Robert Pattinson sheds "Twilight" image in film

Wed May 6, 2009 5:14pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Twilight" fans fell in love with Robert Pattinson as a vampire who makes girls swoon. But in "Little Ashes," which opens on Friday, the actor explores a relationship that could reshape his heartthrob image.

Pattinson, who turns 23 this month, plays surrealist painter Salvador Dali at a youthful stage in his life when he had a sexually charged relationship with poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

Pattinson took the role long before he became a sensation with legions of adoring, young female fans captivated by his portrayal of vampire Edward Cullen in last year's global box office smash, "Twilight."

Industry watchers say the success of the movie, based on a popular book series by author Stephenie Meyer, was largely due to girls imagining they -- not the film's heroine Bella Swan -- were being wooed by the fanged Cullen.

Pattinson, who has said he is straight, told Reuters he doesn't believe "Twilight" fans will think differently of him for his character's sexuality in "Little Ashes."

"I don't really mind either way," Pattinson said of his movie choices. "I'm not really trying to appeal to anyone in particular."

The British actor said the romance between Cullen and Swan somewhat resembles the attraction between Dali and Lorca in "Little Ashes."

"In a lot of ways, the storyline is similar to 'Twilight.' It's about two people who, for various different hangups and terrible insecurities, can't in any way consummate their relationship," Pattinson said.   Continued...

<p>Actor Robert Pattinson poses at the premiere of the movie "Twilight" in Los Angeles, California in this November 17, 2008 file photo. Pattinson explores new territory in his new film "Little Ashes" where he plays a young Spanish painter, Salvador Dali, who is sexually attracted to poet Federico Lorca, played by actor Javier Beltran. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files</p>