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Cronenberg, who directed the 26-year-old in his new film Cosmopolis, says the Twilight movies have mistakenly led people to think that Rob isn't a versatile actor because they only see him as Edward Cullen.
"I had seen a few movies he had done," Cronenberg said in an interview with French television promoting Cosmopolis. "Of course, I'd seen Twilight, but I saw other movies as well and I was convinced, finally, that he had the right presence and he had the right dramatic range to play this role, even though I know that because Twilight was so successful, many people would like to say,'Oh, he's not really a very good actor, it's the vampire makeup.'"
One role of Pattinson's in particular made him realize the young Brit was up to the task.
"I looked at everything I could find that Rob had done, including Little Ashes, where he plays the young Salvador Dali, and I thought, yeah, he could really do this. And I think he’s actually extraordinary," Cronenberg told Salon.
Of course, Cronenberg also realizes that without the popularity of the paranormal romance -- which ends this November with the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 -- Pattinson may not have been on his radar to star in Cosmpolis, which features Pattinson in every single scene for the entire film.
"I'm very happy for the Twilight movies because they gave me the possibility to work with Rob," he said.