Robert Pattinson knows better than anyone what it’s like to be caught in the mayhem of a worshipped movie series.
After portraying dreamy vampire Edward Cullen in five Twilight films, the star says life is immeasurably better now that the Twi-hards have generally backed down.
“I had people sitting outside my house every single day, and it drove me crazy,” Pattinson tells NME, a British music magazine.
“I didn’t go into a supermarket for about six years. But now I can go in and chat to the guy who’s working there about his kids, or where he’s going on holiday, and not be thinking, ‘Is he gonna sell me out?’ I just don’t have to think about that stuff anymore,” says Pattinson, who is currently filming the Brad Pitt– produced The Lost City of Z in Northern Ireland with Sienna Miller and Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam.
This doesn’t mean he’s completely escaped the Twilight shadow, however.
While he’s no longer dating Twilight costar Kristen Stewart, his relationship with fiancé FKA twigs – whom Pattinson describes as “just an amazing, amazing artist” – has led to racial trolling from the fringes of his fan base.
The musician recently described herself as being shocked and disgusted at the abuse, and Pattinson is equally upset.
“I was talking to my dad about this and I bet him that if he looked up Nelson Mandela’s funeral on YouTube, the first comment would be a racist one,” he says.
“It was, with like a million upvotes. What I don’t get is why?” he said. “I think it’s because most normal people are not commenters – I’ve never met anyone who’s left a comment on anything.
“Its just demons who live in basements,” he continued. “You have this weird thing where you end up trying to fight against this faceless blob, where the more you hate it, the bigger it gets, because it’s all in your head.”
Despite this, Pattinson remains upbeat about his Twilight experiences – and draws solace from the fact that Stewart has also opened up about her own struggle to cope with sudden fame
With a string of other movies under his belt, the Londoner can now look back on his Twilight years as something of curiosity.
“I was watching the MTV VMAs the other day and thinking how bizarre it was that I ever did that,” says Pattinson. “I remember doing those awards and saying the dumbest stuff. And I was hungover for most of it.”
Pattinson also revealed a vulnerable side in the interview: “I’m the most uncomfortable person in the world. It’s taken me a really long time to find out what my voice is, or even if I had the right to say anything at all.”
“A lot of people, when they’re really young, tend to be like, ‘I’ve got something to say and I want everyone to hear it!’ ” he also said. “But I’ve never wanted anyone to hear what I’m saying, because it’s probably stupid.”
For the full interview, read the free NME available on NME.com Friday.