LWLies: Do you remember any details from when you first met with Claire Denis?
Pattinson: I first met her when I was 27… no, wait. I must have been 28. High Life kept getting pushed and pushed. It was supposed to shoot in 2015, the same year as The Lost City of Z with James Gray, and I was really worried I was going to have to shoot them at the same time. But it took another year or two. I think from when I first met her, it was four years until the movie happened.
Do you remember the first time you met her in person?
Yeah, it was in Los Angeles, and I’d read this very brief synopsis of the project, which said it was about a 50-year-old guy, and I wish I could remember, because I had this one idea, this one weapon to use in the meeting. I can’t remember what it was that I said, but it somehow connected with her, and I could see the change in her mind. I thought, ‘No way! That worked?!’ I’d loved her work for years and years, and I really liked her. I’d never seen her be interviewed or anything, and to meet her, she’s so funny and light-hearted, and a bit of a rebrand. She was so fun in the meeting, and then it was like two years later that I actually got the part, which was one of the most significant moments of my life.
That’s quite a long wait between the first meeting and finding out you have the part.
It’s crazy, yeah. She shot a whole movie in the time it took. It started to worry me, and High Life is a difficult movie. I was aware of the unlikeliness that it would ever come to fruition. As well as being quite ambitious, it’s quite big as well, y’know? It’s literally in space.
When we spoke to you in 2014 you said you had a list of directors you wanted to work with, which included James Gray. Have you added anyone to the list since then?
Definitely Ciro Guerra, who I just worked with on Waiting for the Barbarians. I keep checking them off though – I’m working with them quicker than I’m coming up with new people! But I loved Embrace of the Serpent, and I was so happy to work with Ciro. Maren Ade, I really want to do something with her. There are lots. I’m reluctant to put it out there because it looks like I’m treating them like Pokémon.
I was really looking forward to Harmony Korine’s The Trap, which ended up not happening…
I know, I think the cast kept changing, and it came pretty close to happening a couple of times, and then the cast changed again like a month before it was supposed to shoot, and I think it had just happened a few too many times, and it just fell apart eventually. It sounded cool though, and I love Harmony Korine. That would’ve been a fun one. Maybe next time he needs a hitman or something.
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