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On being Edward

FAISAL MOHAMMED NAIM
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Interview Robert Pattinson on the serious business of playing a vampire

Match on! A scene from Breaking Dawn
Match on! A scene from Breaking Dawn

H e is the most romantic vampire on earth, whose heart still beats — and that too for a human. Meanwhile, he sets the hearts of the fairer sex on fire.Robert Pattinson, the face of Edward Cullen, the vampire longing for love in the Twilight series is a British actor who rose to stardom with the role. He is upbeat about the latest instalment of the movie, “Breaking Dawn Part 1”. Excerpts from an interview:

How changed is the Edward Cullen of the newest “Twilight” instalment?

The Edward in this part I guess is the happiest one, more controlled and tolerant. He is more content, as finally after more than a hundred years of solitude he is getting married.

What is the most difficult thing about being Edward Cullen?

Maintaining the consistency in facial expressions. Many times I feel I just repeated a scene. He expresses his emotions through his body language which has to be very controlled. Because in Cullen's case, eyes don't say it at all. And of course the blood cravings. Initially I was apprehensive about the role, but gradually I was able to stand up and deliver, and lived it to perfection.

Edward Cullen established you as an actor in the film industry, but overshadowed Robert Pattinson, the person. Has it worked in favour or against you?

People recognise me more as Edward, and not Robert. They say, “Hey Edward, you did great…” I don't know if it is in favour or against, but it is actually not a very good feeling to be somebody else. They know Edward and not me as what I am. But professionally I guess I have been able to create an impact and have given a face to Edward Cullen, like Pierce Brosnan is for James Bond. And that is what an actor wants I guess. But I am sure I will have a life after “Twilight”. I am just not sure what it will be.

Your enactment of Salvadore Dali in Little Ashes, despite being very intense wasn't accepted by the audience...

May be here also Edward (Cullen) played spoilsport. I have never related to a character more than Salvadore. Playing Dali was had been a complete turning point for me. It was a role that required a really serious mind setup. I became completely obsessed with Dali during the filming. He was the most bizarre, complex man, but in the end I felt I could relate to him. He was incredibly shy, kind of introvert, just like me. But people found it actually weird, because for them I was Edward Cullen, the handsome romantic vampire, and Salvadore Dali was not as pretty. Everyone thinks he's some nut job.

Named the sexiest man alive, a statue at Madame Tussauds', and handprints on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. How do you deal with all the fame and attention, especially you being a shy person?

I find it difficult to handle. At times I feel like an animal in the zoo, people staring at me. Because I feel all the attention is for Edward and not for me and it is difficult to be him all the time. The funny part is that it feels incredibly boring being popular, more and more every day.

I don't feel like a movie star. It's almost like an alter-ego. People running after you everywhere, not knowing even in the least the real you. I am still coming to terms with it (stardom).

And your chemistry with Kristen Stewart? Are you planning to enact your wedding scene from the movie, in real life anytime soon?

We haven't thought about it (marriage) yet as we are both very young and have just begun our careers. Right now we are concentrating on work, but our commitment (for each other) is rock solid.

There was a funny feeling during the shooting of the wedding scene in the movie. It felt very real. We had a real priest for the scene. One thing I have learned about weddings is it's totally the bride's day. You (the groom) wear the same dress as all of the groomsmen. But the bride stands spectacularly apart wearing all those diamonds, white dress and all. And the groom there is standing there in the corner like, “hey I brushed my hair” (laughs).

Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming movie Bel Ami and your role in it?

It is about a guy of the 1890s who rises from poverty to wealth experiencing turbulent times with passionate affairs and political issues. I play the central character of the guy.

FAISAL MOHAMMED NAIM

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