He may keep his balls covered in winter, but Allen Coulter says that during the shooting of Remember Me, Rob did bare himself: "It was about control, for him, in the beginning. But he wanted forward motion more than he wanted to protect himself. Really brave—especially for a young guy with a big target on his back."
Rob does seem eager to shed some clothing, to give up the reins.
"Shall we go see about that harness? Seriously, you eventually realize you can't make every single decision. I was always building, always protecting something. At the same time, I seemed to be losing the ability to move. I'd protected myself into checkmate. Even mentally." In that moment, he has a realization: "I can barely remember the last two years. Not like a haze of partying or anything like that. Just . . . it's been crazy."
There's been surreal stuff. Like the time at a charity event in Cannes when two attendees bid nearly $60,000 combined to have Rob give their daughters a kiss on the cheek. There's been scary stuff, though the idea he might truly be at risk strikes him as absurd: "I find it really funny—if I got shot, I would literally be in hysterics. I would be like, 'Are you serious? Jesus Christ, get Zac Efron! He's got more social relevance than I do.'" He's pretty sure there was some good stuff, too. "There was this one time with some elephants on a golf course in Barcelona . . ."
He drifts into a reverie. He gets amazed easily, and at the moment he's fixated on the mysterious green bar snacks. They're sort of like wasabi peas, but not. They're covered in chili powder and look like tiny tumors. He's eating every single one.
"Fuck, these are good. What are they? I want to snort them—they'd clear up my sinuses."
BEER NO. 3
Rob's hunger is more than merely metaphorical. He orders two entrees—the mini beef burgers with tomato-and-onion relish and the mini chicken burgers with mango chutney—along with another pint. "I eat so much, I'm like a compulsive eater. I've been eating room service, and I'm always really worried about it, so I choose like six things on the menu and eat them all."
He doesn't want to miss anything, which implies a hint of regret. He didn't always want to be an actor. He modeled. He's a talented guitarist and keyboard player who has toyed with following his older sister Lizzy into pop music. But he's a serious type, and his most serious aspirations involved political speech writing. "It's fascinating. You'd have two or three minutes to affect someone. Make them hear you. Get the message out and maybe it will echo. I quite enjoyed doing press for the first Twilight, because there was a similarity. But after a bit I was ladling it out. If you want people to listen to you, you'd better have something to say. I felt a responsibility to be fascinating. You're bargaining with the audience. Is this enough for them? And that affects the way you look at art."
Art. It's illogical to think he's not allowed to have ideas about it merely because he has helped a lot of people make a lot of money.
"Before, I felt like I couldn't break through anything, including myself. And now it feels a bit as though I've climbed along the side of my brain and am at least looking in. But I know it will take me at least another 10 years before I'm remotely satisfied with anything I do. But with acting you keep trying in the hopes you might be . . . great. But then I think, does wanting to be good or even great, or even just wanting to make art, cheapen the experience?"