This was done ages ago, way back in 2009 when the first Twilight movie was coming out and Kristen Stewart didn’t even know who Rupert Sanders was.
Anyway, this was a press conference at the Mandarin Oriental. I seem to remember getting a question in somewhere but I can’t remember which one. Lol. Still the interview is published somewhere under my name…
I can’t remember who else was there either but I don’t think Kristen was, I think it was Rob, the Director and other actors - but I cut them out….
So, Robert, were you prepared for the hype when Twilight was released?
No. I still haven’t got used to it. I don’t know why. At the London premiere there were people screaming and I found it completely overwhelming…
Has your life changed a lot?
I’m not living in the US, so it hasn’t changed that much, at least not in my head. Although weird things like people following me around; this is a little bizarre. I still do pretty much the same stuff. It’s strange seeing my face everywhere, especially for someone who suffers from extreme paranoia. I mean I got on a bus with my face on it the other day.
You must feel a long way from your hometown of Barnes?
It was really different when I lived there and I guess it’s a bit lah-de-da now. I went to the theatre company because there were a lot of pretty girls there. When I started acting it was nice as all the good people had left and I was the only one tall enough to play the part. I did learn a lot. The stuff I did then was probably the best stuff I did. It didn’t make me decide to be an actor but I probably wouldn’t have gone into acting without it.
The whole Twilight franchise has now got the green light. Are you looking forward to it?
Yes, but now it’s harder to build up the hype. It was originally fresh, new and the timing was perfect, so I think it will be tough.
What do you think the fascination is with ‘good’ Vampires?
I think that it is a way you can present violence that isn’t too bad. People think, ‘Oh yeah, he kills people because he’s a vampire’, humans are quite accepting of that.
Was it difficult to master an American accent for the part?
Not really. All of my favourite actors are American and I grew up watching American movies. It’s weird because I used to do a New Jersey accent in every audition in America, just because I liked it. It’s completely bizarre and everybody would ask: “Where are you from?” And I would say: “Oh, I’m from London!”
Has being British given you something extra to play a vampire?
I don’t know if being British helps! (Laughs) It’s weird because there were a lot of British people up for this part. The author’s choice was an English guy which was really strange. She wanted all English guys to play Americans. I think there is something about this myth in America of British people being classy.
Were there many people up for this role?
Apparently yes. I know they were casting for ages and I was one of the last people they saw.
Was there something that you did to convince them you were the one?
I don’t know. I just went in and I had a connection with Kristen. I think it was because I so expected it to be different to how it turned out and expected the girl who played Bella to be so different to Kristen. I was genuinely shocked when she did her performance. I just thought it was going to be a real ‘damsel in distress’ actress. And I couldn’t pretend to be the Prince Charming to some dippy girl! Not that that is how the book is. But I thought that was how the film would turn out. And of course Kristen is tough, smart and a good actress, and so it completely changed my opinion and I ended up playing him as a kind of wreck. That was how it happened.
How did you get over any sexual tension?
I used to run into Kristen’s bedroom naked. No, I don’t know, it’s strange as all the romantic scenes are so important. [Laughs]
Do you think you might be typecast as the heart throb in future?
It makes it a bit scarier to decide what your next job is, but I guess if you choose things carefully then people don’t care.
In the book, Edward is depicted as gorgeous, do you see that in yourself?
Not really! [Laughs] I put off doing the audition for months because of that. I read the book and I thought, “Well, there is no point in going in.” I thought that the whole point of the part was just to be a purely physical performance. Like a modelling job. And I thought, “I’m not going to go to the gym, so I’m already ruled out because he’s meant to have this amazing body.”
Did you go to the gym for the movie?
I didn’t do it for the movie in the end. I did it for a different reason. I didn’t just want to have a six pack. I wanted to have no fat at all.
Did you get to do your own stunts?
I tried to. Some of them were pretty extreme and also my stunt double looks exactly like me. The scariest one was when I run and I put my hand out to stop this car which is racing towards me. I had practiced it a bunch of times but the car is coming at 30 miles per hour. And I was sick on the day of shooting. I had taken antibiotics and I was really dozy and the car went off its tracks. So there I am, holding Kristen’s stunt double and my timing was off because I wasn’t feeling too good and the car hit me in the face. Then I dropped her and I couldn’t stop laughing.
I didn’t have any injuries but Kristen’s double could barely walk for a like a month. I felt so bad!!