Monday, June 23, 2014

'The Rover' NYC Press Junket Interviews

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After winning over critics with the complex, dark family drama "Animal Kingdom" for his directorial debut, director David Michod wanted to pare things back to tell a simpler story about survival in his next film. 

"The Rover," out in U.S. theaters on Friday, follows a lone character, Eric, who has his car stolen and embarks on a journey to recover it, handling threats and obstacles along the way. 

Australian director Michod created a stark, stripped down, decaying setting in the outback of his native country and said he was inspired by his "despair" at the world today.

"I felt like I was literally making a movie that was set in a strange, dangerous and inhospitable version of the present day," the director said. 

And yet, Michod said he still wanted to feature some hope for Eric, played by Guy Pearce, who finds it in an unlikely friendship with Rey, played by Robert Pattinson. Rey, an American petty criminal left for dead, is rescued by Eric and forms a bond with the introverted man, who takes him on a journey to recover his car and reunite Rey with his brother. 

Pattinson delivers a performance in "The Rover" that takes him a world away from the brooding teenage vampire that rocketed him to fame in the "Twilight" film franchise. 

The British actor transformed himself to play the dim-witted young Rey by adopting a jolted southern accent accompanied by twitches, tics and blank stares. 

"It was quite interesting playing someone who has basically zero faith in himself," the actor said. "As soon as he starts opening his mouth, he'll either start almost questioning his own sentence as it's coming out of his mouth, and then trying to hide away from it."

The talkative Rey poses a sharp contrast to Eric, whom Pearce described as "a wounded animal," a product of surviving the harsh landscape of a decaying world, who spends much of the film in silence.

"I really enjoy working without necessarily relying on words and talking," the actor said. "The story you're to be telling is totally possible without actually having to say anything and then when you do speak, it really is more effective."

Michod said the biggest challenges he faced on "The Rover," made for about $12 million and distributed by A24 films, were related to the isolated, hot outback they filmed in, and in particular, a car chase sequence that he called "draining."

Despite the dark nature of the film that Michod compares to a dark fable, he hoped the end result is more optimistic for audiences. 

"This movie is about how even in incredibly violent and challenging circumstances, people still have a basic need to try and find intimate connection with other human beings, so I like to think about this movie as a movie about love," he said.

THE Huffington Post

Robert Pattinson is tired.

The 28-year-old has spent the better part of the last month doing press for David Michôd's "The Rover," a slow-burn thriller that's caked in equal parts dirt, dried blood and nihilism. Pattinson has appeared on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter. He's done interviews with BuzzFeed, The Daily Beast, Indiewire, Jimmy Kimmel and, now, The Huffington Post. "It was good in theory," Pattinson said of the press gauntlet, before trailing off.

Fortunately, the performance Pattinson is promoting is one of his best yet. He plays Rey in "The Rover," a simple-minded criminal who gets left for dead by his brother in post-apocalyptic Australia and then goes on a journey of revenge with Eric (Guy Pearce), a man also wronged by Rey's sibling.

"I think lots of people want to do stuff that's relatable, and I want to do stuff that's unrelatable,"Pattinson said of his career outlook in general. "I don't think I have particularly normal emotional reactions to things. So trying to play someone who is just a normal guy ... I don't really know how to do it."

HuffPost Entertainment spoke to Pattinson at the Bowery Hotel in Manhattan about "The Rover," his relationship with tabloid media and the never-ending cycle of rumors about his career.

You've worked with these incredible directors: David Michôd, Werner Herzog, David Cronenberg and, soon, Olivier Assayas. What are you gleaning from those experiences?

It's just going to school. I think that's exactly what I'm doing. I think a lot of actors know what they have in them, and they kind of work with directors who help them do the specific thing that they already want. I have no idea what I have! I'm just kind of hoping something will happen if I work with Herzog or Cronenberg.

A lot of coverage surrounding your performance in "The Rover" is couched in headlines about how this film puts "Twilight" behind you. But "Twilight" was two years ago, and it felt like "Cosmopolis" already "put 'Twilight' behind you." Does that narrative get annoying?
I guess when certain people ask me, it's kind of annoying. Like, "How do you feel about everyone seeing stuff differently?" It's kind of insulting. "So you're saying all the stuff I did before was shit? Thanks, man!" I always forget how little people actually know you. You feel like you've done so many interviews, but most people have just seen a couple movies. Maybe! Or just seen you in a tabloid or something. You kind of forget that when you're in the center of it.

