In terms of Robert Pattinson, Hollywood has one thing on its mind right now and that's money. Can he open a film on his own? Can the name Robert Pattinson deliver derrieres in seats when it counts, March 12-14, 2010?
Remember Me is Pattinson's first film outside the Twilight franchise. While it has a small budget and is technically considered an indie film without the backing of a huge studio, the media, the general movie-going public and Hollywood itself, have all been busy spinning this film as a rather big litmus test for Pattinson's future as an actor and Hollywood's idea of a movie star.
In a little over 14 months, Pattinson has gone from "that guy in Harry Potter" to one of the brightest, fastest, rising young stars we've had in recent memory. His ethereal face graces the covers of countless magazines and he is the topic of so much baseless gossip across the Internet that even Pattinson has most likely lost track of his own self-described "boring" story. The spotlight has been resting squarely on his shoulders since before Twilight opened in November 2008 and today, it shows little evidence of letting up. But Hollywood wants what it wants and right now, what it wants is proof that Robert Pattinson is more than Edward Cullen and that he can put money in pockets. More money, that is.
While Pattinson became the face of the Twilight saga and arguably the breakout star of a franchise that has raked in well over a billion dollars, this is a vital time for his career. And a career does seem to be what he is quietly intent on seeking.
As a writer named Albrian on an Internet movie blog expressed it, "There is a quiet steely determination to succeed. The self deprecating quotes are a smokescreen for an ambitious young man."
The media constantly churns out stories asking if Robert Pattinson is the the new Depp, new James Dean, the new this, the new that. They desperately want him to be the new something, throwing out impossibly high standards and competitions that can never be won. Depp, Pitt, Clooney, and DiCaprio...all the major movie star names you can think of. Pattinson has been held up to the light and compared against them all, but to anyone with a little common sense, it's kind of like pitting a GED against Ph.D. in terms of sheer experience and acting credits. Of course when has the media (or random people on the Internet) ever had common sense?
Pattinson is a great story; charming, sweet, British and handsome with a huge and very loyal fanbase that believes he's talented. Just how talented? With the likes of Chris Cooper, Kristin Scott Thomas, Allen Coulter and Declan Donnellan among others signing on to work with him, it seems pretty certain that his fans have bet on a good horse.
Pattinson appeared on the Hollywood scene almost overnight. With his now recognizable name on everyone's tongue and flowing out of everyone else's pen, his sudden fame makes him a very easy target. And the media is determined to keep talking about "the new guy." One day he's the golden boy and the next he's being taken to task for the kind of fame he never even dreamed for himself. Depending on date and time, Pattinson is talented, he's not, he smells, he doesn't, he's stuck up, he's down to earth, he's hilarious, he's whines too much, he's sweet, he's mean, he's in, he's out, he's up, he's down.
The truth? He's just human, and by all accounts, a pretty decent, gracious and very grateful guy who's got to be overwhelmed by the wishy washy celebrity vortex he's found himself in during the past year.
Then there's Hollywood, and Hollywood is nothing if not impatient. Apparently time and experience is something Hollywood doesn't believe in anymore. "You've only been famous for a short while and you've only acted in a handful of teeny, tiny films few people have ever even seen? Too bad! You're "it" and you're now expected to open a film and open it big or we'll tear you down some more, Robert Pattinson! You must earn your fame young man!"
Sound like the dreams Hollywood is made of?
As the happy man in Pretty Woman says, "Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin' - this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin."
Of course the media and the public (not to mention random people on the Internet) don't exactly know what Robert Pattinson's dream actually is. All evidence seems to point to Pattinson wanting good career as a working actor where he has the ability to make interesting, even risky choices -- A career that he can be proud of and a career in which the media doesn't compare him to anyone but Robert Pattinson. After all, he never asked for the comparisons in the first place. The guy just took a job.
Only time will tell if Robert Pattinson's dream parallel's Hollywood's dream for him and vice versa.
Stars rise and fall. We live in a celebrity culture that feeds on building people up to tear them down. It's the law of nature in Hollywood and all over the world, really. And like it or not, Remember Me is a test. Hollywood will be watching -- watching to see what happens at the box office opening weekend, watching to see if Robert Pattinson can pull in a wider audience sprinkled with all ages and sexes, watching to see if an audience will accept him in a role that doesn't require white makeup and an annoying love interest named Bella.
That's about the only thing Pattinson can be sure of right now; Hollywood will be watching. Needless to say, with the guy who flatly refused media training and seems to be very much his own man floating around in a big, fat, sea of sameness, Hollywood should be getting a damn good show.
And heck, should the big test falter this time out for Rob, remember...Hollywood loves comeback stories. Comeback stories are what it's built on.