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TIFF 2014: Pattinson reflects on a changing L.A. with new TIFF film, Maps to the Stars

Robert-Pattinson-Maps-to-the-Stars.jpg-mediumBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

“This is the weirdest hotel ever,” says Robert Pattinson. He’s at TIFF to promote his latest collaboration with David Cronenberg, the Hollywood satire Maps to the Stars, and he doesn’t much like the suite we’ve been given to do the interview. “I just keep picturing if I was actually staying in a room here… there’s such bad terrible vibes in every room.”

A self-described spiritual person, the former Twilight heartthrob picks up on vibes in hotel rooms and in film scripts.

“There is something so jarring and weird about it. I can’t really tell what it is.”

He’s not talking about the room anymore, he’s on to Maps to the Stars. It’s a Hollywood satire, a jaundiced look at child stardom, the thirst for fame and hard-to-keep secrets, but Pattinson says it was something else that grabbed his attention.

“I don’t think I really thought of the Hollywood aspect of it,” he says. “I liked the mystic aspects of it. David is always talking about being this militant atheist but every single movie he does is so spiritual. He says, ‘It’s not that at all,’ but yes it is!’

“Maybe I’m just reading into it because I’m a very spiritual person but the last scene is this weirdly transcendent thing. There’s an altar and a burnt house. It’s like family as religion. And also the way the family reacts to one another, there are these weird blood honor oaths, like all the priests hiding stuff in the Catholic Church. Hiding these disgusting secrets they think are going to destroy them.”

The movie uses the notion of Hollywood mythology as a palette to paint a picture of the stupid, venal and stratospherically self-involved behavior that goes on behind the scenes in Beverly Hills’ gated communities and nightclubs.

The movie, says Pattinson, reflects “what it used to be. It’s changed quite a lot in LA. When I first started going to LA everyone was underage and if you were a famous actor the rules did not apply. You could be a sixteen-year-old and go into a club but now that there are camera phones everywhere that doesn’t exist anymore. That period was so weird. You’d see a fourteen-year-old actor wasted, doing lines of blow on the table. It was crazy. Now they just do it at their parent’s house.”

This is the second film Pattison has made with Cronenberg. The young actor says the seventy-one-year-old director is “fun to be around,” and also shares a love of pushing the envelope.

“I like to do things that feel a little bit dangerous and there’s not many people who do that. I don’t really relate to that many normal things. I like things that are sort of surreal. I find them easier to play. I don’t gravitate toward kitchen sink dramas. I don’t feel like that. I like things that are slightly off the wall.”


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