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“He’s here. I see his hair,” one reporter murmured to another on the press line for Monday night’s “Cosmopolis” premiere at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. “He” being Robert Pattinson, who, thanks to his recent infidelity-wrought breakup with Kristen Stewart, is the current red-hot center of the celebrity gossip universe. The Gucci- and Peggy Siegal Co.-hosted screening marked the tween heartthrob’s first public outing since word that Stewart had cheated on him with British director Rupert Sanders broke just over two weeks ago. After reportedly sequestering himself in Reese Witherspoon’s Ojai, Calif., estate, Pattinson emerged looking quite debonair in a Gucci getup (blue suit, navy dress shirt and skinny black tie) to kick off the press tour for the David Cronenberg film.

In the futuristic thriller based on the Don DeLillo novel of the same name, Pattinson plays a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager who endures a myriad of dizzying encounters as he’s being chauffeured in a stretch limo across Midtown Manhattan to get a haircut.

This story first appeared in the August 15, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“The movie takes place during the course of one day,” Cronenberg said. “And over the course of the film, Robert’s character changes incredibly. It really is a beautifully modulated performance.”

A few moments later, Pattinson made his way down the red carpet graciously answering questions.

“What made me decide was that the only thing that was stopping me was being scared and the only thing I could be scared of is being bad,” Pattinson said of taking the role, a definite departure from his “Twilight” persona.

Though much of the story unfolds in the confines of his character’s limo, Pattinson found the film’s Manhattan locale daunting. “New York seems very, very foreign to me, like more foreign than almost anywhere [else] in America, almost anywhere [else] in the world,” he said. “I find it to be one of the most overwhelming places.”

The mob of Twihards corralled outside may also have been overwhelming the actor. Though the swarm of preteens went well around the block, the Pattinson sighting proved anticlimactic, even for those in front.

“The bodyguard took him right in,” said Stacy Anderson, 22, one of the foursome first in line. “Something happened with fans shoving or something so they just whisked him right in.”

The four women had driven 14 hours from Chicago to get a glimpse of the actor and had been camping outside MoMA since Saturday night at 8 p.m.

“We’ve been sleeping in beach chairs,” Thomazine Hernandez, 23, said.

Though the group quite clearly supported Pattinson in his time of need, they were diplomatic on the matter of Team Rob vs. Team Kristen.

“We’re not on any team,” Hernandez said. “We support both.”

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