Robert Pattinson is showing a new side of himself in his upcoming sci-film film High Life. The actor is putting his vocals on full display in the film and its original song “Willow,” written by the Tindersticks frontman Stuart A. Staples, and his voice is surprisingly soothing.
While Pattinson has sung in front of the camera before — both for fun and for film (his recent role in Damsel saw him crooning in a Western accent) — his latest attempt might be the closest to his real singing voice. On “Willow,” Pattinson recites the lyrics dedicated to his character’s daughter which the track is named after in a gravely yet smooth voice. The song plays a central role in the film, as the writer Staples shared in a statement, saying, the song “eventually grew to be the conclusion of the High life with Robert Pattinson, the lead actor, singing the song in character to his daughter Willow, a theme that runs through the film.” “I felt the score should be intimate and hypnotic. Music made of hands and breath-acoustic instruments, electric guitars, fingertips,” Staples added.
When Pattinson last sang for a movie, with last year’s Damsel, he talked about how nervous he was to do so. “No matter whether you’re playing a character or not, there’s something about singing where you’re naked,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I hadn’t sung in front of anybody for years before that… That was the only thing in the whole movie where I was really nervous, I have no idea why. My hand was shaking so much. It’s such a weird little moment … it’s so weird and earnest and sweet at the same time.”
In the same interview, he also talked about his approach to roles these days, saying, “I’m trying to choose roles where audiences wouldn’t have preconceived expectations of how those characters would behave.” High Life definitely fits that description as Pattinson plays a prisoner in the film who is at the mercy of Juliette Binoche, playing a doctor with sketchy ethics. At the same time, Pattinson’s character is trying to find alternative energy and take care of his daughter Willow. He’s joined in the Claire Denis-helmed film by OutKast’s Andre 3000 and Mia Goth.
While the first clip of “Willow” doesn’t show Pattinson singing, we might have to wait until the film opens on April 5 for to witness that.