For the past few years, Robert Pattinson has veered away from the blockbuster films that made him famous, and instead has taken roles in smaller, independent movies like Cosmopolis, The Rover, and Good Time. Now, Pattinson has tackled the part of Samuel Alabaster in the quirky comedy-western Damsel, and his Twilight fans may have a hard time recognizing him.
With his gold tooth and menacing grin, Pattinson stars as a wannabe cowboy in a frontier town who hires a pastor (David Zellner) to marry him to his fiancée, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska). But someone has kidnapped Penelope, so the two try to find her – along with a miniature horse named Butterscotch. Oh, and Pattinson sings while he is naked.
Sound a bit absurd? That’s because it is. Brothers David and Nathan Zellner both wrote and directed Damsel, the clever comedy designed to keep you guessing. And when it came to the singing, Pattinson says he was “terrifyingly nervous.”
“No matter whether you’re playing a character or not, there’s something about singing where you’re naked,” Pattinson said. “I hadn’t sung in front of anybody for years before that.”
As Rolling Stone reports, this is the 32-year-old’s first comedic performance after skyrocketing to fame as a sexy vampire and then following up that star-making role in a series of dramas. Pattinson says he wanted to do a “full-on Jim Carrey out-of-control thing” for the role that he was supposed to play serious. But, he says he couldn’t do serious, so it became a “goofy thing.”
He says when it came time to sing the song “My Honeybun,” that was the one thing that really made him nervous, and he doesn’t know why. Pattinson admits his hands were shaking and it was a weird moment that was sweet and earnest at the same time.
Pattinson decided a few years ago that he wanted to be an interesting performer and make a legacy for himself instead of being a poster boy for a studio. He even got some Oscar buzz last year for his performance in Good Time.
He says he is trying to choose roles where the audience wouldn’t have any preconceived notions about the character’s behavior, and he likes the idea of projects that bring together comedy and drama.
Robert Pattinson says that he used to be shy, but now that he has allowed himself to relax and take risks, he is open to playing the fool in a comedy.
Damsel is now playing in theaters.