Interview: Robert Pattinson talks ‘Cosmopolis’ with Total Film “It’s quite a funny film, essentially.”

We’ve excerpted the Cosmopolis bits. Visit Total Film to read the full interview.

Directed by David Cronenberg and adapted from Don DeLillo’s novel, Cosmopolisis a blackly comic drama in which 28-year-old billionaire Eric (Pattinson) gets caught up in a whirlwind of chaotic activity as he attempts to get across Manhattan.

We gave Pattinson a ring to ask him a few quick questions about the film…

How’s it going?
“Good. Although I don’t why we’re doing this [interview] at 9 o’clock at night on a Friday in London. It just shows how much of a loser I am! It’s the one time I’m free…”
Cosmopolis seems like a game-changer performance for you…
“I felt, doing this film, how I felt doing films before the first Twilight. Where I didn’t have to worry about anyone’s reaction… and now I’m incredibly worried about everybody’s reaction! I’m absolutely terrified!”
It’s a film open to interpretation. What do you think it’s about?
“I definitely didn’t think it was a Wall Street movie and that was what I was most afraid of. Because Eric’s wearing a suit and seems apathetic I thought people would write it off as American Psycho. I never read it as that but the tone has similarities. What I thought is that it’s about Eric trying to find some kind of alternative reality. It’s really sad.

“I read a thing that described is as a guy who’s trying to throw everything away in one day – he’s not trying to throw anything away, he’s trying to find something else. If the guy was totally nihilistic, it wouldn’t be sad. I did an interview with a French magazine the other day and the journalist was saying ‘this is a movie about the end of the world’ and was like,‘oh, YEAH. It IS.’

“David was saying at the wrap party, ‘Oh, it’s much funnier than anything I’ve done in ages’ and I completely forgot that I found the script funny because I was playing it totally seriously the whole time. It’s confusing! David said to be ‘I didn’t understand it at the beginning and I hope to not understand it at the end’.

“It’s that that thing that Fellini said – as soon as you understand it, it’s dead, it has no more interest. It’s this thing that’s swimming in nothingness and has no land or sky… and that’s the most pretension thing I think I’ve ever said in my entire life.”
Did you base Eric on anyone?
“It’s just the words – there was such a specific voice from the very beginning. It’s just really well written. Most scripts are really shit and you’re just thinking ‘how can I make it better?’ but this one, all you had to do was just say it. A really shitty actor could just sit there and say it and make it sound really good.”
There’s a lot of crazy scenes in this… what were your favourite and least favourite scenes to film?
“The prostate exam scene got cut down, the last line of that scene was [Eric saying] ‘I wanna bottle-fuck you slowly with my sunglasses on.’ I remember reading that scene [when reading the script], with a doctor’s finger up your arse – and having absolutely no idea how to say that. Or even if I could get on set and have a camera in my face and say that. But that fear is what made me want to do it.”
Do you think this will take you to a different audience?
“When you get some kind of success quite quickly you have to pay for it somehow, pay your dues and stuff. I want to support the whole part of the industry that I like and got me interested in film. With the limited amount of power I have I would love to use it to get indies which never would be made or seen, hopefully seen. And also I just want seem cool!”


What was it like working with Paul Giamatti?
“I shot a lot in the limo and all the other actors had to enter my world there. Then my scenes with Paul were huge scenes in a different environment and probably the most nerve-wracking scenes. We had 5 days to shoot 19 pages and we ended up shooting it in a day and half. Almost every take in it is the first take. And the scene where I shot myself in the hand was all one 4-minute take. It’s crazy.”

‘Cosmopolis’ opens in the UK on June 15th.


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12 Responses to Interview: Robert Pattinson talks ‘Cosmopolis’ with Total Film “It’s quite a funny film, essentially.”

  1. 4tlashes4erimus says:

    Lovely interview. 🙂 It brings up a question for me…Rob states that the scene in the limo during the prostrate exam was cut down. You and Tink saw it correct? So did he get to say… ‘I wanna bottle-fuck you slowly with my sunglasses on.’ or did they cut that line out???

  2. Christina says:

    So, the infamous line didn’t make it to the final cut. When I read it in the book, I thought exactly the same: how the hell can one say it properly? I thought either they would have to ask DeLillo what to do with it or not use it at all. It’s a shame on one hand as it was pretty essential in the scene but I trust Cronenberg’s judgement. In the movie, it might sound cheap and disgustingly porn, like the ‘vagina’ line in American Psycho. It really did not fit in the context. And I’m glad the last scene with Elise is not in the movie either. Some things are best left for imagination

    • deb24601 says:

      I agree with you on the Elise cut. It would have muddied the story; this kept Eric’s path very linear. I truly did not miss the bottle line in the movie. There is plenty of innuendo in the actors’ movements and line delivery. It’s completely surreal. Loved hearing audience laughter at Jane’s last line. 🙂

      • tinkrbe1l3 says:

        i agree with you…but you know this LOL i didnt miss the bottle fuck line at all and i didnt miss the Eric and Elise sex either. the film opens in the UK this weekend. a spoiler/discussion post would be good but also with our reviews i think. idk why im having this discussion in comments and not in an email where you’ll see it. LOL

      • tinkrbe1l3 says:

        haha! and a part of my comment to you made me think of “what makes you think we’re in the car instead of the office?”

        what makes me think i’m having this discussion in the comments instead of an email?

        *laughs hysterically and channels Eric Packer like ‘Ghost’*

  3. We don’t get Cosmopolis in my country until Nov 1st and I’m gonna go crazy until I see it so Deb,did Eric get to bed Elise or was the alley scene cut as well…

    • deb24601 says:

      I think I’ll get a spoiler post going… Please hold. lol Really, I’ll post my thoughts and we’ll start a spoiler convo tomorrow. It’s taken that long for me to digest and become coherent again.

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