As part of Variety's Actors on Actors series, the 33-year-old sits down with Hustlers star Jennifer Lopez to discuss their careers, during which Pattinson expresses confusion over the project that started it all for him.
"It’s a weird story, Twilight," Pattinson says of the flick, in which he played a vampire, Edward Cullen, who falls for a human named Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). "It’s strange how people responded. I guess the books, they are very romantic, but at the same time, it’s not like The Notebook romantic."
"Twilight is about this guy who finds the one girl he wants to be with, and also wants to eat her. Well, not eat -- drink her blood or whatever," he continues of the franchise, which began in 2008 and had four followups, the latest of which came out in 2012. "I thought it was a strange story. Even the way I promoted it, I was very open about how strange I thought it was when I was doing it."
While Pattinson says that the mega-success of the franchise didn't cause him to "make a conscious decision at all to do smaller things," he adds that he initially thought Twilight would be a smaller project.
"To me, Catherine Hardwicke, who directed [Twilight], had done Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown. They were little movies, and they were kind of hardcore," he explains. "Kristen [Stewart] was in stuff as well; she’d been in Into the Wild and some other things. And it was very indie."
After Twilight, Pattinson did smaller projects and found himself drawn to roles where he had "absolutely no idea how to do it," a pattern he continues in his latest flick, The Lighthouse.
"I don’t approach parts if there’s something relatable," he says. "If I was going after parts which seem somehow relatable to my real self, I would be consistently playing chronically insecure losers."
Though he's found plenty such roles to play -- in films including Good Time and High Life -- Pattinson still has his eye out for one bucket list film.
"Something I was trying to find for years was to do a ballet movie. And then my agent was like, 'Why? Do you know how to ballet?' I’m like, 'No,'" he says. "... I think there’s a ballerina inside me... I really wanted to do it."
"I was very focused on it. It kept coming back into my head," Pattinson says of taking on the role. "... I was interested in it. I don’t know what it is, which happened inside of me, but I was like, 'I kind of want to do it.' I like doing something which an audience doesn’t know that it wants, and try to get it out of them: 'Oh, yeah, you want to play Batman.'"
Despite already having landed the role, Pattinson still finds the opportunity "crazy."
"Let me tell you something: Whenever I see that little action figure, I still haven’t really got my head around it yet," he admits.