Robert Pattinson has been playing Americans so often that he’s forgotten how to talk like a Brit.
In his latest, Remember Me, the Twilight heartthrob stars as a soulful young New Yorker attending NYU, but he insists he didn’t need any help sounding like a native.
“I’ve never had a dialect coach or anything,” Pattinson says. “Ironically, I’ve only had a dialect coach for this film I’m doing now, which I’m doing now in an English accent. I guess I’ve forgotten how to do an English accent.”
Part of what attracted Pattinson to Remember Me — a mix of love story and family drama in which two college students (Pattinson and Lost star Emilie de Ravin) fall for each other — was that it didn’t follow a traditional love story mould.
“The way the plot was structured, it didn’t fit into any kind of normal category. It didn’t seem very formulaic,” Pattinson says. “When you meet someone who you feel whatever for, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s a finish line — like, ‘Oh, you’ll be alright now afterward.’ People now, everyone does all of these things because they think they should be happy like all the time. Doing therapy, and taking antidepressants and all of these things.”
While he didn’t struggle with the accent, the actor admits filming on location in New York City wasn’t easy, especially with the constant attention from diehard Twilight fans and paparazzi.
“The first two weeks were kind of crazy,” he remembers. “It was annoying people as well, that all of these crowds came and disrupted people’s days.”
Pattinson has tried to harness his feelings about the constant attention to use for his performance.
“I was trying to figure out a way to use the sort of rage that was built up, but you couldn’t really use it for that character,” he says. “If the same thing had happened during this movie that I’m doing now, it would have been perfect and I could have gone around hitting paparazzi and it would have been great because I would have been staying in character.”
Consider that a warning to any photographers hanging around the set of Bel Ami, based on the French novel by Guy de Maupassant. Pattinson says he was keen on taking on the new project because it was a departure from the vampire character that’s made him an international star.
“I thought there was a kind of irony in Bel Ami, because a lot of the women are attracted to this character and then he kind of screws them over and steals their money and stuff,” Pattinson says.