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'Remember Me' producer: Rob Pattinson a 'soulful' presence who will be a big-time actor

March 15, 2010 |  8:30 am

"Remember Me," Robert Pattinson's attempt to branch out from his trademark lovelorn-vampire role (to a lovelorn regular-guy role), was only a modest performer at the box office this weekend, earning $8.3 million. But the film offers several notable attributes; in addition to Pattinson's first turn as a  leading man in a mainstream release not titled "Twilight," it's a mid-budget drama in a time when such films are an endangered breed. And it came from Summit, a company that has flirted with a number of genres, but never this one.

PattiJust before the film opened this weekend, we caught up with producer Nick Osborne of Underground Management, who with partner Trevor Engelson produced the film, on the challenges of making this type of movie, the acting virtues of one Mr. Pattinson and the perils of shooting in a big city when you've got one of the most famous faces in the world on your set.

-- Steven Zeitchik

24 Frames: A lot of people look at this film and say "Rob Pattinson, Summit, of course it got made." But you toiled for a long time to get it off the ground.

Nick Osborne: It's not an easy movie to get going -- it's a dark love story set in New York, and we kept trying to get it set up at studios and no one was interested. Eventually it got to Allen [Coulter, the director], and he had interest, but we still had trouble finding an actor. There are simply very few actors in that age range who could pull a role like this off. And I was on IMDB Pro one day and put in "male stars 18-27," and he literally came up as No. 2. And we called Summit and they said, "Actually, we really like the kid, we're doing a movie with him."

So this was before the 'Twilight' phenomenon took hold?

NO: It was right around the time of Comic-Con, when they started to realize how big a movie they had on their hands.  But we needed to get Rob interested too. He had read a lot of scripts. He was at the Oakwood Apartments and he would drive to the In-N-Out Burger every day and read scripts in the back of his car. And he eventually read ours and said he wanted to do it. Then we had to put together a budget that made sense [about $16 million] before we could get going.

You were able to keep the budget manageable because of the tax credits you received for shooting in New York. But from reading some of the accounts it sounds like the city posed some other issues given a star of Pattinson's popularity.

NO: It was a crazy shoot in many ways. There was fan interest and paparazzi in every outdoor location, especially places with young people and tourists like Central Park and Washington Square Park. We were a small movie so it caused us some problems. The more seasoned paparazzi know  in New York [because of the local laws] they can get close to the star and you can't do anything about it. It's almost like a constant negotiation -- "If we give you this will you move back?" It was kind of insane. We had crew members who worked for 30 years who said they had never seen that amount of crazy. And there are Rob and Emilie [de Ravin] trying to do this intimate, dramatic scene.

Did it finally calm down?

NO: It was definitely a relief when we went to the stage the last two weeks. We shot in east Brooklyn. But even outside of Manhattan it could be tough. There was a beach scene where Rob and Emilie kiss, and as we're shooting it we see this paparazzi suddenly coming out of the water. He had swam around for hours with the camera over his head to get a shot.

What? Like some kind of paparazzi mermaid?

NO: It was pretty incredible. But then he got his shot and he made a lot of money off it, so I guess it was worth it.

Do you think the fan frenzy ever gets to Pattinson?

NO: I have a great respect for him. The attention he's gotten over "Twilight" is incredible and he handles it with such grace. I've never seen him in a bad mood about it. The paparazzi do get to him a little, I think, going back to Britain has been a lot easier for him. He told me a story the other day that he was in a pub and after two hours of sitting there the bartender said, "You know, you look just like the kid from 'Twilight.' '' And then the bartender said, "Oh my God, you are that kid."' And then they kind of walked away. [We] Brits are like that. [We're] more self-effacing. A Brit sees a famous person and he almost crosses the street.

Did you see anything from Emilie or Rob that gives you the sense they have seriously bright acting careers ahead of them?

NO: They both take their craft so seriously. There's a soulfulness to them too. And I think Rob really wants to be a serious actor. The other stuff is just part of the job.

Obviously Pattinson's presence helped push this particular film through some development hoops. Do you think better days lie in store for the genre?

NO: Straight-up dramas are tough. You still hear from studios they don't want to do it that much. And when they do it's for a reason. "Dear John" is based on the brand of Nicholas Sparks. "Last Song" will be helped by that too. I love dramas. But critics are harsh. It's almost like when  you try to do something serious they bring out the guns even more. But these movies will get made. Every market has a vacuum at some point, and then they need to fill it again.

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Rob Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin. Credit: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

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I saw Remember Me and thought it was excellent and Robert was especially good. I think the critics were way too harsh on this film. Their harshness may have kept some people from going to see it which is a real shame as it was a great movie. I give it 2 thumbs up!

