By Caryn James | James on Screens August 14, 2012 at 12:31PM
I would love to read a behind-the-scenes account of the pr strategies and manipulations behind the Robert Pattinson - Kristen Stewart scandale and breakup. Who advised Stewart to get ahead of the damage by issuing her profoundly weird public apology? And the flood of information from all those sources supposedly close to Pattinson who said he was heartbroken? Wild guesses and logic at work? Or strategic leaks? The old adage “Those who know don’t talk, and those who talk don’t know” has been updated with a new option: friends who leak exactly the message the main players want out there.
I certainly don’t want to do that reporting, but I’m hoping some press-savvy investigator does, because it would offer a fascinating glimpse behind the veil of celebrity culture and image-making.
What we do know is that Robert Pattinson showed up at the premiere of his new film Cosmopolis at the Museum of Modern Art last night and also appeared with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show – a move that inoculates him with some public questioning before that inevitable Twilight press tour he and Kristen Stewart will have to do.
The Daily Show ran a banner on the screen during the first half, welcoming viewers who had never watched before: “Welcome, Twilight fans. This is a topical comedy show mostly dealing with politics and the media.” To be honest, those viewers wouldn’t have caught the show at its best; the writers could have done a sharper job with their idea that Paul Ryan’s candidacy as vice-president finally unites Democrats and Republicans. Of course, that didn’t matter when Pattinson was around.
When he did come on stage, something got lost or botched in the setup, in which Stewart pulled out two pints of Ben & Jerry’s – the ultimate breakup comfort food. We knew Stewart wasn’t going to grill him about his private life, and Pattinson jumped in with a joke that his big mistake was in being too cheap to hire a publicist.
“I’m going to hire a publicist,” he said, and Stewart told him, “I think you should. Although, unless you have a time machine - ”
Eventually they got around to eating ice cream, and Stewart was back on track, saying, “The last time I had a bad breakup, Ben & Jerry got me through some of the tough times. So I thought you and I could bond, and talk about,” – and he went in to a fake girlfriend voice – “ ‘Boy you are bettah off, kick her to the curb.’” The audience loved that; Pattinson probably not so much, but he smiled through it.
So far he has come out way ahead in the pr wars, and not simply because he was the one cheated on. (No one's calling him "trampire.") Basically, he gets points for showing up in public and on camera, being good-natured, honoring his commitment to Cosmopolis. He even ate soupy ice cream, and that couldn’t have been in his contract.
Here’s the segment: