Leave it to renowned loner-prankster Robert Pattinson to give the world’s wackiest isolation interview during the coronavirus pandemic. About a month ago, GQ senior staff writer Zach Baron spent some quality FaceTime with the enigmatic film star, interviewing him for the magazine’s June/July cover story.
It started out as a fairly by-the-book conversation: they talked about Christopher Nolan’s summer blockbuster Tenet, starring Pattinson, and bulking up to play The Batman, which he was shooting in London when the world shut down in March. Pattinson’s been holed up in a studio-provided flat, eating studio-catered meals, in the company of girlfriend Suki Waterhouse ever since. And he should maybe stick to the pre-made food going forward.
GQ’s Pattinson profile took a hilarious, dangerous and, uh, high-calorie turn when the actor attempted a cooking demonstration involving microwaved pasta, store bought sauce, loads of cheese, sugar and cornflakes, all layered inside a hollowed-out tin foil “pillow” and baked. Er, theoretically. Pattinson didn’t get that far in his concoction, because he put the aluminum mass into what he thought was an oven but was actually a microwave, proceeding to blow a fuse and nearly start a fire in his borrowed kitchen.
Whether or not the aluminum “pillow” fiasco was a stunt is debatable, because Pattinson insisted he was trying to replicate a prototype of the handheld pasta products he wants to market and sell to people… as food. GQ’s fact checking backs up that, yes, Pattinson has culinary business aspirations. But his taste is, uh, debatable: “It is weird, but my preferences are… just sort of eat like a wild animal. [laughs] Like, out of a trash can,” Pattinson told GQ. Yep, that holds up.
Another notable aspect of GQ’s story: Pattinson shot all his own self-portraits, and they’re delightful in a chaotic, unwashed-yet-somehow-sexy sort of way. The intimacy of them is what’s so striking, I think. There’s the star of the Twilight saga posing with a can of beans. Ah, there he is in a messy walk-in closet with socks tied around his appendages, looking like a toddler who’s been caught raiding dad’s wardrobe. In the one where he’s modeling his own underwear, I definitely spy a Juul.
Pattinson revealed he reviles being earnest in interviews; he prefers his image as a “chaos agent,” as Baron called him in the GQ piece. But hijinks aside, the two men did get into an interesting discussion about Pattinson’s evolution as an actor — and how it maps to his evolution as a human being.
Lots of people assumed he eschewed big-budget blockbusters after Twilight to focus on indie films, because he was looking to establish cred as a serious thespian. But in the GQ article, Pattinson said he wasn’t trying to prove anything. “I grew up liking classic movies, and then I was really into watching movies when I was a teenager,” he noted. “I wanted to work with those people. But I didn’t realize that you actually could.”
Pattinson also said he disagrees with the impulse to categorize certain films as fluff and others as serious art. “I look at the Twilight movies, and I think in a lot of ways they seem more like sort of existential art house movies than the things that were intentionally that.” Well, sounds like someone is angling for a movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s forthcoming Twilight prequel, told from Edward’s perspective. We stan a savvy businessman.
Though we cannot support that pasta monstrosity. Sorry, Rob.