I completely agree, I loved the movie. Rob's performance was fantastic however, Pierce and Chris had amazing performances as well.

I saw Remember me and I tought it was a GREAT movie! I LOVED THE MOVIE, I did beleive the conection between Tyler and his little sister, I cried at the end (what a shock) who wouldn't seriosly??. Robert Pattinson's acting skills show up like always and it was awsome!! LOVE IT!!!!!!

So sad these movies don't get made anymore. I thought it was great.

They don't make them like "Remember Me" anymore! The way they advertised it you couldn't tell what it was about really! Robert Pattinson did a great job, and so did the other actors! The movie was seamless and I was never bored, the ending was beautifully done and the critics did this wonderful movie a blatant wrong! I would see this kind of movie over those big budget movies any day!

I saw this movie twice on Friday. I loved it. I think everyone was great in the movie. I do think that with Robert being so popular, some people (and I don't understand why) are just fed up with him. His popularity is having the opposite effect. I still think he is great. I loved him in the movie.

This was a terrific movie. Rob did great. I saw it today and it's still sitting with me. Very moving and well done. A quiet movie with lots of heart and authenticity. The sets were great. Tyler's appartment was a work of quirky art.
Rob has a great future! Thanks for putting this fine film out there.
The critics who were harsh on this movie need "an anti-cynicism shot"
Loved it!

I have to wonder if the critics saw the same movie I did. Perhaps they have seen too many formulaic, generic movies to appreciate a real story with real characters. Remember Me is a sensitvely told, beautifully acted drama. Go see this movie - you won't be disapponted.

This was an excellent article. Rob should get a lot of credit for the fact that taking on this script, with it's very controversial ending, was a brave move - especially so early on in his career. But, as the article said, he wants to be a serious actor and put out good movies and not just generic fluff movies that get made just to generate lots of money. It's too bad some of the critics were so hard on this movie but from what I have read, those that have seen the movie, including myself, have loved it. On Box Office Mojo it's currently running over 70% approval rating. I think it may do better internationally than perhaps domestically because of the sensitive nature of the ending JMO.

I believe Robert has a huge career ahead of him. I pray that the hype and fan frenzy doesn't go to his head or that he becomea a hermit! I for one what to see and hear more from Mr. Pattinson.

I realize this sounds a little over the top, but I went to see the film on Friday afternoon all by myself. I wasn't sure if I would like it. I knew about the ending and really didn't want to see my favorite actor die on the big screen. But I loved the film. Even the ending wasn't maudlin. It was all handled so tastfully and respectfully. So Friday night I went again with a friend, Saturday with someone else, Sunday with someone else, and this afternoon with yet another friend. I am going again tomorrow afternoon with another friend. Everyone I have talked in to seeing the movie has loved it. Every single one. I don't think any of them would have gone if I hadn't invited them because this has been a tough year for people and they want entertainment that makes them laugh or takes them to Pandora or Wonderland. They don't want harsh, gritty reality. But the movie was so good. If you can get people into the seats, they go away impressed with the story and with the acting. Although every single performance was well done, I was particularly impressed with Rob Pattinson. The entire movie hinges on the audience connecting to him, understanding him, empathizing with him, and investing in him emotionally. That was a heavy load for a young man on his first venture outside of Forks, WA since all of the eyes of the media have been on him. He rose to the occasion. What made the movie poignant was that you cared about him just as someone cared about every person in the World Trade Center on September 11th. The movie reminded us that these were real people with real families and loved ones whom they have touched in ways they can never forget. Remember Me is a tribute to all of the Tyler Hawkins who died simply because they were going about their day in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is a story that we need to be reminded of from time to time so that the events of that day are not forgotten.

I loved this movie; it was sad, quiet and most importantly, real. I'm so tired of every single film always having a happy ever after, with a wedding as the only possible outcome of a love story. Remember Me made me laugh and cry and it made me sad. Or in other words, it made me feel genuine emotions. Rob was fantastic and I completely "forgot" its was him (the huge superstar) and only saw Tyler.

