×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Robert Pattinson Will Compete as Lead Actor in ‘The Lighthouse’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Robert Pattinson will compete in the lead actor category for “The Lighthouse,” Variety has learned exclusively. A24 will submit Pattinson in the lead actor category, with co-star Willem Dafoe in the supporting actor field.

The Lighthouse,” which opens Oct. 18, has been earning praise on the festival circuit since premiering at Cannes in May, where writer-director Robert Eggers won an International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize. Pattinson and Dafoe play two lighthouse keepers isolated on a small island who begin to grapple with their sanity.

If Dafoe were to be nominated, it would be his third consecutive nod after last year’s “At Eternity’s Gate” and 2017’s “The Florida Project.” He was also previously nominated for “Platoon” and “Shadow of the Vampire.”

While the film is very much a two-hander, Pattinson has more screen time and his character serves as the audience’s point of view. Though he has never been nominated for an Oscar, Pattinson has more than proven his chops since breaking through in the “Twilight” films, working with such directors as David Cronenberg, the Safdie brothers and Christopher Nolan. His choices and performances have drawn recognition, particularly for his turn in 2017’s “Good Time.” In his review for “The Lighthouse,” Variety’s Owen Gleiberman called one scene “the most ferocious acting of Pattinson’s career.”

Pattinson was honored Saturday night at the Mill Valley Film Festival in Marin County, Calif. In presenting the spotlight award, festival executive director Mark Fishkin quoted a description of the film from Eggers: “Nothing good can happen when two men are left alone in a giant phallus.” Fishkin then told Pattinson, “You’ve brought to us so much joy and this is an iconic role, so thank you.”

Pattinson took part in a Q&A and attended an after party that included guests like Olivia Wilde, “Harriet” director Kasi Lemmons and “Dolemite Is My Name” screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.

At the Q&A, Pattinson revealed he was a fan of Eggers’ feature film debut, “The Witch,” and reached out to him about collaborating. “I approached him about something that never got made that I’d still love to do with him, kind of a kind of a medieval thing,” Pattinson revealed. He then added that they discussed a famous vampire property. “I talked to him about ‘Nosferatu,’ and then I thought … that was a little bit close to home,” Pattinson said with a laugh, referencing his “Twilight” past.

He also admitted that everyone expected the movie to be a hard sell, not only because of the material, but because the film was shot in black-and-white, on 35mm film and in the Academy ratio. “I thought it was going to be a harder sell than it is,” Pattinson admitted, before adding that the response has been very positive, with filmgoers appreciating the dark humor.

And though the shoot had tough moments with tons of physical activity and bad weather (“You realize how amazing wool is as a fabric”) Pattinson had nothing but praise for Eggers. “He has a lot of respect for the audience. He can make things pretty strange and you have to kind of go with it. He doesn’t really make movies that spoon-feed you,” said Pattinson. “It’s always fun to work with someone like that. He’s very stubborn and he’s very clever and he makes the movie that he wants to make.”

As for working with Dafoe, Pattinson said the film was “like doing a one-act play with a genius.” He added, “I knew he was going to bring something crazy. I knew he would have so much anarchic energy. I was very intimidated but it’s always helpful when the part calls for you to be intimidated by somebody.”

More Film

  • Saturday Fiction

    'Saturday Fiction' Yanked From China's Golden Rooster Film Festival on Eve of Debut

    Just a day before its scheduled China debut, director Lou Ye’s latest film, “Saturday Fiction,” has been pulled from its slot as the opener of the mainland’s Golden Rooster Film Festival because of unspecified “internal production problems,” according to Chinese film website Mtime. Speculation has been spreading online that it will also be yanked from [...]

  • DeVon Franklin

    DeVon Franklin Signs First-Look Deal at Paramount Pictures

    DeVon Franklin has signed a first-look producing deal at Paramount Pictures. Under his Franklin Entertainment banner, Franklin previously produced inspirational and faith-based films, including this year’s “Breakthrough,” starring Chrissy Metz, as well as “Miracles From Heaven,” with Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah, and the animated film “The Star,” toplined by Zachary Levi, Gina Rodriguez, Oprah [...]

  • Harriet Movie BTS

    'Harriet' Costume Designer Paul Tazewell on How He Crafted Harriet Tubman's Look

    For many, Harriet Tubman’s journey is one we’re taught about in school. We know she’s a heroine, an abolitionist who led slaves to their freedom via the underground railroad. Unless you’ve read the books by Kate Clifford Larson or Beverly Lowry, “We didn’t receive the whole story,” says costume designer Paul Tazewell. Until now. Kasi [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets HR and Inclusion Chiefs

    ViacomCBS has named corporate heads of HR and inclusion as the companies prepare for the merger that is set to close early next month. The soon-to-combine Viacom and CBS have tapped Nielsen alum Nancy Phillips to serve as exec VP and chief people officer. Viacom alum Marva Smalls will serve as global head of inclusion, [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba to Star in 'The Harder They Fall' for Netflix

    Idris Elba will star alongside Jonathan Majors in “The Harder They Fall,” a Netflix movie that will be produced by Jay-Z. The film follows outlaw Nat Love (Majors), who discovers that the man (Elba) who killed his parents two decades ago is being released from prison and decides to reunite with his gang to track [...]

  • Laverne Cox Charlie's Angels

    How Laverne Cox Landed a Cameo in Elizabeth Banks' 'Charlie’s Angels'

    Laverne Cox officially earned her wings, scoring a role in Sony’s “Charlie’s Angels.” But she revealed her cameo almost didn’t happen. When the Emmy-nominee heard that Elizabeth Banks was directing the film, the longtime fan of the franchise (and of Banks herself) reached out about being part of the project. Cox had previously worked with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content