Interview: "Antiviral" Director Brandon Cronenberg Talks the Horror of Celebrity Obsession
- Matt Barone [Complex]: Last year, your sister Caitlyn was rumored to be dating Robert Pattinson—reports came out saying they were spotted together at a party for Pattinson's film directed by your dad, Cosmopolis. That must have brought a lot of Antiviral's themes especially close to home for you.
- Brandon Cronenberg: [Laughs.] That was totally strange. And then reading how she was going to his apartment at these late hours of the night, and how she was doing all of this crazy stuff with him and breaking Kristen [Stewart]'s heart…it was bizarre to witness that happening and then also witnessing it not happening while being around my sister. There were photoshopped magazine covers of them together even though the pictures were taken years apart from each other. [Laughs.] There were people who thought it was true, and they were harassing my sister about it. I was just thinking, "Why?"
- Matt Barone [Complex]: For people who love a guy like Robert Pattinson, they don't want to hear anything that could ruin whatever image they have of him, and how he lives in some larger-than-their-life way. If they find out that he's just sitting at home and watching TV right now, and not doing something glamorous, it'd crush them.
- Brandon Cronenberg: Yeah, but in that case they didn't want it to be true because they have this idea of an amazing romance between him and Kristen Stewart. They want it to mirror their fictional romance, and the fact that my sister was causing problems and playing with his dog really outraged them. [Laughs.] And it was based on nothing.
- Matt Barone [Complex]: And then when Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart broke up for real, the comments sections of so many Tumblr pages were filled with truly disturbing messages about how devastated these fans were about it, as if their parents just got divorced. It got really intense.
- Brandon Cronenberg: It's crazy. That's the thing: It's actually insanity at some point. If you respect someone on a really high level and they happen to be famous, but your respect comes from appreciating their work, that's totally fine. There's a certain point where I think it's a legitimate form of insanity, and it's that point where you think you have a relationship with this person who's never met you. That's delusional, and it was interesting to explore that idea in how the fans in Antiviral will go so far as being injected with their favorite celebrity's diseases in order to be closer to them in some way.