So much was made about you singing "Pretty Girl Rock" after the Cannes premiere that I expected it to be a much bigger moment. But it's kind of subdued and melancholy. Did the response that scene received surprise you at all?
The one thing I was thinking was that there was some kind of meta, breaking-the-fourth-wall thing happening, because of all the "Twilight" stuff. But it's really not that, and that's the one thing I was afraid of it being. Obviously people started bringing it up thinking it's a comment on something.

I guess? I don’t know why they would think that.
Because people love all that stuff. I always read film reviews, and so many always love it when the movie is winking at itself and it's being self aware. Who wants that? It's crazy! So I didn't want it to seem like it was self aware. I like it, though. When the song cuts in, that's the funniest part. It's so loud. He's skipping behind Guy afterward. Do you know those guys who recut "The Shining" trailer? It's like suddenly the movie becomes that moment.

Do you actually read reviews?
Yeah. I don't quite know why. It's so difficult to figure out if you're doing the right thing. I guess there's some way of knowing after reading, sort of. But sometimes it's just incredible how opposite everything can be. It's bizarre. You learn absolutely nothing after, and you just hate bad reviews. You can't even remember the good ones.

On the topic of reading things about yourself: There was a story recently that claimed you were being sought for Indiana Jones. How do you find out about ridiculous casting rumors like that? Google alerts?
On the press tour. I had no idea. I swear it's people who know it's going to generate tons of bad publicity for me. There will be one totally random article not based on anything, and then there are 50 afterwards totally slamming me. It's like, "I didn't even say anything!"

You've been in the public eye for a while now, but does it still surprise you how much false information is published about you?

It's really crazy. With me as well, it's the same stories again and again and again. No matter what. I was trying to figure out a way to not be in tabloids anymore, and I just don't even know how to do it. I thought if you don't get photographed then they can't do anything.

No, it doesn't matter.
No, they put, like, five-year-old photographs in articles.

You seem to have very eclectic tastes. Do you ever worry about playing a movie-star game, where you do one for them and one for you?
I'm not entirely sure how it works. I've seen other actors who try to do that, or just done studio movie after studio movie, and then suddenly it just ends. So, I don't really know what the game is. I just kind of think if there's at least one element that you can guarantee is going to bring some kind of fulfillment to your life -- which is in a lot of ways working with someone who is just kind of a hero -- than even if the movie is terrible, you know something [positive] will happen just to say you did it.

Chicago Sun Times

Maybe it’s a nod to his former vampire alter ego, but Robert Pattinson wants blood.

“I was having a dream the other night about a Chicago steak,” the actor said Tuesday. “I had one on the first ‘Twilight’ tour, and certain things just stick in your mind. Maybe it’s my inner vampire coming out again.”

With a trademark laugh, Pattinson knows he will get his wish. He will film the gangster movie “Idol’s Eye” with Robert De Niro in Chicago in October. “I love Chicago,” he says. “It’s one of those cities where I can walk around and people are really kind. They respect that there are times I need a little silence.”

He also found that silence working in the Australian Outback for his new movie “The Rover” (opening Friday), where Pattinson plays Ray, a young man on a mission to survive a wild desert trip and killing spree with another drifter played by Guy Pierce.

Q. What was it like filming in the Outback?
I really love the desert because you can be alone, which is very nice. I could just wander off a bit and no one cared because there wasn’t a single soul for thousands of miles. Most of the towns where we filmed had one street. The other cool thing is that when I was mobbed, it was by a bunch of kangaroos who lived there or the wild camels. I respect these people who are out there, too, living off the grid. It was perfect for me to be a bit off the grid where I didn’t have to look over my shoulder. No one was taking a picture of me doing something stupid.

Q. You’ve said that you had to audition for Ray in “The Rover.” Really? After starring in that big franchise?
One hundred percent I have to audition unless I’m playing something in my wheelhouse. If I’m doing a vampire thing, they better hire me. You’ve seen my vampire act.

Q. You’ve had quite a few years with your life splashed out in the tabloids. How do you keep it together and not develop an attitude?
I really don’t know how I do it. It’s weird. I went through a period where I was a bit more stressed. Once I got through that period of time, I just figured that your life contracts a little bit when you get famous. Yes, I was frustrated about not doing the things I used to do, like walking around anonymously. But you get used to it. In the end, I just let it all go and have accepted that it’s a different kind of life.

Q. You have films coming up from David Cronenberg [“Maps to the Stars” this fall] and Werner Herzog, plus the De Niro movie. Have you shaken Edward Cullen from “Twilight” off for good?
 I’m constantly surprised that I’ve been able to have a career post-”Twilight.” I still think it’s going to end at any second. I always figured anything else after “Twilight” was just a bonus. ... It is nice to look at my resume now. I’d be jealous of me if I wasn’t me.

