Question: I read that Robert Pattinson discovered your work through a chance encounter on a hotel room television with WHITE MATERIAL. So where did you discover his work, and what was it about him that made you think he was right for this role?
Claire Denis: Maybe I saw him in another hotel room too [laughs]. I know I saw him in all four TWILIGHT films. I was amazed by his performance and Kristen [Stewart’s] too. There is something so true and mysterious in them; it’s not fake. Then I saw Robert’s two Cronenberg movies [COSMOPOLIS and MAPS TO THE STARS], and then I heard from the casting director that he wanted to meet me because he thought maybe he could be in this film, which surprised me because I had imagined a much older man in the part. But I met him, and of course, I realized I was very lucky he wanted to work with me because he instantly became the character. As I was meeting with him in L.A. and then in Paris and then in London, I remember he was very reserved and mysterious, not showing too much of himself. I liked that.
That suits this characters.
CD: Yes, and I also like it in filmmaking, because you have to work together with people so closely, it’s better to be a little mysterious to one another and not to be too open.
He has perfected the idea of being mysterious but also expressive.
CD: Of course.
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