"I guess that's kind of my process now," the 26-year-old Pattinson confessed at a Toronto press conference Monday. "I have to go through the motions of feeling I'm going to have a heart attack for a while before."
For Cosmopolis, he spent two weeks in his Toronto hotel room worrying about failure, then visited Cronenberg at home for a consultation. "He told me to stop worrying," Pattinson said with a shy smile. "I think he heard me in the very obvious throes of a manic attack."
Cronenberg did calm Pattinson down, the Londoner explained. "I think he said, when we start shooting, what will be will be." Pattinson added that he also finally realized he should not overanalyze the story or his character.
Especially because he could see that Cronenberg's script, adapted from Don DiLillo's dystopian novel, did the job beautifully. "Normally," Pattinson said of previous experiences, "the script is s--- and there is no foundation to stand on in the first place and you are just so used to changing it every time, every single movie."
With Cosmopolis, however, he realized the opposite: "The script is fine. It's you that's the problem!"
Pattinson, who careened to stardom in Twilight, has made several non-fantasy films between his five turns as brooding vampire Edward Cullen. Cosmopolis follows Remember Me, Water for Elephants and Bel Ami.
In the new film, Pattinson plays a fictional golden boy of American capitalism -- on a single day when his world is rapidly disintegrating.
Cosmopolis will be greeted with mixed reviews when it opens in Canada on Friday, just as it did when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival May 25.
It is an intensely serious piece of entertainment, with a stylized look, mood and tone. Pattinson's character, Eric Packer, spends most of his time inside his white stretch limo trying to get across Manhattan for a haircut from his boyhood barber. His new marriage -- to an icy blonde who refuses his sexual advances -- is collapsing along with his financial empire.
There are street riots. Crazy things happen inside the limo as it crawls through traffic. In one scene, a doctor visits to administer a prostrate examination while our anti-hero consults with an adviser (played by Emily Hampshire).
"I don't know which I was more excited about," Hampshire told the press conference. "Having David bend over me and show Rob how to get a prostrate exam or Rob bending over me and getting one!" Big laughs all round.
The press conference was loose and funny, despite the overwrought security that surrounded it.
Cronenberg, for example, continually cracked sly jokes about his actors, showing his relaxed demeanor.
"There are few people on the planet that are more wonderful to spend time with than David," his Canadian producer Martin Katz offered about why he worked with him for the third time. "He turns the business of filmmaking into a joy!" [source]