Robert Pattinson was in Toronto yesterday for a press conference about his new movie Cosmopolis, along with director David Cronenberg and several co-stars, including Sarah Gadon, Kevin Durand, Paul Giamatti and Emily Hampshire. Looking dapper in a black sports coat over a black polo shirt, he admitted to having panic attacks before shooting began in Toronto last year. “I have to go through the motions of feeling I’m going to have a heart attack for a while before,” he admitted. “I guess that’s kind of my process.” He spent two weeks in a Toronto hotel room fretting, wondering how he was to come up with an interpretation of his character that would be completely original, before he spoke to Cronenberg about it. “He told me to stop worrying,” Rob explained. “I think he heard me in the very obvious throes of a panic attack.” Rob admitted with a laugh, “I’m not a post-modernist scholar or anything.” Cronenberg, who was sitting beside him, deadpanned: “Your agent said you were,” which elicited a round of laughter from the journalists.
Cronenberg wrote the screenplay from a book by Don DeLillo and unlike other scripts, the actors were expected to do it word-for-word, without rearranging anything. There were also no rewrites. “But there’s something about the construction in his writing that’s so easy, you don’t need to add anything to it, and I think that’s just what (Cronenberg) encouraged me to do,” Rob explained. The first scene shot for the movie featured Rob and co-star Jay Baruchel, whom Rob said with a laugh, “looked so scared, I thought he was going to start crying.” However, he explained that Cronenberg’s calm demeanor helped them get through the scene. Cosmopolis opens this Friday across Canada. Below are photos from the photo call prior to the press conference. ~Alexandra Heilbron