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The Rover is a dystopian film set in Australia after the collapse of society as we know it. Guy Pearce stars as a man hunting down the three men who stole his car. When he meets Rey (Robert Pattinson), the wounded brother of one of the men who stole his truck, he takes him along on a journey.
Director David Michod, who worked with Pearce on his directorial debut Animal Kingdom, wrote the protagonist part specifically for Pearce, but Pattinson had to audition for Rey.
Pattinson’s performance as Rey is a notable step away from his work in the Twilight franchise. Rey has a very unique cadence to his speech, which hints at a Southern drawl. He also seems to struggle with some mental disabilities and carries his body in a memorable way.
“It was the first time in years where I went in sort of in character, a little bit, and dressing for the part, which I never normally do,” Pattinson told THR of his audition.
Michod revealed that Pattinson did indeed come in dressed in character, but “not really obviously so,” wearing jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers.
“That was just in case I was getting it wrong,” joked Pattinson.
“Walking into the audition was very nerve-racking because I had genuinely no idea if I was completely off the mark,” Pattinson added. “But after, it was one of the easier and most fun parts. I think that’s why I wanted to do it, just because it’s a fun character.”
Pearce told THR that he spoke at length with Michod about his character’s backstory in the film, which A24 is releasing nationwide June 20 (The film is already playing in select theaters in L.A. and New York).
“I needed to really understand the personality of the guy. It was more about the backstory of his personality,” said Pearce. “I feel like I really needed to get a sense of who he was as a man and how moral he was, or ethical, in order to then push that aside or shut it down to find the guy who we see at the beginning of the film.”
Watch THR‘s interview with Michod, Pearce and Pattinson above.
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