Antonio Campos’s star-studded backwoods Gothic thriller “The Devil All the Time” has skyrocketed to the number one position on Netflix’s most-streamed movies list in the 24 hours following its debut. It’s hardly a surprise given the film pits Tom Holland against Robert Pattinson. “Devil,” based on Donald Ray Pollock’s 2011 novel, casts Pattinson as pastor Preston Teagardin, a preacher who sexually abuses young girls and grows a liking to Lenora (Eliza Scanlan), making him an enemy of her stepbrother Arvin (Holland). The character is one of Pattinson’s most despicable and is marked by the actor’s high-pitched Southern accent, a definitive character trait the actor refused to let anyone hear until his first take on set.
“Rob was impossible to get dialect coaching,” “Devil” director Campos said in an interview with The Insider. “He just didn’t want to do it. He was just adamant about figuring it out on his own. He would be like, ‘I’m gonna do this thing, and that thing, with a little bit of this.'”
Campos sent Pattinson the “Devil” script while the actor was in production on the Safdie brothers’ movie “Good Time.” The actor picked out Preston Teagardin to play but was the only cast member during pre-production not to send Campos voice recordings of his accent work.
All Campos knew about Pattinson’s accent was that it would not be his real English accent. The director heard what Pattinson had cooked up for the character during the actor’s first take, a menacing scene in which Preston sexually preys on Lenora. Pattinson’s accent fit the character like a glove, and Campos was never worried.
“I don’t get worried about those things,” the director told The Insider. “There was no way in my mind that he wasn’t going to come on set with something bad. I might not have dug it, but it wasn’t going to be bad. I’d rather have someone come with something weird that’s a choice than something that isn’t thought out. So I knew he would come with something interesting.”
Pattinson and Holland star in “The Devil All the Time” opposite Bill Skarsgård, Riley Keough, Sebastian Stan, and Jason Clarke. The movie is now streaming on Netflix.