Robert Pattison became a household name for his run as Edward Cullen in the Twilight saga. It was his first major film franchise, propelling him to meteoric success as a star after his first appearance. From there, he went on to appear in smaller indie films such as Cosmopolis, The Lost City of Z and The Lighthouse. Now he is back in the limelight as the Caped Crusader in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. However, during a recent interview, he admitted to suffering from immense nerves before one of his earlier hits, saying: “It was terrifying.”
That hit was Harry Potter, with Pattinson appearing in the third film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It was his only time starring in the franchise, but his character made a big impact on the universe overall.
Playing Cedric Diggory in the Triwizard Tournament, he was Hufflepuff’s perfect student and main opponent for Daniel Radcliffe’s boy wizard. Sadly, his appearance ended in tragedy, as he was killed off by Voldemort at the end of the film.
As the franchise’s first death, Pattison knew how important it was to get his character right, adding more pressure on him, leading him to more extreme behaviour behind the camera. It was, after all, only his third on-screen performance following an uncredited appearance in 2004’s Vanity Fair and the role of Giselher in Sword of Xanten in the same year.
Pattinson shared his experience in the wizarding world in a new interview.
He said: “He’s the first death in Harry Potter, which is my claim to fame… it was definitely my concept to jump out of the tree for my intro, which I kind of repeated later in Twilight. For some reason, I always had the suggestion of like… why doesn’t he appear just jumping out of a tree?”
The star continued: “I’d sort of fallen into it. I mean, it was so terrifying. I remember the first scene I ever shot was in the magical maze at the end, and I’d never done anything with special effects and stunts. And it was a big deal at the time. It felt very, very, intimidating.”
The 35-year-old said he got the idea after reading a method acting book, saying: “The only thing I really got out of that was just beating yourself up before every single scene.”
Pattinson explained: “That was basically my only concept of how to prepare for a scene. I was psyching myself up as if I was getting into a fight or something before these scenes, and just screaming into a pillow and fighting, punching myself, and kind of ripping my clothing and stuff. But I had all these prosthetic wounds on, and all of the prosthetics would melt off my face, and I’d have to have all of my makeup done again. But I had no concept of how to kind of get into a psyched-up physical state.”
Despite dabbling in method acting at the time, Pattison does not practice this style of performance. It is a technique that some stars use to completely immerse themselves into a role. They will become their assigned character totally, never breaking the persona while shooting the film.
Notable method actors include Robert De Niro, Daniel Day-Lewis, Christian Bale and Charlize Theron.
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During an interview with Variety’s Actors on Actors series, The Batman star admitted it isn’t something he would do, He explained: “I always say about people who do method acting, you only ever see people do the method when they’re playing a**holes. You never see someone being lovely to everyone while they’re really deep in character.”
However, he has encountered method acting numerous times in his career, a notable example came In 2017’s Good Time. Directed by Benny and Josh Safdie, the former also played Pattinson’s brother in the film. He said it was the first time he ever saw someone successfully act this way.
He explained: “One of the directors was playing my brother in it, and he could stay in character for the entire day. But he’s the only person I’ve ever seen who could do it. And it’s so impressive, but also kind of crazy.”
Now the star is returning to a major movie franchise with The Batman, set to be a springboard for a sprawling universe of its own. The film is set to premiere on March 4 and will show a younger, less experienced Bruce Wayne take on the rising insanity of Gotham City.