Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in “The Lighthouse” | Photo courtesy of A24

British actor Robert Pattinson has been shedding the skin of his most famous character — the vampire Edward Cullen from the Twilight films — by taking on a series of strange and daring roles in art house cinema: Cosmopolis, Good Time, The Lost City of Z, High Life, and now The Lighthouse — a black-and-white thriller where he plays an old-timey mariner opposite Willem Dafoe.

Pattinson has been playing guitar, singing, and writing songs since he was young. He contributed songs to the Twilight soundtrack, and recently sang a lullaby in Claire Denis’ sci-fi film, High Life.

I recently spoke with Pattinson, and used it as an excuse to talk only about music. In this conversation, we discuss his life as a songwriter, his favorite classical music, what rap music he listens to on set to get into character, how his performances are a kind of music themselves… and more.

Hit play below to listen to our Arts Alive feature.


The Lighthouse, starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, is in theaters now.

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