In an illuminating new interview with Vogue Homme, Claire Denis heaped some well-deserved high praise on our Mr. Pattinson, and revealed a bit of previously unknown information about their upcoming collaboration/feature film, High Life. When asked how she came to meet the actor, Ms. Denis revealed that the deceased Mr. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was the face she had envisioned in the starring role of High Life. About Hoffman, she said, “no one has ever made me feel such a sense of humanity in them. It was something tangible, I felt as if I could almost touch it.” Claire confessed that after his death, she didn’t think she’d be able to move forward with the movie because she had mentally associated the role with Mr. Hoffman to such of a great degree, “I thought I’d never make this film…In my mind’s eye, I had seen his face, his body, his voice, and his enigmatic being.”
Fortunately, for her and who am I kidding, for us, a few months following Mr. Hoffman’s premature death, Robert heard about the project and reached out to Ms. Denis. Believe it or not, she goes on to say that she was afraid he would be disappointed, and said, “I thought that perhaps he wouldn’t be interested in working on the sort of films I make.” I wish she would have known that Robert had previously stated a desire to work with her. According to Claire, Robert read the script and was of course, thrilled with what he read. She said, “He read the script and told me that he wanted to do it. Something else impressed itself on me, a sense of freedom, an element of surprise. His confidence in me renewed my confidence in the project.” Can I take a minute to just say WOW! She also had this to say about the plot:
“Robert has the main role: a man a long way from earth. One by one, his companions die, and he survives, perhaps because he has a taciturn, monastic side to him that protects him. He will have to make decisions that affect others, not just himself. He’s rather like a knight of the Round Table projected into a world of science fiction. I imagine him to be secretly hemmed in, so that even when he’s in a group, he appears to be alone, and this reserve or diffidence gives him an ability, which others don’t have, to withstand fear and pain.”
Claire shared that she originally met Mr. Pattinson in Los Angeles, and that his confidence in the project made her forget just how fantastically famous he really is. She said, “when I saw Twilight, I liked it immediately because he has heartrending charisma.” Ms. Denis acknowledged that physically speaking, Robert is very different from the late Mr. Hoffman, but went on to say that, “Robert is very enigmatic, with a powerful presence. He gives off an aura that immediately makes you want to film him.” The interview ended with this gem, “I hope I can keep a cool head on the first day with Robert Pattinson.” This was one of my favorite interviews to date. I thought it was truly exceptional and incredibly well written. Kudos to the author, Didier Peron.
Scans courtesy of Robsessed
For a full transcription of the interview, please visit the ultra talented, Nicole!