A New Lawrence of Arabia
Another legendary character that appears in QUEEN OF THE DESERT is T. E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, played by Robert Pattinson.
“I needed an Englishman, who still has the air of a schoolboy, but who is very intelligent. He plays Lawrence of Arabia, but at age 22, on an archaeological site… Pattinson is very good in this role. He is an intelligent man and the choice was quite natural,” says Herzog on casting Pattinson.
On his portrayal of Lawrence, Pattinson explains, “It’s sort of close to the real guy, it’s certainly not Lawrence of Arabia-like. At the same time the guy was really small and I’m not physically right for the part, but I think I have quite a good handle of who he is.”
Unlike Lawrence of Arabia, QUEEN OF THE DESERT is not focused on T. E. Lawrence as the main character. Pattinson shares his thoughts on having a minor role: “The film’s about Gertrude Bell, it’s really not about making Lawrence of Arabia. It’s quite nice doing small parts. Then the film isn’t totally reliant on what I do in it, so I get to work with who I want to work with.”
Pattinson also shares about working with director Werner Herzog, “It’s insane because he wrote the script as well and it’s one of the most difficult scripts I’ve ever read. Werner’s great. He’s exactly what you’d expect. He’s got so many amazing stories. He’s got insane confidence as well. I think that’s where all his creativity comes from. He’s got 100% belief in himself.”