What a drag
Has Robert Pattinson gone up in smoke?
Robert Pattinson's latest flick, Remember Me, hits the box office today, representing a critical step in the actor's agenda to separate himself from vampire typecast and teenage pop icon. In the film, Pattinson plays the role of bourgeois college lad Tyler who works out his angst through an illicit love affair with a fellow melancholic gal — and adds a nasty chain-smoking habit to boot.
Protective parents are up in arms about the actor's excessive cigarette use on screen. Despite increased awareness about the negative effects of lighting up, the appearance of smoking on screen is at an all time high: The University of California suggests that as many as three-quarters of American films feature at least one smoking character.
Recent studies by The Lancet and Pediatrics journals claim that young people who witness film stars lighting up on screen are 2.7 times more likely to begin smoking themselves.
Despite the public outcry over Pattinson's role model obligations, one must ask: Is sucking on a cigarette really a worse example than devouring human blood? Is the vampire role in Twilight a good role model?
The health risks of smoking are irrefutable, but when it comes to moral code, setting fangs upon an innocent nape is certainly more worthy of judgment. Swapping human blood for nicotine might be a step up when it comes to winning friends and influencing impressionable teens.
With his devilish sullen eyes and gaunt complexion, a cig really completes Pattinson's portrayal of the troubled Tyler — a 21st century James Dean Lite. Although the New York Times insists that Pattinson's role is "in need of an immediate acting intervention," we salute Robby P for ditching the murder streak and sticking to his oh-so-sexy cancer sticks.
Pattinson, Hollywood's 10th-highest-paid actor and GQ's Best Dressed Man of 2010, has also been spotted lighting up on set with his New Moon cohort as well as on the sidewalks of New York. The actor seems set on pushing the envelope as we watch him mature in the spotlight.
In his 2009 film Little Ashes, Pattinson channels a sexually shifty Salvador Dalí (which involves an unexpected androgynous full-frontal). Expect to see more deviant behavior, including sneaking a fag on and off set — but don't let this wayward vampire influence your smoking decision.