Robert Pattinson is trying to outrun his teen heartthrob, pacifist vampire persona one film at a time. Pattinson is set to star in "Mission: Blacklist," based on the book by Army interrogator Eric Maddox on the capture of Saddam Hussein. While a few eyebrows were raised over a British actor playing an American hero, even more surprising are Pattinson's post-"Twilight Saga" film choices, which couldn't be further from Edward Cullen.
In the upcoming "Bel Ami" (adapted from Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel), Pattinson plays a corrupt, power-hungry playboy who seduces rich women to raise his station. As journalist Georges Duroy, he has few redeeming qualities and plenty of ambition. Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman, and Kristin Scott Thomas are the notable actresses who fall victim to Pattinson's powers of seduction in the film.
The 25-year-old's next unconventional project is David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis," yet another book adaptation. Don DeLillo wrote a modern version of James Joyce's "Ulysses" and set it in New York during the dot-com collapse. Pattinson plays young, eccentric billionaire Eric Packer. It's a surreal look at a 24-hour period in which life-altering decisions cause copious upheaval.
Pattinson's costar, French actress Juliette Binoche, revealed to The Los Angeles Times, "Robert was stunned to be taken by Cronenberg, because he didn't think he could do it." Colin Farrell was originally cast as Eric but had to leave the project due to scheduling conflicts, as did Marion Cotillard.
Variety reports Pattinson is also in talks to play a thief opposite Guy Pearce in "Rover," in which Pearce plays a man who hunts down the people who stole his car through the Australian Outback. Variety contends Pattinson's interest was based on the film's quality, not its "commercial appeal."
Back to the Beginning
Pattinson's current projects mimic his early career, which was patterned on playing atypical characters. His choices demonstrate a desire to return to his roots, as opposed to a post-fame attempt at finding substance.
Before his shocking shove into the spotlight (started by that fateful, low-budget vampire film no one expected would become a worldwide phenomenon), Pattinson played a wounded WWII soldier in "The Haunted Airman," a social outcast tortured by unrequited love in "The Bad Mother's Handbook," a depressed young man trying to find himself in "How to Be," and artist Salvador Dali in "Little Ashes."
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