New York Film Fest: David Cronenberg Has "No Problem Ignoring" Robert Pattinson's 'Twilight' Past

Associated Press
David Cronenberg and Julianne Moore at the New York Film Festival's 'Maps to the Stars' screening

What advice would Julianne Moore, also part of Cronenberg's 'Maps to the Stars' cast, give her franchise-film co-stars?

David Cronenberg's Hollywood-centered family melodrama Maps to the Stars marks the veteran director's second straight film with Twilight alum Robert Pattinson after 2012's Cosmopolis.

Although many still see Pattinson as vampire heartthrob Edward Cullen, Cronenberg told The Hollywood Reporter he can easily look past that.

"I have no problem ignoring that," the director said. "Of course I watched the first Twilight movie just to see what he was like and get a feel for his screen presence and so on and so on. … By the time you're on the set, it's just the two of you making movies. You forget your own movies too."

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Speaking to THR ahead of Saturday night's New York Film Festival screening of Maps, Cronenberg explained that he wanted to work with Pattinson (who wasn't in attendance at the New York event) on this movie not only because the director thinks of him as "a wonderful actor" and they "had a good time on Cosmopolis," but also because it provided the opportunity for Pattinson to participate in the sort of ensemble film he'd told Cronenberg he wanted to do.

"He told me that he was scared about Cosmopolis because he had not really wanted to do a movie where he was the lead and had the whole movie on his shoulders," the director explained. "And of course in that movie he's in almost every scene. He said, 'One day I'd love to do an ensemble piece where there are a lot of good actors and I'm just one of them.' "

When Cronenberg was putting together Maps, he thought of his Cosmopolis star.

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In Maps, Pattinson plays a limo driver/aspiring screenwriter who forms a connection with a mysterious young woman played by Mia Wasikowska, who arrives in L.A. from Florida and ends up working for Julianne Moore's diva actress.

Conversations between Pattinson's and Wasikowska's characters provide insight into the world of Hollywood outsiders striving to become insiders.

Indeed screenwriter Bruce Wagner said he thought having a character who's a limo driver, enhanced by his own experience doing that job for a number of years, offered a good way in to the Hollywood-centric story.

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"I found it's a great window in to a narrative because it's someone who's indifferent in a way and yet his job is to shepherd those who have great wealth or fame, and yet he is kind of invisible in a sense," the writer told THR. "In that way it was a great narrative tool for me. Being a limousine driver was a way in to story with a capital 'S.' "

Pattinson's work with Cronenberg is just part of his attempt to distance himself from the Summit vampire franchise through more serious, challenging roles, including parts in June's The Rover, Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert and an upcoming collaboration with Harmony Korine.

Moore said that despite working with Pattinson and the Hunger Games cast, with her role in the upcoming Mockingjay installments, she doesn't have any advice for her younger co-stars.

"I don't think any of those actors need my advice," she told THR. "They all have wonderful careers and are magnificent actors and they've made really interesting creative choices. "

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