ONE of Hollywood’s most famous faces, you see his chiselled jaw on magazine covers in every newsagent and his brooding image adorns the bedroom walls of teenage girls the world over. But as the first part of the Twilight saga finale hits the big screen,
Robert Pattinson admits he’s already dreaming of an end to all the hysteria.
“The whole cast had no idea it would explode so much,” says the 25-year-old heartthrob, who three years ago was a little-known actor with a small part on two Harry Potter films and a handful of TV roles to his name.
Fast forward to today and the London-born actor - affectionately known to his fans as ‘R-Patz’ - can’t step out in public without being mobbed by screaming girls.
“A lot of the time, you think people are way crazier than they are,” he says. “You think they’ve been waiting for five hours when they’ve only been there for five minutes.”
Laughing as he recalls one story, he says, “I was in London once and no one found out where I was staying the whole time I was there, and then this girl, waiting in the courtyard of the hotel in complete pitch blackness, called out my name - and I thought, ‘This is it. I’m going to get killed’.
“The thing that drives me crazy is if people follow you when you leave the building. As soon as I lose those people, I’m fine.”
Like co-stars Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, Pattinson has his role in the vampire love story based on Stephenie Meyer’s popular series of novels to thank for his loss of anonymity.
And with the eagerly-awaited fourth instalment, Breaking Dawn Part 1, opening in cinemas tomorrow, the actor won’t be avoiding the glare of the spotlight any time soon.
“I just have to remember that it is all a job and that the craziness, as overwhelming as it seems sometimes, won’t last forever,” he says.
This has been his life for the past four years now, though Pattinson, who plays a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen in the Twilight films, has learned to take it all in his stride.
“I guess my actual life hasn’t changed that much - it’s busier,” he says. “The only time I found it really difficult to cope was when I tried to go to the same places I went to before, and live exactly the same life, and it’s impossible.
“But life changes and you have to adapt to that. You can either let yourself go completely insane or just deal with it. My family and friends haven’t been any different the entire time. It’s lucky that I didn’t do too much beforehand.”
Shot back-to-back, the first of the final two Twilight films, with the second part to be released in cinemas next November, sees lead character Bella (Stewart) and Edward taking their relationship to the next level.
“Breaking Dawn begins with preparations for Bella and Edward’s wedding and the chaos that ensues on their honeymoon and the inevitable downfall that always happens in Twilight movies,” says Pattinson.
“The wedding scene is a relatively momentous moment for the series. I think Edward’s proposed to her about 50 times now, so it’s been building up and building up.
“Edward’s excited. He’s always been obsessed about marriage. It’s what he has wanted for a long time. I think it’s one of the first points of stability in Edward and Bella’s relationship.”
Pattinson goes on to reveal that the couple’s honeymoon on a beautiful island in Brazil, “starts off quite nice and just gets progressively worse”.
“It just goes downhill after they have sex,” he says. “Edward gets to relax - but only for a second. It’s like a set-up so he can get punished again for the rest of the movie consistently.”
It’s been widely speculated that Pattinson and Stewart are a couple off screen, and while he still refuses to confirm the rumours, the actor does admit that shooting the love scenes brought added pressure because of fans’ expectations for the previously celibate on-screen couple.
“It’s more an abstract idea of living up to expectations because you don’t know what the expectations are,” he sighs. “Especially with the honeymoon stuff - it’s just in people’s imaginations.
“You never really think about the reality of what people’s expectations are, you just try and make it good. And if you like it, then hopefully other people will like it.”
In between shooting the Twilight films, Pattinson has kept himself busy. He played Salvador Dali in Little Ashes, starred in tear-jerker Remember Me and romantic drama Water For Elephants.
Yet stepping back into Edward’s shoes was easy. “You do feel as soon as you go into make-up, for one thing, it’s quite limiting,” he says. All of the limitations of the make-up, wardrobe and even the contact lenses, they all play into the character.”
As the hugely successful vampire saga approaches its end, Pattinson has upcoming roles in David Cronenberg’s adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel Cosmopolis and in the period piece Bel Ami, alongside Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas.
“I like working all the time,” he says. “I spent so many years before Twilight just working for two to three months and then doing nothing or these tiny jobs for the rest of the year. That’s the hardest thing to deal with. You’re like, ‘Ok, I’ll just go get drunk again’.”
The spotlight may be on him everywhere he goes thse day, but Pattison, who admits that he has asked Leonardo Di Caprio for advice on longevity, knows it’s vital to keep a bit of mystery about him if he is to keep landing top roles.
“Most actors encourage the attention because they think it will make them have a more lasting career, but I don’t think that’s the case,” he says. “The more of yourself you reveal, the less interesting people find you. Mystery lasts a lot longer.”
Breaking Dawn – Part 1 opens in cinemas tomorrow