LOS ANGELES — Robert Pattinson has decided to come back — to the spotlight, that is.
The 26-year-old actor has been out of sight since learning last month that his girlfriend and “Twilight” co-star Kristen Stewart had an affair with a married movie director. A tabloid printed photos of the illicit dalliance, breaking the hearts of “Twilight” fans worldwide and prompting Stewart and the director to issue public apologies to their loved ones.
But Pattinson couldn’t lay low forever — he has a film to promote. So on Monday, he was in New York for round of media appearances, including a chat with Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” and the premiere of “Cosmopolis,” a thriller based on a Don DeLillo novel.
On the red carpet, an upbeat Pattison wasn’t asked directly about the cheating scandal — media were limited on the number of questions they could ask — but he talked at one point about the movie’s steamy sex scenes.
“I feel a little uncomfortable doing that. But I mean, some of the scenes in this were like complicated acting scenes, like during a sex scene which makes it — it’s a very strange experience,” he said with a smile.
Work obligations often force celebrities out of hiding after challenging personal situations, but choosing how and where to make a comeback is often a carefully calculated move.
“There’s no one show that’s the right answer for everyone,” said veteran publicist Howard Bragman, now vice chairman of Reputation.com. “The right answer is the one where you think you’re going to get the most respect, the fairest hearing and the best presentation — and potentially where you’ve had the best relationships in the past.”
A graphic went up on the bottom of the screen during a segment on Republican Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick, Paul Ryan, welcoming ‘Twilight Fans’ and alerting them that they were watching a show ‘mostly dealing with politics and media.’”
Pattinson seemed uncomfortable but good-natured.
“My biggest problem in life is I’m cheap and I didn’t hire a publicist,” joked the actor about navigating this highly-publicized time. (For the record, he really doesn’t have a publicist.)
Stewart brought the conversation back to ice cream. “The last time I had a bad breakup, Ben & Jerry got me through some of the tougher times. So I thought you and I could talk about, ‘Boy, you are better off. Kick her to the curb. Whatever!” he said as Pattinson laughed.
Next up, Pattinson will ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, appear on “Good Morning America” Wednesday and then give an interview to MTV on Thursday.