When Robert Pattinson’s character, Cedric Diggory, was ruthlessly slain in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — thereby ending his brief, but magical, spell at Hogwarts — it could so easily have been curtains for his fledgling career. Instead, it acted as the catalyst for a grander fantasy, as he was propelled from bit-part wizard to vampire lead Edward Cullen in the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling teen-tome, Twilight. In doing so, Pattinson has become one of Hollywood’s hottest new stars and a pin-up for hordes of adoring teenage girls.
“Every time I go out, no matter where I am, people just go completely nuts! It’s unreal,” he says. “When I started doing this, I knew the books were big in America but it keeps surprising me how much bigger everything’s getting.”
Pattinson is bemused by the frequent comparisons made between him, Jude Law and Leonardo DiCaprio — who personally endorsed Pattinson’s burgeoning career and teen heartthrob status by declaring; “finally there’s someone to take that burden off me”.
“When I heard Leonardo DiCaprio had said that, I just thought; ‘Wow, that’s so cool,’ because that guy’s had the best career of any young actor,” enthuses Pattinson. “You can virtually guarantee anything he’s in will be good. That’s the type of career I’d like to have too.”
He’s beginning to, with a series of diverse roles including portraying Salvador Dali in Little Ashes, playing an angst-ridden 20-something in the acclaimed How to Be and starring alongside Pierce Brosnan in Remember Me. But for the moment, Pattinson’s world revolves around New Moon and Eclipse, the next two instalments of the Twilight chronicles.
“Yeah, I’ve done a couple of other films — working straight through, without a day off, for a year — so it was great to get back to this [New Moon]. It’s actually been kind of fun,” he says with a smile. “That was a surprise, because the first film was really difficult. I actually found it hard trying to portray the profundity of him finding love and having those kinds of intense feelings, as he goes from feeling absolutely nothing to suddenly feeling everything, because he meets this girl, Bella. It was really hard to show that. I was always stressing myself out [about it].”
“But with this one [New Moon] I felt really relaxed and found it easy to get back into it,” Pattinson says. “I think it’s because I always
connected more to the second book than the first. I just understood the story and his motivations a lot more.”