Press in Cannes Keeps Wanting To Make Twilight Comparisons

We’ve attended press conferences where they make it clear to only ask questions on the current film (Water for Elephants, The Runaways, etc) and to keep it away from personal life (who is in a relationship with who, whose marriage is on the rocks). It was respected by those who were there.

The only crossover we’ve ever seen (and we think it’s a legit question) is what might draw your fanbase from Twilight to be interested in this current film? It’s a question that any publicist worth their salt preps their client for, and we’ve seen it successfully answered by everyone from Peter Facinelli, to Kristen Stewart, to Taylor Lautner, to Chris Weitz when they are on other projects.

It’s not even a unique question for Twilight. It happens to Harry Potter actors, action movie actors when they are in a different genre, even singers who cross-over into film.

Here’s are two exchanges that took place in Cannes. Do you think someone dropped the ball on prepping Robert Pattinson to answer a common question. Do you think David Cronenberg overreacted?

But even playing a Wall Street banker with one of the most respected directors in the world won’t allow Pattinson to escape the ever-looming specter of Twilight. Before Friday’s press conference in Cannes, the moderator warned journalists to keep the questions to Cosmopolis: “Let’s try to keep vampire and bats out of the conversation,” he said. The comment drew laughs from the journalists crammed into every seat in the room. But it wasn’t long before a question came that drew a comparison to Pattinson playing a vampire in Twilight and a “blood-sucking capitalist” in Cosmopolis. The comment drew a rebuke from Cronenberg. “You must ignore the baggage,” Cronenberg said. “You know it exists. But we’re doing a new thing. And you have to forget all that other stuff.”

Later on there was a similar parallel to Robert Pattinson’s real life of dealing with the paparazzi

Later Pattinson was asked to compare his life to the insular life of his banker character on the film. Much of the movie takes places in the confines of a limousine. “I’m not the best self analyst,” said Pattinson. ” I cannot seem to bring anything from my life into my work.” Pattinson then stumbled a bit before saying, “Why can’t I just answer the question? It’s so annoying.” Cronenberg stepped in again. “The reason you cannot answer the question,” said Cronenberg, “is because it’s a flawed question — trying to make a connection between Rob’s life as a celebrity and his character’s life.”

All quotes via USA Today


  1. I understand the desire on the part of actors, directors and publicists to keep questions and analysis to the current project rather than turn every interview into a Twilight rehash…but I’m a little annoyed with Cronenberg’s response. Baggage? Rob has done a great job portraying the character of Edward in the Twilight movies. Obviously he saw something in Rob’s performances and abilities that made him think Rob could pull off the role in Cosmopolis. So why so condescending? As if he has absolutely no respect for the films and Rob’s appearances in them are a negative thing to be overcome…

    • CatWhit says:

      I think by baggage he meant the image that Pattinson is only Edward in a lot of fan’s eyes; that some people have trouble seeing him playing a different type of character. Even in Water For Elephants and Remember Me he was playing a troubled romantic lead. Cosmopolis is a drastically different character. At least that’s how I read it.

  2. smitten_by_twilight says:

    Totally dropped the ball. While they may be true answers, they are not answers that serve the function of promoting the movie, and Croenberg’s baggage comment sounds negative even though it might not have been meant that way.

    • Twilight_News says:

      EXACTLY. How did NO ONE anticipate that line of questioning? It left Rob looking dumb and Cronenberg annoyed and the article on THAT and not the film. Newsflash Rob, you are going to be asked about Twilight for the rest of your career, just like Dan Radcliffe will be asked about Potter,and Colin Firth was asked about Darcy in a wet shirt until he was out of that heartthrob age range…you’re going to need an answer that can cross apply to whatever project you are on. Shame on whoever didn’t do the obvious prep work or shame on Rob and Cronenberg for not doing media training for the event