As someone posted above, I also wonder if critics saw the same movie I did. Remember Me is a beautifully told story about the power of love for family and lovers, an "Ordinary People" for our times, with a well done ending that was not cheap or exploitative as 'critics' say. Very strong acting by all of the talented cast but esp. Robert Pattinson. Who knew he had it in him? He shocked me with the range and intensity of his acting. He was fantastic as Tyler and forsee a great future ahead of him. His scenes with Emilie, Pierce, and Ruby Jerins were heartbreaking. People need to stop putting so much pressure on this young man with carrying a movie on his shoulders at his age and let him breathe.
Marketing was completely wrong, should have promoted this as a serious family drama, not a love story. Trailer did not do it justice.My husband and I are still talking about the impact of this film days after we saw it. Go see it, it is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

My husband and I are no Twi-hards. We're nearly middle-aged, intellectual cynics (with no daughters). But, finding ourselves before a listing of movies at the local cinema we picked "Remember Me" because the timing was right. We were both cringing. By the end of the film, we were converts. It was very good. The acting was lovely, especially the little sister (who should get a Supporting Actress nomination, she was even better than Ana Paquin in "The Piano"). The script moved at a beautiful pace, probably a little slow at first for those accustomed to "Action Films" and not "artsy, foreign" ones. We had rented "Up In the Air" the night before, and both agreed "Remember Me" was the better of the two. And, now we find ourselves hoping that Pattinson kid makes more of these.

I am a middle aged mom who is a fan of Twilight but am not a cougar that lusts after Rob Pattinson. Last Sunday my 23 year old daughter and I went to see Remember Me. I thought it was a very good movie and disagree totally with the critics. It was well written and I thought all of the actors and actresses did a fantastic job. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to shoot this movie in New York City with all of the fans and paparazzi yelling and screaming and shooting hundreds of pictures during filming. If I get another chance to go see it, I will! These are the kinds of movies people want to see!

I loved this movie, so well made. All actors were amazing. Robert plays this role so well. I plan to see it several times. Good Job!

I've seen Remember Me twice. It is a great movie and Rob did a wonderful job. Critics seem to hate giving credit to Rob and Kristen. They can be proven wrong if we simply support their movies.

I went to see 'Remember Me' on Sunday evening all by myself. My kids are too young, and my husband wasn't sure it was "his type of movie". I went, not just because Rob Pattinson was going to be in it (that did help, however), but because I had actually seen a number of write-ups about it and thought the story sounded really interesting and that I might like it. I loved it! Not only did Rob Pattinson do an amazing job playing Tyler Hawkins, but the entire cast itself was just wonderful. I was especially taken with Ruby Jerin's (Caroline Hawkins) performance as Tyler's little sister who is struggling with the pain of socially being on the outside looking in, and yet, so in tune to her brother; almost mentoring him. The movie's ending is very powerful, and the messages within the movie about living in the moment and finding a way to make time for, and touch, the people we love everyday, really gets across. My husband changed his mind and wants to see it now that I told him about it, and other men should see it, too. I HIGHLY recommend this movie!

The movie was brilliant. The acting was top notch...everyone's. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed it. I didn't really know what to expect. I am a fan of Rob and the Twilight series but that's not why I went to see the movie. I like dark, moody romantic dramas and the trailer intrigued me. I feel there would be a big gap in the movie business without them. This movie may not appeal to everyone, but I imagine some folks will be sorry they missed it in theatres if they wait for the DVD. And the ending...definitely didn't see that coming. Its been 24 hours since I've seen the movie and I'm still affected by it. Now that's good movie making.

Hey ShariG...Thanks for giving away the ending...u idiot. I really did want to see this movie and you just ruined it. Thanks.

I absolutely loved this movie. The cast, direction, photography, were superb. Forgot I was watching a movie and got caught up in the family drama. Rob is such a versatile actor. Only one other movie has affected me like this one. It was "An Affair to Remember" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.

Too bad the critics butchered this, except for Roger Ebert, who did an excellent review. Guess he's the only "real" critic out there. Casting Pierce as Rob's father was brilliant! Totally believable.
Have to see this over and over again. Can't wait for the DVD already.

I loved Remember me. Fantastic movie. It built up the relationships with each character, which made you love the movie even more. I must admit, I did cry at the end of the film.

Please keep making these movies! There are a lot of people that enjoy the love, drama, and emotions. Robert, Emilie, Brosnan, and Cooper all did a wonderful job, and i would see it again! Five stars and two thumbs up :)

Critics are judging this film way too harshly, and maybe because of the ending, but I got the message after seeing the movie, that life can be full of tragedy and randomness, but it shouldn't make you shut yourself off from the world. Rob was great as a "regular guy". He reminded me of guys I knew in college (and I went to college in NYC too!!) The movie was beautiful, heartfelt and respectful. I understand what Nick means about Rob having a "soulful presence." He seems to care more about the craft than the celebrity and the box office numbers. It's too bad Hollywood isn't populated by more actors like him!

I have to agree with Amanda. I want to see the movie but geez Sheri, you could've kept the ending a secret. For the people that don't get to see it in theaters because it didn't come to my town, it's not fair. Now all I'll be thinking about is how he dies at the end. :(

Great movie! Great job! I was shocked that it lead up to 9/11 I had cousins that was their that day and it made me cry for Tyler and all who suffered that day!


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