Robert Pattinson can't get much edgier than David Cronenberg's film Cosmopolis, which premieres Friday at the Cannes film festival.
But even playing a Wall Street banker with one of the most respected directors in the world won't allow Pattinson to escape the ever-looming specter of Twilight.
Before Friday's press conference in Cannes, the moderator warned journalists to keep the questions to Cosmopolis: "Let's try to keep vampire and bats out of the conversation," he said.
The comment drew laughs from the journalists crammed into every seat in the room.
But it wasn't long before a question came that drew a comparison to Pattinson playing a vampire in Twilight and a "blood-sucking capitalist" in Cosmopolis. The comment drew a rebuke from Cronenberg.
"You must ignore the baggage," Cronenberg said. "You know it exists. But we're doing a new thing. And you have to forget all that other stuff."
The director, who has had festival success with Crashed, said that Pattinson is a "real person with a history and a past. The history and the past is not Twilight. It is Cosmopolis."
"I don't think of my other movies when I'm making this movie," he added. "They are irrelevant."
When Pattinson was asked to elaborate, he simply pointed his thumb at Cronenberg and said "ditto."
Later Pattinson was asked to compare his life to the insular life of his banker character on the film. Much of the movie takes places in the confines of a limousine.
"I'm not the best self analyst," said Pattinson. " I cannot seem to bring anything from my life into my work."
Pattinson then stumbled a bit before saying, "Why can't I just answer the question? It's so annoying."
Cronenberg stepped in again.
"The reason you cannot answer the question," said Cronenberg, "is because it's a flawed question -- trying to make a connection between Rob's life as a celebrity and his character's life."