Robert Pattinson, in a recent profile in Vanity Fair, said “….being in such a specific pigeonhole right now, it’s very strange. Having a persona people recognize, it’s the thing that probably gets you paid the most—but it’s also the thing that virtually every actor in the world doesn’t want. Cause, like, no one would believe me if I wanted to play something ultra-realistic, like a gangster or something.”
And thus, there is the problem the actor now faces. While “Breaking Dawn” will keep the media glare on him for the next couple of years, the actor is already looking for roles that will take him outside of the brooding heartthrob category he seems to have been shoved into. He tried a tragic spin on it with the egregious “Remember Me” and next month, he takes another romantic role in “Water For Elephants” (he tells Vanity Fair that he took the gig when production designer Jack Fisk told him it was going to look like “Days Of Heaven“, on which he did art direction for Terrence Malick back in the ’70s). So while Twihards will still have plenty of Pattinson to swoon over, his next role in “Bel Ami,” he admits, will throw a bit of curveball to his longtime fans.
Based on a book by Guy de Maupassant, “Bel Ami” co-stars Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci and finds Pattinson playing George Duroy, a sexy social climber in turn-of-the-century 1890s Paris, who seduces his way to wealth and fame from a poor beginning. Thurman will play the wife of one of Duroy’s friends who eventually marries Pattinson’s seductive schemer. Kristin Scott Thomas will appear as a woman who overestimates Duroy’s attachment to her. And to hear Pattinson describe his character, he won’t be likable chap.
“We were really true to the book and because the guy is basically a shit who wins everything at the end it’s really difficult to market it – especially with me in it,” Pattinson told Total Film.
“Everyone’s worried that everyone’s going to be thinking, ‘Oh I want him to be nice, he’s got to be nice to all the ladies’,” he explained about the task the film’s marketer’s will have to face.
We guess we’ll have to see how they decide to approach selling the film or if they’ll try and soften up the harder edges of the movie. The film wrapped last spring and still has no release date penciled in — Pattinson says the film is still in editing as they figure out what to do with his character — and it will be interesting to see where this lands. Buzz around the pic has been quiet but maybe producers will trot it out to the festival circuit in the fall to see how it plays before deciding how to get it out there? We’ll have to see how it all plays out, but that’s what we’d do.