Q. Finally ... you’re a steak guy and not a Chicago pizza type?
 Let’s clear this up. I’m 100 percent a Chicago pizza guy, but when you’ve been dreaming of a good steak, you need to start with a knife and a fork in your hands — and some good steak sauce


He’s been trying to shed Edward Cullen for years — and now he may finally have done it.

Robert Pattinson rose to megafame playing Cullen, a lovelorn vampire, in the “Twilight” series, but has in his off-dury hours been trying to become something more interesting than a leading man. After the period piece “Bel Ami” and the romantic dramas “Remember Me” and “Water for Elephants” didn’t connect, Pattinson has styled himself as a versatile supporting actor. In David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis,” Pattinson, perpetually picking up new visitors in his limousine, was nominally the lead but was willing to cede the role of most interesting person on-screen to just about anyone who crossed his path; in Cronenberg’s forthcoming “Maps to the Stars,” Pattinson plays the limo driver.

And in David Michôd’s new film “The Rover,” Pattinson makes his greatest departure yet, playing a mentally challenged vagrant who’s migrated to a post-apocalyptic Australia and finds himself on a quest to help Guy Pearce find his car. It’s the sort of role that at a different time of year, and in a tonier, more tasteful sort of film, ends up in Oscar conversations: Pattinson has mottled brown teeth and a thick Southern accent. If this sounds like a way for Pattinson to finally shed the constraints of his leading-man roles, it is — but it’s clear that Pattinson is having fun while doing it.

He seemed open and relaxed in his standard white T-shirt when we met at New York’s Bowery Hotel, where he chugged sparkling water between answers. He spoke freely about what’s next up — including James Gray’s “Lost City of Z” adaptation and “Life,” a James Dean biopic by Anton Corbijn. Spoiler alert: Pattinson is not playing Dean.

When you go for weeks at a time promoting something, are there questions you’re repeatedly asked that you’re tired of answering?
Well, I can never remember what I’m asked. But I kept getting asked about flies in the outback, because I’d mentioned one time in the very first interview I did, “Oh, there’s loads of flies there — it’s really crazy.” And when interviewers will ask you again, I’m like, “Surely, surely you’ve seen this. Yes, there are a lot of flies.” And they just keep asking. What do I say? “Oh, actually flies are amazing; it was the best part of all of it.”

I feel like there’s only so much you can say about flies.
Which is absolutely nothing.

So you started filming last year – take me through a little bit of your state of mind. You must have been feeling pretty free in some sense, now that the “Twilight” franchise is completely over.
I got the part about eight or nine months before we started shooting it. And then I was supposed to shoot another movie before I ended up doing it. And I did “Maps to the Stars” as well, just a little part. I was going to do another lead role and then it got pushed, so I’ve basically been thinking about this for so long that it kind of feels like I was almost working the whole time.

But yeah, I finished “Twilight” like, six or seven months before maybe. It’s strange, I mean, it’s kind of — it feels like it was such a long time ago because we finished shooting ages ago, like two or three years ago. But yeah, it is interesting – you’re kind of like, “Oh, this is actually what you’re branching out doing now, this is what your career is and it’s actually kind of looking like something.” Whereas when I did each of the movies in between the “Twilight” movies it kind of reset every time. Every “Twilight” was so huge that it just overshadowed everything.

In this film you’re, to a degree, supporting Guy Pearce, and your role in “Maps to the Stars” is small, too. Are you backing away from leading-man roles?
Yeah. Well, for this I just really loved the part but a lot of the movies I’ve done that haven’t really come out yet — actually, no, I guess I’m playing the lead in the Corbijn movie. But even if it’s a lead, it’s not like the flashy role. I mean, in the movie I’m doing with Corbijn, it has James Dean in it and I’m the guy who’s photographing him. But it’s not like a part where I’m hiding away, but you’re sharing the burden a lot of the time. Stuff that appeals to me as a lead is so specific, and I kind of want to work with these directors just to go to the school, and so if I’m doing 10 days in a Werner Herzog movie, I can basically do any part.

I think there was a perception out there with “Cosmopolis,” in particular, that you were kind of consciously choosing to really take a part that was radically different from your persona. Does that enter your mind when you’re choosing parts?
No, because it’s not like – no, not really at all. I did this movie called “Bel Ami” — I mean, I was really young when I decided to do it as well. But I was thinking of it as kind of meta – there was a subtext to it. Where you have basically an entirely female audience from “Twilight,” and you play a part of a guy who’s basically like cheating women out of money, like, exclusively cheating them. And I thought that was kind of funny. I don’t think anyone really noticed the meta context of it.

