The first time I met Robert Pattinson it was in a small town outside of Portland Oregon on a dark and dreary night during production of the first "Twilight" film. Not many people knew that Stephenie Meyer's creation was going to take the world by storm later that year and Pattinson and his co-stars Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner were basically unknowns outside of small circles of "Harry Potter" and David Fincher fans. What I remember most about that 45 minutes, however, is chatting outside Pattinson's trailer and how he kept circling the conversation around to his backup plan if this whole "acting thing" didn't work out: heading back to London to focus on the music career. Things obviously worked out and iTunes is still waiting for that debut album from the 25-year-old Brit.
Over the years, I've interviewed Pattinson a number of times and seen him subject himself to painfully lame questions at press conferences and the screaming shrieks of the ladies at Comic-Con. Truthfully, he's never seemed as relaxed and comfortable as he was that night on set until last Friday when we sat down to chat about his second to last go around as the kindhearted vampire Edward Cullen in the "Twilight Saga," "Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1." I must have been recalling his incredible journey as I first asked him if he ever stopped and thought about just how he got to his current level of superstardom.
"Yeah, I look back all the time and try to figure out how to do it for myself," Pattinson says laughing. "I have no idea. It's crazy. I knew when we did the first one -- I dunno. I felt when we did the first one that it was so different from everything else that was around it was either going to be huge or do nothing at all. So, I guess it was huge."
Indeed it was. The franchise spawned two sequels and has grossed over $1.8 billion so far making it one of the biggest movie series of the early 21st Century. Of course, that figure should significantly increase after "Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1" and "Pt. 2" hit theaters this month and a year from now. Summit Entertainment, which has basically been built on the franchise, decided to split Meyers' lengthy final novel into films and that meant a very long back to back shooting process. Pattinson admits the shooting schedule was tougher than he'd thought it would be.
"I'm not in every single scene of the movie, but you work every day anyway," Pattinson says. "There is always something going on. There were like three units filming on this. It was pretty crazy, but I think the two films are so close together it would have been weird if we shot them with any sort of gap in-between so it was kind of good."
And having already viewed the completed fourth picture, Pattinson is pleased with the results so far. He notes, "I like the tone of it, because the last one was sort of more objective and it was kind of not really. I feel like this one has gone back to the tone of the first movie which was always my favorite out of all of them. I think that's what I am most happiest with."
Lastly, I had to ask Pattinson about his quick journey with the crew and Stewart to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where their characters, Bella and Edward, honeymoon.
"We were really in the city for one day and that was completely mental, but when we went to the countryside it was incredible," Pattinson says lighting up. "We went to work on a boat every day. It was crazy. The first day we got there was a day off and it was beautiful, beautiful weather, exactly how its supposed to be in the movie and then as soon as we started shooting it started pouring rain and it was like hurricane winds. So, yeah, we could have basically shot that on a beach in Vancouver." (Laughs.)
True, but where's the adventure in that? Keep enjoying the ride Mr. Pattinson. You've got a long way to go on this one.
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1" opens nationwide on Nov. 18.
Look for more interviews from the "Breaking Dawn" cast including Taylor Lautner, director Bill Condon, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene and more later this week on HitFix.
For year round entertainment commentary and awards season news follow @HitFixGregory on Twitter.
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