Robert Pattinson's CV is a varied one - there's been global blockbusters, dark indie films, and coming soon is his take on Batman. The actor chats to Georgia Humphreys about career choices, plus his experience filming new horror, The Lighthouse.

Weird is one word that could be used to describe Robert Pattinson's latest piece of work.

The Lighthouse, by visionary filmmaker Robert Eggers (known for horror masterpiece The Witch), is a tale of two lighthouse keepers, one of whom - the enigmatic Ephraim Winslow - is played by Pattinson, 33.

The other, the controlling, more-seasoned keeper Thomas Wake, is played by Willem Dafoe.

It's a hypnotic and hallucinatory black-and-white feature, set on a remote island off the coast of New England in the 1890s.

When Thomas and Ephraim become trapped and isolated due to a storm, they engage in an escalating battle of wills. With mysterious force looming all around them, the question is, what is and isn't real?

This is not London-born Pattinson's first oddball role; in fact, he tends to veer towards them.

He seems to be a bit of a risk-taker, starring in a string of indie films in recent years (gritty crime drama Good Time, thriller Cosmopolis, sci-fi High Life).

He's also been known to give, well, slightly strange interviews before.

So perhaps I shouldn't have been so surprised when, asked about the projects he looks to do, he says: "I swear my agent is always so mad at me. I'll just say the vaguest things.

"They're like, 'What do you want to do?' I'm like, 'Hmm... something about a fish?'

"And then they find a thing about a fish and I'm like, 'I'm over fish now, it's too late'."

It's not that Pattinson isn't enjoyable to chat to, because he is.

He's laid-back, dressed in a casual black jacket and black t-shirt (the mighty moustache he sported as Ephraim has gone, and his fluffy hair is styled in its trademark way, messily).

Sipping an iced coffee, he's smiley and engaging, and laughs at himself a lot.

He just doesn't have much of a filter - or maybe he just genuinely doesn't know what to say. Take when he discusses the appeal of The Lighthouse, for example.

"Because I'm quite immature, I like when I can tell my friends what a movie's about, in a really reductive way,' he says.

And when he summaries this one as a film where he has sex with a mermaid...

"My friends are like, 'Sounds like your usual thing then!'"

Basically, the more extreme the plot is, the better.

"I don't like having to say, 'It's about subtle exploration', 'It's a music teacher's marriage', bla bla bla...," he quips.

In two-hander The Lighthouse, the tension builds and builds until the men "spill their beans" during one unforgettable night.

It's an intense exploration of what happens when the most terrible truths about ourselves, and who we think we are, percolate up from the depths.

Did Pattinson find it challenging portraying someone's spiral into madness?

"It's very cathartic; I think that's why I always look for parts where the behaviour is so extreme.

"Every night on this job I would go to bed and sleep so soundly, because you've been screaming and shouting at people all day, and you kind of let your anxiety charge you the whole time in the day.

"By the end of the day, I'm just like..." he pauses to let out a contented sigh ... "dreamless sleep."

There are also many scenes involving the two lighthouse keepers drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

And playing drunk can be quite difficult, admits Pattinson.

"Willem always denies that he has a technique, but Willem has incredible technique and he can just do drunk really easily," he elaborates, "whereas it takes me twenty minutes of throwing up on the floor and doing all this stuff. Willem can just turn it on like that.

"Also, being drunk does not help, because I've done that in a different movie; I tried to just get drunk for it, and you don't look drunk when you're drunk on camera."

Pattinson's big break came in 2005 in one of the most popular film franchises; he played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.

A few years later, he landed arguably his best-known role, as vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight film series, making him a teenage heartthrob the world over.

After somewhat reinventing himself as an art house actor, he will be making a return to the more commercial side of film in 2021 reboot The Batman, in which he takes on the titular role.

When I ask what he can tell us about his portrayal of the beloved DC Comics character, he looks more than happy to answer. But I'm stopped by a publicist, who says it's questions on The Lighthouse only.

It's a shame, because something tells me Pattinson's take on the superhero will be unlike any adaptations that have hit cinemas before.

Instead, we talk about career choices in general (that's how the fish conversation starts...)

"I've never really got a plan of what comes up," he suggests.

"Generally, I'll have seen someone's movie; I saw The Witch and I'd been trying to figure out something to do with Robert [Eggers] for ages before I found this...

"Yeah, it's always just the most random stuff."

His co-star, American actor Dafoe, 64, liked how "evocative and exotic" The Lighthouse was.

"It's entertaining to go through someone else's trauma, but identify with some of the challenges," adds the versatile star, famous for films such as Spider-Man, The Grand Budapest Hotel and To Live and Die in L.A.

What challenges did he identify with exactly?

"Oh, just this whole notion of two people trapped with an uncertain future, what they resort to, to try to survive," he suggests.

"What kind of deals they make with each other, what kind of power games they play with each other, what kind of manipulation they do, how do they cope? Do they turn to drink? Do they turn against each other? Do they try to be nice to each other? Do they try to do bad things to each other? There's a whole alphabet of strategies."

The Lighthouse is in cinemas now