Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
By Marie Morreale
Robert: I was shooting another film in South Africa during the entire period of the casting process for Goblit of Fire. The casting agent had contacted my agent about seeing me for Cedric. Basically, I was able to get a meeting with Mike Newell and two of the casting directors the day before I left for South Africa to shoot this other movie. It was before anyone else had been seen for the other parts, so it was quite a cool position to be in. They did the rest of the casting for it afterwards. Then, the day I returned from South Africa, I got the callback and they told me in the audition that I had got the part.
Q: Was the other movie Sword of Xanten?
Robert: Yes, that's the one.
Q: So it seems like you are doing a lot of period movies in costumes.
Robert: Yeah, I know. I think I'm doing another one next. I guess I have this thing for dragons. It is very strange.
Q: When you were a student, you participated in the Barnes Theater Club. Could you tell me a little about what that is?
Robert: It was a drama group right around the corner from where my house was. My dad wanted me to be an actor. He basically kept seeing this group of pretty girls in a restaurant and he asked them where they'd been. This is my dad's character for you, he told me I should go to this group. I had never done any acting before. I really wasn't part of the acting fraternity at my school, but I joined this thing after my dad argued with me for ages. I think he had some sort of weird foresight about it. I went there and I worked backstage on the first play I did. They used to do two shows a year and they are all great. So many people from there had become actors. Rusty and Ann, who are the directors, were actors themselves and were very talented. They were a very good group, and for some reason when I finished the backstage thing, I just decided to that I should try to act. So I auditioned for Guys and Dolls and got a little tiny part as some Cuban dancer or something and then in the next play I got the lead part, and then I got my agent. So I owe everything to that little club.
Q: I like that story. It's sort of like the old Hollywood story of actors being discovered at some coffeeshop.
Robert: I was pretty lucky.
Q: If you hadn't become an actor, what would you have become?
Robert: I have no idea. I was thinking about that. I would have just gone to university and would have kind of just done the average thing. I was just talking to my agent about that the other day. It is unbelievable that this stroke of luck has completely changed my entire life. I can't even remember what I was thinking those two years ago. Now I sort of do things differently, and I am reading all these scripts. I was out in LA a couple of weeks ago. I got an agent in LA, and it is ridiculous.
Q: Well obviously you don't identify with your character Cedric in terms of being a wizard (unless you have a secret you haven't told anyone!) ,but how do you identify with him otherwise?
Robert: I sort of identify with him in a couple of ways. I am not as nice as he is; he tends to do the right thing all the time and I never need to do that. I generally am quite pleasant. I think he is too, and that's one of the basic similarities. Let's see, I've got blond hair, I don't know, and I am relatively sporty. I think he is a better person than me. Yeah. (laughs)
Q: I think we will ask your friends that! What was the most difficult Triwizard Tournament scene to shoot and how did you prepare for it? What about the maze scene?
Robert: Yeah, that whole sequence was pretty intense. They shot it right at the beginningwithin my first week I shot in the maze. It was really difficult to translate all the things in the book that happened in the mazelike all these riddles and thingsinto film. It was almost impossible. The way Mike Newell did it was really good. He came up with the idea that in the maze it is just the fear and the darkness and the isolation that kind of drives all the competitors a bit insane. We were really hyped up. You are on 100% adrenaline and you're starting this in the first week and you have just met all the other actors the week before and now you have to go crazy with them. That was pretty intense, but I think it was really the most fun, because it was really physical work. Shooting wands at each other was really fun. The swimming thing was pretty physical too. In fact all my scenes were kind of action scenes. They were all pretty physical.
Q: Were the swimming scenes actually shot underwater?
Robert: Yeah, they were all shot in a 60-foot-deep blue-screen tank.
Q: Did you have to hold your breath for a long time?
Robert: Yeah, it was really strange. It is completely blue in thereand there are divers with breathing equipment that are completely blue as well. You can't really see anything. You just get this breather put into your mouth after the take has been done. We would do a 30-second take and I couldn't let bubbles come out of my mouth or anything because I am supposed be able to breathe underwater in the movie. It was strange to be underwater. You don't feel so self-conscious at all; it is a nice thing. You can't see the crew. You can't hear anything. It is really nice, but you can't breathe.
Q: Was it scary at all?
Robert: Not really. I had never done scuba-diving before, so I did training during the first week. I was in a tiny little tub that was a practice tank. I did not see the big tank until they first started shooting in it. It was about a hundred times the size of the practice tank and it was so much deeper, so that was sort of scary when I first got there, because you have to get used to all the pressure and things like that. I don't know if you have been scuba-diving, but it is very different. I thought it was really easy in that little shallow pool, because it is, but when you are doing it in a really deep tank it is kind of scary at first. I got used to it quickly though.