Robert Pattinson is scheduled to face the media next week for the first time since the Robsten Crisis, most notably appearing Monday on “The Daily Show” and Wednesday on “Good Morning America.” Assuming that everything we know about the rupture of the Pattinson/Stewart relationship is semi-accurate — that KStew had a fling with Rupert Sanders, which caused a distraught Pattinson to leave their shared home, bunk at friend Reese Witherspoon’s house and become a member of the Madame Tussauds Broken Hearts Society — it will likely be a challenging moment for him.
Purely from a career and image perspective, though, he pretty much can’t go wrong unless he goes on an obscenity bender and hits Jon Stewart and/or George Stephanopolous in the face. Which seems unlikely.
Still, this blog feels compelled to offer Pattinson — who is only going through this exercise to promote his work in the David Cronenberg film “Cosmopolis” — some advice about these upcoming appearances. You know, because he didn’t ask for it or anything. Hence, here are a few interview approaches Pattinson could take, all of which previously worked for other celebrities in semi-awkward circumstances.
The Say Nothing At All Approach
Taking its cue from: The first post-divorce interview Sandra Bullock did on the “Today” show, in which the words Jesse and James were never spoken.
Pattinson is not always super-articulate in interviews and public appearances. (Please see the mess that was his MTV Movie Awards tribute to Reese Witherspoon.) If he’s asked about something as personal as being cheated on, he might, understandably, say something awkward and unadvisable. So, like Bullock, he might be better off keeping the Stewart conversation to a minimum. If asked about it, he could simply say, “I know there’s been a lot of curiosity about this, but I’d prefer to keep my personal life private” and stick to that approach through further questioning. The media won’t like it — We must know more! We deserve the truth! — but it will win him some empathy points and allow him to wiggle out of discussing a tough subject.
The Sense of Humor Approach
Taking its cue from: The recent Fred Willard interview on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.”
Willard’s situation — doing his first interview after an arrest for engaging in lewd conduct — clearly differs from Pattinson’s. But his approach, which was to address the matter directly in comedic fashion, was a success. Pattinson may not be as naturally hilarious as Willard, but if he can manage to make a self-deprecating joke of any kind, it will go viral immediately and win him points on the humility front.
The Emotional Honesty Approach
Taking its cue from: Nicole Kidman’s post-Tom Cruise divorce interview on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
Kidman did not spill any significant, specific details about her break-up with Cruise during that 2001 sit-down. But she was forthcoming about her feelings. “I think that divorce is hard for anyone,” she said. “It's a nightmare, it just is, and you can pretend you're fine. And days you're great; days you're not great.”
She was not entirely composed, but her pain was real and relatable. If Pattinson is willing to openly answer some Stewart-related questions, he too should not be afraid to reveal that he’s hurting. Clearly it didn’t do any harm to Kidman’s career.
All of the Above
Taking its cue from: Hugh Grant on “The Tonight Show,” post-Divine Brown scandal.
If Pattinson is somehow able to be honest without saying much about his ex, funny as well as sad about what’s happened, and classy in the face of potentially tasteless questions, he will have pulled off a Hugh Grant, a.k.a. the Hat Trick of Potentially Awkward Celebrity Interviews. Does he have it in him? Come next week, we’ll find out.