Directors fawn over him. Girls scream for him. But Robert Pattinson can do without the A-list treatment – at least judging by the shoot for his new film, The Rover, a post-apocalyptic thriller he is starring in alongside Guy Pearce.
Shot in the Australian desert, there were no 30ft trailers and no five-star catering. ‘I was quite content to live off bread and barbecue sauce for two and a half months,’ he says. No, this wasn’t a new form of wacky diet, Pattinson just didn’t want food poisoning.
‘There were so many flies there… and I just didn’t want to eat fly s***.’
Thankfully, R-Patz has lived to tell the tale. Today we meet in the rather more salubrious surroundings of a posh London hotel. Dressed in denim, with stubble sprouting across his chin, he’s come equipped with sunglasses and a baseball cap, the two essential tools for evading prying eyes.
The previous day he promoted The Rover at London’s BFI Southbank. ‘90 per cent of the people outside were autograph sellers,’ he says. ‘I’m like: “You know these things aren’t worth anything.” I’ve signed so many.’
It’s a typically modest answer from Barnes-born Pattinson, whose career was launched playing Edward Cullen in Twilight but who seems uncomfortable with the fame it brought. The 28-year-old knows how much the vampire saga has overshadowed him.
‘People who’ve only seen Twilight… I don’t know what they think I am,’ he sighs. What he wants is credibility.
‘Rob fights to be seen as an actor rather than a movie star,’ said director Anton Corbijn when he worked with him on forthcoming film Life. ‘He is really trying to prove his worth.’
It’s why Pattinson took on The Rover, in which he plays Rey, a survivor in a world ten years on from a global economic collapse.
‘I’ve never worked so hard for an audition,’ he says of walking into the audition room ‘sort of in character’, even dressed for the part. ‘I was really obsessed with it.’
You can see why: Pattinson revelled in the isolation of shooting in the Outback. Ask him what he did for kicks on a Saturday night and all it took was a coin and a car. ‘You just put your foot down, go up to the next road, toss a coin and make a decision on where to go… I ended up in the middle of nowhere.’
That must be an appealing prospect when you’re used to being pursued by an army of fans and photographers. Pattinson has seemingly emerged unscathed, though, attributing it to having a good set of friends from his youth.
‘When your social life revolves around people you meet after you get famous, it gets a bit weird,’ he says. ‘Also, I’ve managed my life a bit better in the past few years.’
Moving out of the house he shared with Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart helped (they first split in 2012, after she cheated on him with director Rupert Sanders).
‘I had paparazzi outside my house every single day and it would drive me insane. It took me such a long time to realise: “This is driving you crazy, you really need to stop doing this.”’
Filming in exotic locations that take him out of the public eye looks to be part of Pattinson’s plan. He’s just played TE Lawrence – aka Lawrence of Arabia – in Queen Of The Desert with Nicole Kidman, which took him to Morocco.
Next he’s off to Colombia for The Lost City Of Z, starring as the assistant to famed British explorer Percy Fawcett, played by Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch. ‘It’s going to be an impossible shoot,’ he says. Well, it will be if the fans of these two make it out to the jungle.
Scan von Robs Interview. *EINFACH AUF DAS BILD KLICKEN*