Rob: it is weird, because I have so many pictures taken, at premieres and stuff. There are singular photos which people want to have signed, and that are always the same. I can’t understand it, because it’s not my taste. I think, why this picture? I don’t know if there is THE ONE picture… I think I am the wrong person to judge… And the James Dean picture was like a campaign, the pictures were staged in a certain way. they should show the lost soul. should he go back to the family farm or not? they wanted to show the inner conflict of the young farm boy and artist. Pictures of me is like covering every base possible… it’s like he’s a fourteen year old (laughs) or something… it’s kind of dilute a bit.
Q: Isn’t it annoying to be photographed all the time?
Rob: I’m a lot more comfortable now than before. I don’t really know why. I guess when people have seen you a million times in a certain pose then they look through you. Either you stand there like a Madam Tussaud figure or you look just frightened, all the time. I avoid to take photos now.
Q: But sure now you know how to look to get a good photo?
Rob: When I was younger I suddenly caught myself posing. then I told myself to stop. it’s embarrassing.
Q: What did you know about JD?
Rob: Like pretty much any actor goes through a period, I was a bit obsessed with him, with 16 or 17. Everyone in this age studies his body language, and then in a casting they all do JD, that is quite embarrassing. I didn’t read his biography or anything, but I watched a lot of his stuff.
Q: But then Anton Corbijn didn’t ask you to play JD, but Dane DeHaan. Were you disappointed then?
R: I mean, he is a very interesting person, it’s an interesting part, but Dennis stuck out to me anyway. They way the JD role was written he is very self confident. He knows that he will break through. But I never was one who thinks success is inevitable. When there are problems I think at once: you don’t make it. Dennis Stock was full of fear, I can relate to that much more than the kind of free spirited artist.
Q: We don’t know as much about Stock as we know about JD. We see Dennis Stock in a very unsatisfied situation, also in private life. What was the point you wanted to show?
Rob: He is a quite negative character. he is an asshole. that’s what I loved about it. this is deceptive. Many people who want to be an artist are afraid, and the fear holds them back from becoming the artist they want to be. And then they blame wife and kid, and the city, because they are afraid they aren’t as good an artist as they think. that was Dennis personality, and I can relate to this. And then there is JD, and Dennis is so jealous, he’s living the life the way he wants to live it. And he is fulfilling his potential as an artist. He is like: I don’t understand.
Q: How do you cope with pressure and expectations for yourself?
Rob: (???? I don’t understand, translated as: it’s an up and down) People always say: don’t listen to anyone. But obviously you have to listen to people. It’s a difficult balance. On the one hand you are supposed to entertain people, and on the other hand it can hurt you so much when the audience doesn’t like you. At the same time you can’t do anything interesting without the fear. it’s a difficult balance. one day you say: f… it. the next: please love me! and without this pressure it would be boring. I don’t have a solution. Everytime I take a new job I go crazy, everything in me breaks down, I get depressed and think I’m the worst actor ever. My dad says then, I like you this way, it means you will be doing a good job. But I can’t find the idea romantic that you have to pay with pain. I don’t understand it, it’s so weird. Because once you are working it’s fine, it’s fun. But the weeks before are awful.
Q: Maybe you don’t see it in your hotel room, but the fans are standing early in the morning at the red carpet to see you in the evening. I see similarities to JD, the hype, the screaming since TW – can you compare it?
Rob: I see a difference. Tw was one of the first movies where the distribution company has seen the potential of the internet fanbase. they let them create the hype. With JD it was that people wanted him to be their leader. that is the difference. In TW the audience wanted to find themselves. Fans felt like a part of it. the JD fame – and that’s why the pressure was so much higher for him – people were looking at him: where are you taking us, tell us how to live! well, no one has asked me how to live at all!
Q: When did you realize what has happened to you? Twilight was just a movie but has caused such a hysteria….
Rob: I feel I was in sort of shock for four years. In the last two years I start to realize things slow down a little bit. And i understood who I am and what I want. When I had signed for the TW sequels I knew it would take ten years until the next chapter of my life can start. And it feels exactly like this. It’s seven years now, things calm down. I can go to the supermarket now. it’s amazing, this glorious experiences like going to McDonalds! (laughing)
Q: Maybe one day you’ll go to the supermarket and no one recognize you. Would you miss it?
Rob: No. I never really found that much… I mean, it’s nice when people come to premieres, and when suddenly no one came I’d wonder. I like my job and want people to see the movies. but the hysteria doesn’t fill me, on the contrary, it makes me nervous, I don’t need it. The only scary thing is when you get to a point where people still recognize you, but they just don’t care. (laughs) that’s the worst.
Q: Do you photograph yourself? I don’t mean selfies, I mean real photos.
Rob: I don’t have a selfie face. there are some people who can take selfies, and they look really good. and then there are people with asymmetric faces, and depending on the side the picture is taken they look like an idiot. that’s what I have. If not for this maybe I’d be all the time on Instagram and twitter and stuff with my photos. But because i don’t have a selfie face, it’s just, it’s not, I can’t be a part of it. (laughs)
The audio interview is in German, but you can still here Rob at times.
Thank you very much, Nicole 🙂