By Mike Collett-White
BERLIN (Reuters) - British actor Robert Pattinson said on Friday he may be too old to reprise his role as the ever-youthful vampire Edward Cullen in the "Twilight" movies, should author Stephenie Meyer decide to add another novel to the series.
The 25-year-old's status as an A-list celebrity was underlined at the Berlin film festival where crowds of screaming girls gathered to catch a glimpse of the actor.
Pattinson, sporting shaved hair, was at the festival for the world premiere of "Bel Ami", a costume drama set in late 19th century Paris based on Guy de Maupassant's novel about a poor man who sleeps and cheats his way to the top of society.
It marks a big step away from the "Twilight" world which turned Pattinson into a star, and will go some way to showing how versatile he is as an actor.
"I'd be curious what Stephenie would write, but I just think I'd probably be too old," he told reporters after a screening of "Bel Ami", which also features Uma Thurman and Christina Ricci. "I'm already too old. But yeah, it'd be kind of interesting."
The five-film "Twilight" franchise is based on Meyer's best-selling four-novel series. The four movies out so far have amassed around $2.5 billion at the global box office, with the final chapter due to hit theatres in November.
In "Bel Ami", Pattinson plays Georges Duroy, a poor ex-soldier who uses his looks and charm to seduce society beauties and convince his newspaper employers to give him important jobs.
Everywhere he turns he sees slights directed at him, and his ruthless desire for revenge, power and wealth means he turns insults to his advantage, no matter what the consequences.
That sensitivity struck a chord with Pattinson when he read the script a long time ago, he explained.
"If someone insulted me I would get 10 years of ambition out of it ... But I think I've grown up a little bit now. I'm not as horrible."
The part contrasts with that of the noble and faithful Cullen, which Pattinson said was what interested him.
"The character of Georges rarely comes up in any movies any more, because he's unrepentant," he said. "It was quite fun playing that and I don't think I'll ever have the opportunity to play him again."
Pattinson said he was amused by similarities between 19th century gossip columnists and today's celebrity-obsessed media.
Theatre director Declan Donnellan, directing his first movie, found the themes of Maupassant's novel still relevant today -- a "corrupt" government, a complicit media and a controversial invasion of an Arab country.
"What I'm interested in is now," he said. "It's very good to use that world to talk about ourselves."
Pattinson hoped he could bring some of his fiercely loyal "Twilight" fan base with him to see Bel Ami.
"The biggest disservice you can do to your audience is trying to repeat the same thing and get them to come just to get money or whatever.
"But if people are interested in what you are doing, then if you try and do interesting films on interesting subjects then I think it's great."
Asked what he thought of the fans waiting to see him outside the hotel where the press conference was held, he replied:
"The audience outside here is from everywhere, people came from Thailand and stand out in the cold there. I can't relate on any level, but it's definitely very nice."
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, Editing by Christine Kearney)