Robert Pattinson, the English actor who made his major breakthrough while playing the role of Edward Cullen in the immensely popular film adaptations of the Twilight novels, is amid his major return to mainstream cinema.
After emerging as one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors following the success of Twilight, Pattinson stepped away from large budgeted projects and decided to cut his teeth at ground level with a series of different independent films. Having starred in David Michôd’s futuristic western film The Rover, Pattinson went to work on David Cronenberg film Maps to the Stars, Werner Herzog’s adaptation of Gertrude Bell’s biopic film Queen of the Desert and more while earning critical acclaim in the process.
Now though, after being announced as the chosen man to replace Ben Affleck as Batman, Pattinson is preparing himself for an extremely prolific 12 months after he appeared in Robert Eggers’ black-and-white psychological horror film The Lighthouse, the high-profile Ciro Guerra film Waiting for the Barbarians as well as an appearance in the huge Christopher Nolan action film Tenet.
Pattinson’s time away from Hollywood blockbusters has allowed him a chance to reflect on his art, to hone his skills and revisit some of his favourite historical cinematic moments. When asked to collect a list of his most loved pictures by IndieWire and Rotten Tomatoes, the actor explained: “The films that I like aren’t necessarily because they’re good films in themselves — One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nestis a good film — but that one specifically meant a lot to me.”
He added: “Not because I was in a mental home or anything, but that character influenced me so much when I was 15 or 16, and bits of it stuck with me. A lot of that kind of ‘putting your middle finger up to the world’ attitude — not that I really have that, but…I used to be so timid, and that was one of those films that [helped me break out], by pretending to be [Jack Nicholson’s character] Randle.”
Unable to hide his love for Jean-Luc Godard, Pattinson showed some self-awareness when describing his admiration for the French director: “A Godard film called Prenom Carmen, which sounds like I’m just saying that to be cool, but it’s actually one of my favourite films,” he began.
“I think it’s the best Godard film. It’s like his version of Carmen the opera, one of his films from the eighties. In terms of just pure filmmaking and manipulating an audience, it kind of starts out as a farce, as a complete, stupid farce, with this bank robbery; but it’s really, really…Godardian, with kind of a stupid humour that’s so random. Only he could make it, mixed up with these kinds of philosophical elements.”
See the full list, below.
Robert Pattinson’s favourite films:
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Miloš Forman, 1975.
- Breathless – Jean-Luc Godard, 1960.
- The Exorcist – William Friedkin, 1973.
- Julia – Erick Zonca, 2008.
- Headhunters – Morten Tyldum, 2012.
- The Devils – Ken Russell, 1971.
- The Beat That My Heart Skipped – Jacques Audiard, 2005.
- Arizona Dream – Emir Kusturica, 1993.
- Pierrot le Fou – Jean-Luc Godard, 1965.
- Ivans Xtc – Bernard Rose, 2002.
- First Name: Carmen – Jean-Luc Godard, 1983.
- Deep Breath – Damien Odoul, 2001.
- Corky Romano – Rob Pritts, 2001.
- White Material – Claire Denis, 2009.
- The Lovers on the Bridge – Leos Carax, 1991.
Continuing to detail his love for Godard while in conversation with Rotten Tomatoes, Pattinson added: “I love the last line of Breathless — it’s literally one of the best [representations] of the relationship between women and men. He was also very aware of how people viewed his films, and that film in particular. Everyone was thinking, oh, I’m cool, because I like this, and it’s like, “What does ‘bitch’ mean?” [Laughs] That’s kind of the conflict. I love that.”
“Breathless is definitely what got me into Godard. You can’t really be influenced by Jean-Paul Belmondo though, because he’s too cool — so there’s no point in me trying to be like him.”