      • Cronenberg responded to the journalist who used the term “baggage” with his own word. If you listen to the exchange you will hear it in the question. He obviously did anticipate that lline of questioning and squashed it as fast as possible. He also put paid to any attempts to compare his own previous work with “Cosmopolis.” I think the journalist’s question was a clumsy attempt to link the two characters who have nothing in common with each other at all. Eric Packer is not a vampire and Edward Cullen is not a wheeler dealer from NY. Why is it considered the norm that every press conference an actor in the series does must include references to Twilight? Should Paul Giamatti only answer questions about his previous films, or see his character in “Cosmopolis” only in relation to his work in “Sideways?” In any case, Pattinson deferred to his director. He obviously didn’t want to broach the subject after Cronenberg had just said let’s not talk about that.

        Pattinson has frequently answered questions about his celebrity and Saga at conferences, most recently at the Berlin for “Bel Ami,” and unfailing done endless publicity and promo for the Saga. He’s been subject to ridicule and dismissal in much of the critical media for the role of Edward, and has always shown his attachment to the role and defended his place in the series. Aside from the humorous notion that Cronenberg should have ‘media training,’ I find the willingness to throw Robert under the bus, particularly when he’s nervously dealing with the biggest media spotlight and arena actor will ever face, shameful. Perhaps Pattinson should cut back on his promo for BD2 and then he won’t stumble answering questions about “Cosmopolis.”

        • you think too much of Twilight, it is garbage! I am proud of Rob and Cronenberg!

          • Whatever you think of Twilight, you cannot deny that it opened doors for Rob that would have been closed tight without it.

            That series of films (as well as the fans) helped jumpstart this man’s career. He took opportunity and turned it into gold. Some people can’t stand that.

          • If you think Twilight is garbage…why comment on a site specific to the Saga?

      • JustMe44 says:

        Colin Firth out of the heartthrob range???? I didn’t know that was possible.

    • Negative by whom? Twihards?

  3. Faye massenroe says:

    Cronenburg was condescending at best. Rob should just say that every role including has helped him prepare in some way for the role of Eric Packer

  4. Perhaps the central problem is that there ISN’T anything that might draw the fanbase from Twilight to be interested in this current film.

    If the themes run counter to one another, then regardless of who or what is on the screen, it seems unlikely that fans of one could/would really embrace the other. Because when you disagree with the message, it’s really hard for people to get past that — even when they’d have difficulty articulating precisely what those themes are. Different worldview, different audience.

  5. It seems that Rob will never be able to fully escape the anchor around his ankle known as “Twilight”. It will probably be a long time before anyone finally lets him live it down. Mr Croenberg was correct in his statement “You must ignore the baggage,” Cronenberg said. “You know it exists. But we’re doing a new thing. And you have to forget all that other stuff.” The Twilight movies were garbage and i am a BIG fan and have seen all of the movies, but Rob did not do himself any favors by doing such a really really bad job playing Edward. The last time we saw him in the role of Edward he was a emotionless, mumbling mess.It has not been his finest hour. So Cronenberg wants to distant Rob from this as much as possible. For people to keep asking these silly questions is embarrassing.

    • Wow! An “emotionless, mumbling mess?!” Did you watch the same movie as the rest of us? And still, even if Cronenberg feels, and in some respects, rightly, that Rob’s past movie choices and experiences have little to do with the current film…to dismiss it in such an off-hand and derogatory way is just impolite and rude. There would have been much more respectful and polite ways to redirect the interview.

    • On the contrary, I believe Rob did a wonderful job of playing Edward.
      In fact, I think his best outing as Edward was in Breaking Dawn pt1. His portrayal was both faithful and heart wrenching.

      I too am wondering if you saw the same movie that that the rest of us did!

      However, I don’t think Cronenberg meant to be derogatory towards Rob’s other works, they were there to promote Cosmopolis after all, and if I, as a fan get fed up with hearing how EVERY move they make compares to their most well known role, then I can’t even begin to imagine how frustrating they must find it.

