise, he is grateful to the brand for choosing him (..) and admits that this collaboration with Dior is part of a strategy aimed at redefine his image of actor.
In every scene, Robert Pattinson is dressed and perfumed, of course, with Dior Homme. "The perfume alone doesn't exist. It comes alive on the skin of a person. It is the same for the clothes." said François Demarchy. The whole shooting took place in New York, from Far Rockaway Beach to the rooftops of the Tudor, through the kitchens and the ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria. As soundtrack, the famous Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin, the band had met to attend a special screening of the ad before to give their authorization to use the song. "We are extremely proud that Led Zeppelin had given us the right to use their music. They have never made an ad before." Pointed out Claude Martinez, CEO of Parfums Christian Dior. "The result is at the same time powerful and intimate, very different from the normal ad. The script has no beginning and no end, it is more about the feelings at the moment, a very rock'n'roll idea. It will give a new life to Dior Homme." Knowing that Christian Dior Parfums represents one third of the turnover of the division Beauty and Perfumes, it is a key ad campaign for the brand.
If some abroad countries see France as the last bastion of chauvinism, this video imposes itself as a brilliant display of international savoir-faire: a British movie star and a Parisian model filmed by a director born in Greece, behind the wheel of a German convertible who dive in the Atlantic ocean in Brooklyn, while British legends of rock fire away their biggest hit, all of these to put on the front the perfume of this fall, which carries the name of a French designer.
The Dior Tumblr has also been posting new stuff. We'll keep adding them as we get them!