Robert Pattinson's declaration of independence came immediately, with David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis in 2012. "I think it was the first time when I worked on something that was quite complex," Pattinson says. "I think it's so rare for something to break a pattern, because almost everything in the world is designed to be predictable. Cosmopolis was the big turning point for me. I just realised that was what I wanted to do."

Robert Pattinson starring in Good Times

So when he first heard about independent sibling directors Josh and Benny Safdie, he knew he wanted to work with them. "When I like something, I get unbelievably enthusiastic," Pattinson laughs. "The first email I sent was like, 'I'm completely certain that we're supposed to do something together.' And they're like, 'Have you seen any of our stuff?' I said, 'Nope, don't need to see it. I know.'"

Pattinson stars in their new film Good Time, which follows his dimwitted small-time criminal Connie over one desperate night in Queens. Pattinson loved the fact that the role was far outside his comfort zone. "When I first started acting," he says, "everyone's like, 'Oh, you went to private school, you're an English person. That means you're going to do period dramas and that's it.' Even my agents at the time were like that. You have to prove these things, and you have so few opportunities to prove it."

Still, there was one scene in Good Time that made him pause: when the directors asked him to manually stimulate a very large dog. "Connie has this affinity with dogs," he says. "He thinks he was a dog in a previous life, and he thinks he has control over animals and stuff. So there's this one scene we shot where basically a drug dealer bursts into the room and I was sleeping with the dog, and basically giving the dog a hand job." He was glad when prop team made a fake appendage for use in the scene.

That said, most of the film was unnervingly realistic, as several of his costars were actual criminals. "I'm always thinking another actor is judging me," he laughs. "So if you're doing something and you think the other actor's thinking that what you're doing is inauthentic, you just go, 'Well, you just don't have taste.' But if the other person's essentially playing themselves and they think you're being inauthentic, you're genuinely being fake!"

Watch the trailer for Good Time: