THE RED BULLETIN: For a time, it seemed as if all people wanted to read about was Robert Pattinson and his private life. How did that make you feel?
ROBERT PATTINSON: It’s weird. I made this massive thing about never talking about anything personal in public. And it made absolutely no difference. People just made stuff up. When you’re part of someone else’s narrative, there’s really nothing you can do about it. I tried to avoid being photographed for a while because I thought that would make it impossible to write a story. But they just used old photographs.
How is it now? Are you able to live a normal life?
It’s a lot easier now than it used to be. I hardly get noticed in London anymore, for example. Even LA is better. It used to be crazy there, but now it’s fine. I’ve decided that I’m not going to hide behind a hat or a disguise anymore. It can really take a toll on you mentally if all you think about when you wake up is: “How well will this outfit prevent me from being recognized?” It can drive you crazy. But I’ve realized that I just need to deal with it.
What’s one piece of advice you can give, based on your experiences?
Don’t Google yourself. It’s the worst thing ever. It only makes you even more scared. I remember being so frightened for years, thinking that people were constantly looking at me and judging me.
Did you actually do that?
Of course, just like everyone else. It’s the worst addiction ever. If you know that people are talking about you in the other room, then you’re going put a glass to the wall and try to find out what they’re saying. It’s a strange world we actors live in, you spend a lot of time on your own in hotel rooms and the temptation becomes even greater. I have to remind myself every day who I am and how I really want to live. I don’t want to be stuck indoors, living like a hermit.
Family. A lot of actors bring their families to work with them, but that wouldn’t work for me. My family and friends have jobs, and I would effectively have to make them work for me to be able to have them around. That’s a guaranteed way to ruin a friendship.
If you could talk to your younger self, what’s the most important piece of advice you’d give?
I don’t even know myself, really. It’s weird. Normally a person would tell their younger self to “do this, or don’t do that, and don’t worry so much about this”. But that doesn’t work. There are always new problems that will arise. I think I would just tell myself to embrace the fear. You need that fear.
But you said that you don’t deal with fear very well?
I would much prefer to be someone who has to deal with a lot of fear than be a delusional person who doesn’t. I like to be able to overcome things, no matter how small they are.