Until now, Robert Pattinson has never endorsed a brand in his life. The Twilight star could have boosted his earnings with lucrative contracts but chose not to. It’s Wednesday 12 June 2013 and that’s set to change. We’re at Soho House in West Hollywood for the world premiere of the new Dior Homme campaign and Pattinson is the face. Set to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and directed by Romain Gavras, 1000 Lives is a moody one-minute film following a love-struck couple across New York – and a long way from Edward and Bella.
Dressed in a blue two-button Dior Homme suit and black T-shirt, Pattinson opens up about his first signing.“I was reticent about doing commercials,” he confesses. “I’m always very hesitant to work with big companies.” To convince him, Dior gave Pattinson free rein on the project from the concept to execution.“Romain was my first choice from the beginning,” he says. “I had no idea what to expect going into it; we were just making stuff up. I’d never worked like that before.”
Gavras’ idea was to turn the perfume ad archetype - “a guy with lots of chicks driving expensive cars” - on its head. So there’s a beaten up BMW – which Pattinson crashed on the first day – and a single love interest: model-turned-actor Camille Rowe. According to Pattinson the story line sees two people in a “self-destructive” relationship, like “magnets that repel each other but for a brief second manage to touch – something that shouldn’t have happened”, leaving us to ponder, post Kristen Stewart, whether he drew inspiration from his own experience.
At 27, Pattinson is clearly breaking free of his teen-vampire beginnings: “It was a strange period to be shooting; it was one of the first times I felt like an adult.” Reflecting on the campaign Pattinson reveals,“I’m quite attached to it now. It seems honest, maybe because it was fun making it. It didn’t feel like we were doing a commercial. Even watching it I don’t feel like I’m trying to sell anything.” Which bring us back to why Dior hired him: to sell fragance. So what was his first? “My aunt gave me L’Eau D’Issey when I was 12 – the same summer I discovered hair gel. I thought I was super classy,”