Spotlight on creatures of the dark

Jackie McLean

‘Twilight’ star discusses his role in the film

Credit: DKS Editors

Robert Pattinson received his first taste of popularity when he played the role of Cedric Diggory in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” Now, Pattinson is taking on one of the most anticipated roles of the year, “Twilight’s” Edward Cullen.

With the growing popularity of “Twilight,” a love story between a teenage girl and a vampire based on the book series of the same name, Pattinson faced many pressures while deciding whether to take the role.

“I really thought I had absolutely no shot of getting it at all when I went into the screen test with Kristen (Stewart) and Catherine (Hardwicke),” Pattinson said. “I don’t think I realized how to play it.”

Pattinson said one of his main concerns was taking an already memorable character and living up to people’s expectations of his portrayal in the film. Pattinson said one of the hardest things about doing the part was trying to be scary and pretty at the same time.

“His fundamental effect on people and as soon as he walks into a room there’s such an elemental attraction and fear which he emanates all the time,” Pattinson said. “I couldn’t think of how to actually do it, and that’s why I was initially very reluctant to do the part.”

Pattinson was concerned with the portrayal of Bella’s character as well, but said he was very impressed with the way Stewart portrayed the character.

“When she went to audition, I really thought the girl was going to be some damsel in distress sort of character, and Kristen surely wasn’t that,” Pattinson said. “She seems to have just as much hidden depth as Edward does.”

Pattinson and the other cast members received some advice from Stephenie Meyer, the author of the “Twilight” series, before the production of the film. Pattinson said he only met with Meyer a few times, but he still found her advice helpful in shaping his character.

“When I was looking at the character – how he became a vampire and the situation he has to live in now – I just couldn’t understand how he could be anything other than a complete manic depressive, and why he would appreciate anything at all that he has in his life,” Pattinson said.

Edward is Pattinson’s first American role. Originally from England, Pattinson said doing an American accent wasn’t a real challenge for him because he had been auditioning for American roles for years, so he felt very comfortable using the accent for Edward.

Pattinson admits he was not a “Twilight” fan before getting the part of Edward. He said it wasn’t until he read the script and the first three books in the “Twilight” series that he became a fan.

“I like (Edward’s) singularity,” Pattinson said. “I like how he takes his emotions very seriously like when he decides that he’s in love or that there’s something that he needs. He’s not frivolous in his wants and his desires, which I think is a good thing.”

When discussing the similarities between the “Twilight” books and the film, Pattinson said there are not that many differences between the two.

“There’s a little bit of humor in it, which people don’t realize, and that kind of comes across in the film,” Pattinson said. “I just played him as ridiculously elegant and suave as he is in the book, and I kind of tried to play it a little bit more down to earth.”

Pattinson was not aware of how much fan base “Twilight” had until he came to America.

“I’d never even heard of it when I came over, but now it seems to be everywhere in America, and people are promoting it in Mexico,” Pattinson said. “I get a bunch of letters and stuff from England.”

Pattinson said he spent a lot of time preparing for the role of Edward, even isolating himself for two months to familiarize himself with Edward’s timidness. He also trained five hours a day in the gym in order to lose weight for the part. Ultimately, he said he lost so much weight the producers told him to stop training.

“I think my friends thought it was quite amusing because I had literally never been to the gym in my entire life,” Pattinson said.

Pattinson revealed that he has a hidden interest in music as well. He even recorded the track “Never Think” for the “Twilight” soundtrack and said he plans to record an album of his own some day.

As far as Pattinson’s private life goes, he said it really hasn’t changed much.

“It’s weird,” Pattinson said. “I have two friends, and we’ve always done the same stuff, and I’ve been traveling around for ages now for like four years at least, so I haven’t really felt like I’ve sacrificed anything in particular.”

Contact all correspondent Jackie McLean at [email protected].