Do you pay attention to how things are received?
Yeah, I understand. I don’t really know why. Because you do end up just thinking like, it doesn’t really matter. I’ve never had the experience where I’ve really hated a movie and it suddenly got great reviews. Maybe that would change my mind. But if you like something, the reviews mean nothing. The only person it really matters to is the filmmaker.

For some reason I feel kind of responsible if something is … even if it’s not singling out me, if something gets a bad review then I feel bad because I haven’t really had a bad experience on a movie. So I want to do my best to elevate them.

To a certain degree — probably less so now — you’re so closely identified with “Twilight.” Does that make it more of a leap of faith for a director to cast you because of preconceptions people have?
It kind of remains to be seen. I know that there’s definitely some kind of baggage, but I guess if it brings people into the cinema, which I’m not entirely sure if it does, then — but I don’t know. I think you end up fighting for all the parts you want anyway. I guess as I’m going further and further away from “Twilight,” the perception slowly becomes something else. Because I haven’t really tried to hit the same market again. Maybe because I don’t really know how to.

When you look at directors you want to work with, is there a list?
It’s kind of a list. I’m basically trying to go to acting school and film school by working with the best possible teachers, and also people who I grew up watching their movies. There are a few people who I really, specifically want to work with because of the performances they get out of their actors. I kind of feel like there’s something in me which is in that kind of ballpark. Like James Gray — I just loved all the stuff he did with Joaquin. And also just talking to James for years, I like his ideas about performance. And people like [“Rust and Bone” director] Jacques Audiard and stuff. But then there are other people like Herzog and Cronenberg; I never even thought I would be in any realm of possibility of getting a part with them. And then you’re suddenly doing it, it’s almost ridiculous. I’ll kind of do any part in any of their movies and just try and figure it out.

The moment in “The Rover” when you’re sitting in the truck and you’re calmly singing a Keri Hilson song ["Pretty Girl Rock"] just before a really violent moment — how did you get in the mind-set for that scene in particular? How long did it take to put that together?
I thought that was just going to be like a little inset shot because it was just briefly mentioned he’s singing along to the radio. And it’s this minute and half long shot, it’s absolutely crazy. A lot of what I was trying to do with the character the whole time is just playing someone who — it’s like someone with crazy ADD is just stuck between two decisions, constantly. Do you know on old TVs when you press down on two channels at the same time and you’re kind of in between? It’s his biggest and most pensive, deep moment. And really at the same time, he’s kind of not really thinking anything. He’s thinking everything and nothing at the same time. He’s almost empty.

How do you get to that place as an actor?
I kind of realized that how I was approaching parts in a kind of cerebral way and trying to analyze stuff is probably not the best way to do it. If you approach it more like music, which — “Cosmopolis” is the first time I’d done something in a very highly stylized dialect and then just started to listen to the rhythm and the cadence of it. It suddenly freed up something. You’re not really thinking and it’s just performing.

And you can approach almost any part just to kind of make it feel nice, like to perform it and then you’re suddenly like, Oh, this is way easier than trying to preempt every possible perception from the audience, from the other actor, and blah, blah, blah. And you can actually have fun doing it.

You’ve now several times played an American. What, if anything, is different there?
I don’t know, I’ve never really thought of it as actually specifically playing an American. I guess there are little elements of it, like — no, you kind of approach it the same way. I mean, I feel extremely uncomfortable playing English people, though. Even if I’m doing an English accent, I don’t even know how to do my normal accent, it just suddenly goes into this weird acting voice. And so I get incredibly self-conscious about it! So when I’m doing an American, it feels more like you’re in a movie.

I gathered that your character in “The Rover” was mean to be from the Southern U.S.
Yeah, the sort of migrant, seasonal laborer. It’s just like all the Chinese people moving to Africa now, it’s kind of the same thing. The Western economy has collapsed so you sort of just go anywhere where there’s any work.

Did you, the director and Guy know more than we, the audience, explicitly know about how the civilization collapsed and everything? Did you work that out together?
I think David and Guy do. Because I was there for three weeks before we started shooting, and I kept trying to push David on it and he was so unwilling to tell me anything. And I guess it makes sense for my character to not know anything; he just followed his brother there.

But I think one of the things that I liked about it so much is that the script — there were two scenes, the dialogue-heavy scenes with me and Guy. There was so much detail in them but it’s detail that doesn’t really pertain to anything else in the story. And then placed in the context of almost no dialogue whatsoever. I liked when it was completely uncompromising to the audience, it’s like, “No, this is a fully realized character and you can either run with it or not.”

It’s putting a lot of trust in the audience, in a way.
And I don’t think a lot of people do that. I think with this, and with “Cosmopolis” as well, it’s one of those — I like movies where you leave and you’re not supposed to know how you feel afterward, ever.

via rplife

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