      • Well, I suppose “derogatory” was harsh. I suppose I am just tired of the continuing criticism of the series. It isn’t put forth to be a wondrous political-statement film and Oscar contender (like Cosmopolis)… but it IS meant to be an entertaining and pleasing adaptation of a well-loved book series that fans world-wide can, and do, enjoy. While it may be unfair for reporters to pose unrelated questions meant to incite or provoke…it’s going to happen. And I just wish it could be handled a bit more gracefully. Perhaps Cronenberg could have said that the “baggage” of Twilight provided Rob with many ardent fans who, he hoped, would enjoy his newest film outing and support his future work.

    • Faye massenroe says:

      The character was a mess because he didn’t want to lose his wife. Rob’s portrayal of Edwards anguish during the birth scene was probably the best of any of the whole movie.

      • Exactly. And if there were any seemingly “emotionless” moments…it would be purposeful restraint since he is portraying an inhuman being who does not deal with emotions in the same way.

        • Ok maybe i was a little too harsh on Rob. But you have to admit they could have did a better job with the Twilight movies. I am just glad that he is finally getting some love from the critics and maybe this will show people that he can act if he is given the right role and has a good script that was actually written by a decent script writer and not the untalented hack that wrote all the Twilight scripts.

          • Well that’s better. =) I like the movies for their own sakes…but I will also admit there are certain things that could have been doing differently. I don’t have a problem with any of the directors…it was more likely on the production/screenplay side of things. As you said, I’m glad that Rob is finally getting some appreciation for his abilities. I do find it a shame that the fact that he portrayed the character of Edward accurately and made a real effort to understand his point of view is criticized by many reviewers…when they obviously haven’t read the books or bothered to understand the role.

  6. i think the answers were fine.

    i don’t think cronenberg was really dissing twilight–sure it wasn’t the best set of movies ever made and he knows that, sure what he said could be dissected down and probably wasn’t the best politically correct thing to say (i think everyone is a little too overwhelming about offending)–but it impacted millions of people and we love it, and everyone has to admit how successful it was and is. i think he was just saying it [the franchise] is such a huge thing and constantly gets included in all future functions of rob’s life.

    my interpretation: cronenberg simply wanted to say to the journalists, “let it go, this movie is unrelated and we all want to move on.” really, journalist have been asking the same questions about twilight for years and years. i think i would go crazy if i were forced to repeat myself and find new ways of saying the same thing for 5 years–all the while focused on not saying the wrong thing. that doesn’t mean rob or anyone else involved doesn’t appreciate their experiences. it just means they want to move forward.

  7. Kudos to Cronenberg, he doesn;t look to his other movies when making a new one, because its entirely diffrerent and new and that applies to Rob and other actors. Aside of CH Twilight, the other sequels are crap. Rob as never been afraid to face the media, he is funny and honest. And not media train boring like Lautner.

    • Jean Brown says:

      First i have to disagree with you about CH Twilight not being “crap”. Twilight is the crap that spawn all of the rest of the Twilight crappy movies. What does Taylor Lautner have to do with this. This article is about Rob not Taylor.

  8. And since this site was invited to the press event, what is your contribution in promoting Cosmopolis?, instead you promote SM projects to the max (she shd concentrate on making Twilight better). Shame on you!

    • LadyLovesLeo says:

      Hello! This site is a Twilight fansite. As she is the author of Twilight, why wouldn’t we be interested in SM projects and her other works? If this weren’t your first visit, you’d know that we are also interested in projects by the film actors as well. Hence, the story presented here on the Cosmopolis film.

  9. LadyLovesLeo says:

    You know what really upsets me? That anyone, including Rob, should ever be made to feel they should be ashamed of their work and participation in the Twilight films. Regardless of your opinion of the theatrical works, let’s be honest and admit is the “claim to fame” for it’s actors – especially Rob. Why should he ever be ashamed of the films that gave him worldwide fame and made him a household name? Dance with the one that brought you Rob!

