Ahead of the UK release of his new film, 'Life', Robert Pattinson spoke to NME about being 'the most uncomfortable person in the world', finding his voice and moving back to London. He's come a long way from being a sparkling vampire in the hugely popular film series 'Twilight', thanks to a succession of roles in films that haven't been commercially successful, but have all played a part in helping him 'discover his voice as an actor'. We round up his best, most insightful quotes:
On being young
'It's taken me a really long time to find out what my voice is, or even if I had the right to say anything at all. Even at school, when my drama teacher told me, I don't think you should do the creative subjects', that had a massive impact on me, and I had to go to an out-of-school drama club because I didn't feel like I was worthy of the school play. A lot of people, when they're young, tend to be like, 'I've got something to say and I want everyone to hear it!' But I never wanted anyone to hear what I'm saying, because it's probably stupid.'
On joking during interviews
I thought you could be funny and tell jokes and be yourself, but they were like, 'No, you can't do interviews like that.' I fought really hard to hold on to my identity when all of that started happening.'
On constantly having your photo taken
'You begin to feel like your face is fake, like it doesn't really represent you any more. [The papparazzi] was something I had a massive problem with for ages. I find the most embarrassing photo that can ever be taken of you is when you're in a bookshop and everyone can see what book you're buying. They might as well just take a picture of me having a w**k...'
On being an actor
'When I fought with everyone, on almost every job, it was because I wanted to have more control. But that's not your role as an actor. As soon as you accept that you're an employee who's there to make the director happy, it becomes a lot more enjoyable.'
On moving back to London
'I had people sitting outside my house [in LA] every single day, and it drove me crazy. I didn't go into a supermarket for about six years. But now I can go in and chat to the guy who's working there about his kids, or where he's going on holiday, and not be thinking, 'Is he gonna sell me out?' I just don't have to think about that stuff any more.'
On FKA Twigs receiving racial abuse online
'I was talking to my dad about this and I bet him that if he looked up Nelson Mandela's funeral on YouTube, the first comment would be a racist one. And it was, with like a million upvotes. What I don't get is why. I think it's because normal people are not commenters - I've never met anyone who's left a comment on anything. It's just demons who live in basements. You have this weird thing where you end up trying to fight against this faceless blob, where the more you hate it, the bigger it gets, because it's all in your head.'
On Googling himself
'[I have a] weird compulsion to reinforce my negative opinion of myself. I go through periods where I don't do it at all and feel glorious! Then I'll fall back into this pit. It really does affect you, and it all comes from some moron sitting on a comment board. It's always that person who's needling away at you, who you either want to destroy, or convince them to love you.'
'In some ways, it looks like I've had a really lucky career, even though in my own head whatever I've won, I've won in a very skewed way. But that's just my own ridiculousness. It's still just winning.'