There are stars, there are idols, and there are the squeal-worthy - the guys you merely have to mention for girls to explode with ecstasy, glee and a certain amount of misery. Such is Robert Pattinson, the 23-year-old English actor who plays vampire Edward Cullen in the "Twilight" series, and who turns out to be a very gentle and seemingly normal guy. His between-ghoul gig, alas, is playing the conflicted Tyler Roth in the Allen Coulter-directed drama "Remember Me," opening Friday.
Did you pick this project just to counter your Edward Cullen image?
That was one of the reasons. But there was also something different about the script that stayed with me. It was odd - you wonder why it was written, what happened to the writer, what elements are true. And it seemed like I could spend the summer in New York and it would be really nice after all the pandemonium.
Not really, but he was great, zero pretense, completely comfortable in his own skin. The first time we went out to dinner, there were people at another table looking at him, so he went over and introduced himself and suddenly everyone was much more comfortable.
They were looking at him and not you?
They had no idea who I was. It was an old French restaurant on the Upper West Side. Someone said, "Is this your son?" And Pierce said, "Yes! This is my son. . . . " He was really fun to work with.
There are only four "Twilight" novels; the third film comes out in June. It seems like you're in the homestretch.
That's why I was never particularly worried. They'll do the last one at the end of the year, and that's it. Done. And because I didn't start when I was really a kid, I don't feel like I'm losing anything or selling my childhood. It's such a funny thing to have gone through. It's such a supernova. It exploded so quickly, and then it's finished.
How do you refashion yourself after that?
I'm making "Bel Ami," which is based on a Guy de Maupassant novel. I play a con man who seduces his way up the social ladder, betrays everybody. Anybody who does him a favor, he stabs in the back, and then he gets rewarded for it in the end. He's a real menace to society. It's a completely different experience from what I've done before.