    • When has Robert ever said he is ‘ashamed’ of the Twilight Saga? I believe the only negative connotation he has voiced is being worried about typecasting, a legimate concern for any actor associated with a series of films, or a long-running television show, for that matter. What upsets me is the assumptions made such as one you’ve suggested. And if you want to hear a more extreme response than Cronenberg’s when Twilight was raised at another film’s press conference, you should check out David Heyman’s (producer of Harry Potter.)

      Again, the journalist here was not asking about the fanbase. He asked how Cronenberg and Pattinson had incorporated elements or the significance of the role he’s most associated with into the role of Eric Packer. Cronenberg’s basic answer was that you can’t, that he didn’t regarding his own previous work in relation to Cosmopolis, that Paul Giamatti didn’t regarding his well-known previous roles, and you have to leave all that at the door and start afresh. The word “baggage” was used by the journalist so Cronenberg handed his own word back to him. He said the attempt to link the character of Packer with a vampire was a somewhat superficial association, and I agree. Any more than it would be to define Edward Cullen as merely a capitalist investor, even though his character is wealthy.

      I suggest rather than using USA Today as a source for this exchange, people might actually go to the primary source, the conference, and see the context in which these questions were put and answered. I saw no point at which Robert appeared to be dissing Twilight, or ashamed of it, and if he struggled with trying to define his own celebrity in relation to his character’s, he has frequently said he has difficulty with perspective on that aspect of his life.

      Robert, in fact, did answer a question about his Twilight fanbase and how they might react to other projects
      like Cosmopolis when interviewed by Premiere fr. He said he felt they seemed open to supporting the actors in other projects, and were a unique fanbase in being prepared to be interested in film in general. He said he didn’t feel he had to keep repeating himself to please them, and people underestimated the capacity of the fanbase to appreciate more than just one kind of film. Obviously, from some of these comments, he was also incorrect in his assumptions.

    • Faye massenroe says:

      Just in case anyone wants to know Robs thoughts, here in an excerpt from an interview from Shortlist:

       “Playing the same part for a while, you just run out of ideas,” he said. “You feel kind of useless, you don’t know what to do anymore.” 

       “I’m not trying to get away from it.” he added “You’re screwing yourself, you’re saying you think your work is sh*t if you try and get away from it. And I never thought it was. But I kind of got to the end of my inspiration. You get to the point where you’re like, ‘I don’t want to do a film for a teen audience any more’.”

  10. Brianna says:

    At the beginning of the Press Conference it was asked to refrain from talking about Twilight. The journalist went against that. During the OTR conference one journalist merely mentioned Rob’s name and he got shot down by the moderator before finishing the question. Why was Rob not afforded the same courtesy? This was about Cosmopolis not any other movies that the actors may have been a part of. I think that question is fine in a junket situation or even smaller interviews, but not at this event.

  11. Moonbeam says:

    Heh… I don’t think Rob would take well to being “prepped” for an interview. 😉

    That said, I’m soooo sick and tired of articles saying Rob Pattinson is trying to “break free” from Twilight with Remember Me… or rather he’s breaking free with Bel Ami… or wait, he’s breaking free with Water for Elephants… oh no, wait, he’s breaking free with Cosmopolis.

    It’s stupid.

    I agree with Cronenberg:

    Rob — the baggage that these people are trying to attach to your neck should be ignored. Move on. We love you as Edward, and we thank you for finishing out the series, and we look forward to your final performance in November. But now that you’re too old to play Eddie, we’ll continue to check out all your other work! Best of luck in what should be a great career.

  12. Sorry, just off topic. Why every single time Rob has new film coming up, the press keep relating him to vampire. Is that the same for Taylor? Any press relating him to werewolf? Does it mean Rob has done a good job in portraiting Edward? Just asking….

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