Following the conclusion of the Twilight series in 2012, Robert Pattinson’s acting career flourished into a world of potential. Immediately seizing an opportunity to star in the David Cronenberg movie Cosmopolis, the actor’s pin-up status was about to be torn down, with the ‘Pattaisaance’ soon to begin.
Starring as a billionaire asset-manager riding in a limousine across Manhattan, Pattinson dominates the screen in Cronenberg’s strange odyssey against capitalism, showing off a peculiar malaise that would suggest a future for the actor rich in complexity. Such critical success opened Pattinson up to a new avenue of filmmaking, one that viewed him as a serious tool to benefit the story, as opposed to the aesthetic figure he was seen as in his early career.
In modern cinema Pattinson is considered one of the most exciting actors in the industry, appearing in Christopher Nolan’s epic blockbuster Tenet, as well as Matt Reeves’ titular caped crusader in 2022’s The Batman. As a result, Pattinson holds a strong fanbase, split between those who have held him close ever since Twilight, as well as new followers who appreciate his new career direction.
Giving fans of the actor a crucial insight into his personality, Pattinson spoke to Rotten Tomatoes in 2008 to discuss his favourite films of all time, with the actor picking Hollywood classics as well as some unusual arthouse choices.
Speaking of unusual films, Pattinson’s first pick went to the 2002 movie Ivans Xtc by Bernard Rose, a film that is loosely based on Leo Tolstoy’s 1886 novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich, following a Hollywood agent who presses on with business despite grave personal tragedy. Revealing his love for the film, Pattinson told the publication, “It’s amazing; Danny Huston should have gotten nominated for an Oscar for it…it’s kind of a dumb movie before Huston comes in, and then literally is the best example of one performance elevating a movie”.
The Rob Pritts comedy Corky Romano is the actor’s second choice, with Pattinson reporting without embarrassment, “Literally, that’s one of the only films I’ve pissed my pants at. Like, I actually pissed my pants”. Telling the story of the son of a Mafia boss who must go undercover for the FBI, Pattinson praised the movie for the central performance of Chris Kattan, adding, “I love that character. I love how Chris Kattan just stripped his whole career in one movie. The only guy off Saturday Night Live who just messed it up!”.
Third on his list is the influential Miloš Forman drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, based on the novel of the same name by Ken Kesey, starring Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito and Louise Fletcher. “That one specifically meant a lot to me,” Pattinson said of the film, adding, “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”.
Adding a touch of variety to his choices, Pattinson also goes with the William Friedkin horror movie The Exorcist from 1973, a film that is still considered to be one of the scariest movies of all time, to this very day. Seemingly choosing the film because of Linda Blair, commenting that “she’s my ideal woman,” we like to think he also has an appreciation for the artistry of terror on show, as well as the shining performance of Max von Sydow.
The final film on Pattinson’s list is the Jean-Luc Godard movie Prenom Carmen starring Maruschka Detmers and Myriem Roussel. A massive Godard fan, Pattinson gushes over the filmmaker, calling his 1983 movie, “the best Godard film”. Fully articulating his love of the movie, he adds, “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 humor that’s so random. Only he could make it, mixed up with these kinds of philosophical elements”.
Robert Pattinson’s five favourite movies of all time:
- Ivans Xtc (Bernard Rose, 2002)
- Corky Romano (Rob Pritts, 2001)
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Miloš Forman, 1975)
- The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
- Prenom Carmen (Jean-Luc Godard, 1983)