Michod told Variety that he hadn’t been familiar with Pattinson’s previous work. “Rob just came in and did a beautiful audition for me that was both vulnerable and completely alive,” he said.
“This proved that seeing him work with Guy Pearce and Scoot McNairy, we realize he’s a consummate actor,” added producer David Linde. “He’s in the ‘Twilight’ movies and people don’t think of him in this way, but as you see in this movie he’s the real deal.”
For Pattinson, he said his goal is to work with good, ambitious directors. “These roles just don’t come up that often,” he said. “A script like this is so rare, I mean, it’s in the top five scripts I’ve ever read.”
Pattinson plays Rey, a yellow-toothed, simple-minded man who is one of the last survivors in a world 10 years after an economic collapse.
“I like how my character was set up. It was just sort of two really dense dialogue heavy scenes in the midst of almost no dialogue, so it let you be pretty free to do anything with it,” said Pattinson.
And on his character: “I think he’s someone who’s been regarded by absolutely everyone around him of having something wrong with him his whole life and he’s never required to think for himself. So when Erik (played by Pearce) kidnaps/adopts him, it forces him to think, (but) the mechanism of thought is so rusty, he has to kind of force it out and it’s almost like he’s being born again.”
“The Rover” has been described as a post-apocalyptic film, but Michod said, “I actually didn’t want the story be post-apocalyptic, I wanted it to be to the extent, like an apocalypse, as something that wipes everything out.”
“I wanted everything that was wrong in the world to feel directly connected to everything that is wrong in the world today.”
Pearce plays the lead role in the film. “I had to go through a bit of a process with (David Michod) just talking about the character to try and understand it,” he said. “There’s a lot of him that’s kind of gone now. I needed to understand some of the things he had in order to, therefore, lose them.”
Linde said pairing Pearce and Pattinson was really exciting because they are two guys who are in two very different parts of their career.
“For Rob, we always felt he was on the cusp of doing very serious and accomplished work, and the idea of a guy who’s been doing it for a while and one who’s really emerging seemed very exciting.”
Producer Liz Watts, Susan Prior, Jaime King, Rami Malek, Claudia Levy, Bar Paly, Peter Facinelli also attended the premiere. The party, sponsored by Loft & Bear, continued at the W Hotel, with Pattinson pals Katy Perry, Zac Efron and Catherine Hardwicke.
A24’s “The Rover” is scheduled for limited release on June 13 in New York City and Los Angeles. The film opens nationwide on June 20.