For years, Robert Pattinson has tried to make it clear that he doesn’t care about being labeled as a movie star. He’s followed the “Twilight” franchise with small indies where he’s played aggressively unlikable men, a trend that continued at the Cannes Film Festival with the Safdie brothers’ drama “Good Time.”
Pattinson portrays an aimless bank robber, who suffers through a series of unfortunate events that start with the arrest of his brother after a botched job. When Pattinson appears onscreen, he’s no heartthrob, as a lanky loser with tattoos, a goatee and a hunched posture.
“I always wanted to look like I’ve been street cast,” Pattinson at a press conference on Thursday morning.
Blending in turned out to be an occupational necessity on a project that filmed throughout Manhattan and Queens. “Because we were shooting guerrilla style, I was so nervous [about] people finding out about the shoot and paparazzi being there,” Pattinson said. “It destroys the illusion of it. What I was doing as a person was feeding into the character, trying to disappear, trying to be a ghost in the crowd.”
He worked with a makeup artist to change his look. “We experimented with a few different things,” Pattison said. “You’ve got these pock marks in the skin and no one recognizes you. We shot the movie on the streets of New York, and no one took a cell phone picture.”
The role is drawing raves at Cannes, with some critics already labeling it as Pattinson’s best performance. “I feel like the character was a conduit for a lot of different people’s energies,” said Pattinson, adding he felt like an outsider in a cast that all hailed from New York. “I don’t know how much of it was really me other than being really manic.”
“No one really sees that,” he added. “That’s a private thing. I’m someone who just stops at a red light and I’m just revving.”