Robert Pattinson admits not understanding plot to new movie Cosmopolis

Cosmopolis is based on the Don DeLillo novel of the same name, and is set in a dystopian New York, a city in turmoil as the age of capitalism comes to an end.

Feted for challenging and often odd movies such as The Fly, A History of Violence and Videodrome, why did director David Cronenberg cast Twilight star Robert Pattinson as Eric Packer, the central character?

He explained: "Well it starts when you're casting in a very basic, pragmatic way.

"You say, 'OK, what is the age of the character?' And then you have to cross off your list of actors all the actors who are too young or too old, you know, and then it's, 'OK, he plays an American, that means he's either an American actor or an actor who can do a good American accent,' so you cross (more) off the list."

"Gradually you find yourself with a very small list of actors, and then not surprisingly if your movie is relatively expensive, and for us, compared with a Hollywood blockbuster it's cheap, but compared with most independent films, it's, it's right at the top level, you have to have an actor whose fame will support the budget that you have, so that makes the list even shorter.

"And at that point, Rob was at the top of the list, and I was very excited to think that he would do this movie."

Packer is a billionaire tycoon, who cares little for the bloody, populist riots that explode outside his cushioned limousine - all he wants is a haircut.

Rob admitted that he got a bit lost when it came to the plot: "It's funny, I kept saying when I read it, 'I can't understand,' I told David I didn't understand it.

“I kind of still, I watch it and I want to imagine something else, and I guess that's how I was trying to play it, like just imagining something as something else the whole time, and not being able to identify it.”

However, his displacement fitted right into Cronenberg's vision, as the star said: "David quite quickly realized that what he liked was when I didn't have any idea what I was doing, like I mean I was sort of sitting there, completely lost and confused, and he was like, 'That was the one!'”

Events in the world of Cosmopolis have eerie parallels with the news events of the last twelve months.

Cronenberg welcomed the exceptional twist of fate. He recalled: "Well actually I started working on the script of 'Cosmopolis' before I made 'A Dangerous Method,' so there was quite a long span before I could get to making this movie. And in that time, it's almost as though the world caught up with Don DeLillo's novel, which was written 12 years ago.

"To our surprise, and it was a complete coincidence, we felt we were suddenly shooting a documentary.

“We were shooting scenes of anti-capitalist riots in the streets of New York, and then reading about anti-capitalist riots in the streets of New York, and the Occupy Wall Street movement, and we thought, 'Well, this is exciting because suddenly we've got our finger on the pulse of contemporary events.' We never expected that, I must say.'”

  • Cosmopolis will be released in the UK on June 15.

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