The Batman star Robert Pattinson gave an “immediate yes” when approached for the role of the next Dark Knight, but the independent actor hopes to avoid the same fame and attention that surrounded his Twilight franchise. The 33-year-old actor — who famously played heartthrob vampire Edward Cullen across the five-movie Twilight Saga that grossed more than $3 billion between 2008 and 2012 — suspects it will be “impossible” for his first superhero role to reach the same level of stardom and mania as Twilight, but Pattinson is nonetheless hopeful he’ll be able to mostly keep to the shadows with The Batman.
“There’s a part of me that just thinks it’s impossible to kind of be [on the level of] what happened with Twilight, because it was just sort of so sudden,” Pattinson told The TODAY Show when asked if he might be wary about stepping back into another franchise role. “And now I’m kind of… I don’t know, I’m hoping it won’t be people hanging outside my place [laughs]. I just think I’m kind of boring and old now, so it’s fine.”
Going against whatever trepidation Pattinson might have had was an interest in playing an established character with a pre-existing audience, a change in pace from Pattinson’s out-there roles in indie projects like The Lighthouse.
“It just really appealed to me. I don’t know what it is which happened inside of me,” Pattinson said on Variety’s Actors on Actors. “It’s a different feeling where you want to do something where you know there’s an audience, there’s an anticipation from an audience that’s already there. I like doing something that is something an audience kind of doesn’t know that it wants and kind of try to get it out to them, and that’s a whole different thing. There’s a competitive side as well where you know everyone’s like, ‘Oh yeah? You want to play Batman?’ And it’s kind of fun. The challenge of it is kind of interesting.”
Pattinson also found himself attracted to playing a superhero character less squeaky clean than his contemporaries.
“I have no interest whatsoever in playing who’s heroic,” he said. “The only time I want to play someone an audience knows they’re supposed to like is when they really shouldn’t like them. That’s the only time. He’s a very, very, very troubled person. There’s very few of a character that’s regarded by everyone as a heroic character that they know that they need to save the day and they know they’re good. And I always find it interesting to know that Batman, he’s always struggling a little bit, in some iterations of the stories anyway. He doesn’t know if he’s that great or not. And that’s kind of interesting. Walking the line all the time.”
The Matt Reeves-directed The Batman opens June 25, 2021.