Robert Pattinson knew Little Ashes could cause a career firestorm. During the Toronto leg of the Twilight media tour last year, as young female fans screamed for their sexy vampire, he told me he’d play Salvador Dali in a gay themed art house film.

“I thought I was never going to get a job when I did that,” says Pattinson. “So it was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’ll do it.’ I had nothing to lose.”

I ventured to say that Leonardo Di Caprio’s career as a teen heart throb wasn’t hurt by playing a gay character in Total Eclipse.

Pattison laughed, “The ones in Little Ashes are a little more hardcore!”

Director Paul Morrison’s look at the tumultuous early friendship between Dali, Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca and filmmaker Luis Buñuel could potentially draw new, young audiences curious to see Pattinson.

But British actor Matthew McNulty who plays Buñuel says he was concerned about the “Pattinson factor.”

“We’re lucky that he’s taken off so much. The only thing is people will come out and review it as being a Robert Pattinson film, not an art house film. They’ll have a different take on it. But overall, it’s brilliant that more people will see it. It will open people’s minds for starters, and then they’ll learn about the icons in it and their effect on the world. It will spawn so much more interest and knowledge.”

McNulty plays the third wheel in the group, tossed aside when the Dali/Lorca affair begins. His efforts to fit in go badly awry despite his view of himself as an essential part of their radical, idealistic group.

“He was macho. Buñuel is a homophobe and now he’s lost his best friend to a man. What did that do to him? It’s a big conflict. His radical social and political views go directly against his sexuality.”

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