Robert Pattinson, the British actor who had catapulted to fame after landing the lead role in the “Twilight Saga”, has been severely criticized by the widow of the late photographer, Denis Stock, whose life is portrayed in the new film ‘Life’, directed by Anton Corbijn.
Susan Richards, the wife of famed late photographer who had made his name with shots of actors and jazz singers that had won him various accolades, says that Pattinson failed to capture the “dynamic charm” of the man that had attracted her in life.
Richards said that Pattinson lacked the energy, guts, and imagination to capture the charm of the remarkable man. She had also criticized the portrayal of Stock’s relationship with the late actor James Dean who was killed in a car accident in 1955.
In an interview, Richards said the man portrayed by Pattinson was very insecure, wasn’t talkative, and wasn’t very bright. She said that what she saw was a lost soul with none of the charm, confidence, or intelligence of the man that drew her and many others to Dennis.
The film “Life” directed by Anton Corbijn depicts the quasi-friendly relationship that developed between Stock and the late actor James Dean who died in a car crash six months later. The photographs of Dean captured by Stock in his album “Portrait of a Young Man, James Dean (1956)” embalmed the actor as the symbol of the counter-cultural age of the time.
Anton Corbijn is a great admirer of Stock’s photos since he had started his own career as a music photographer. In the film, the director depicts the life of Dennis Stock, and focuses especially on his relationship with the late actor James Dean in detail.
Stock was born in 1928 to a Swiss father and an English mother in Bronx, New York. He had taken part in the Second World War when he was only 16 years of age. After the war, he decided to jump-start his career in photography. He became an apprentice to Gjon Mili, a Life magazine photographer, and later joined the world-famous Magnum photo agency in 1951. It was then that the photographer entered into limelight by using his camera to shoot A-listed actors and celebrities such as Billie Holiday, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Louis Armstrong. The photographer died in 2010 after losing a lengthy battle with colon cancer at the age of 81.
In the film, Pattinson portrays Stock as diffident, shy, with hesitant mannerisms, and nervous tics, which Richards says is wildly divergent to the reality of Stock. In her opinion, Stock is not portrayed well both by the actor and the director. In a scene, Corbijn depicts Stock telling a family member that he is “Prickly, pushy and opinionated”. But the widow of the late says the line does not tally with reality.
When asked why she thinks Pattinson depicted her husband in such a way, Richards said that some actors tend to fear overacting in the film. And this may very well be the reason why Pattinson didn’t act out the way he should have in the film.