In "High Life", veteran French director Claire Denis' first English-language film, Pattinson plays Monte, a former criminal who has to fight for survival in deep space where he lives in isolation with his infant daughter Willow.
The "Twilight" actor, 32, first met with Denis, who directed 1988 movie "Chocolat", in Los Angeles to discuss the project when he was 28 years old but he didn't find out he had got the part until two years later, and he became worried it would never happen.
"It's crazy, yeah. She shot a whole movie in the time it took. It started to worry me, and 'High Life' is a difficult movie. I was aware of the unlikeliness that it would ever come to fruition," he told Little White Lies magazine. "As well as being quite ambitious, it's quite big as well, y'know? It's literally in space."
They were originally set to shoot the movie in 2015, the same year he was going to film "The Lost City of Z", but fortunately it ended up being delayed again.
"'High Life' kept getting pushed and pushed. It was supposed to shoot in 2015, the same years as 'The Lost City of Z' with James Gray, and I was really worried that I was going to have to shoot them at the same time," he explained. "But it took another year or two."
The British actor pursued Denis because he was a fan of her earlier films, which include "Beau Travail", and "Trouble Every Day", and put his faith in her completely during the shoot, as he didn't always understand what the story was about.
"The script was changing so much as we were doing it. I just trusted Claire so much," he added. "I think having a complete idea of who the character is or what the story's about, it makes it less interesting. With 'High Life', I was just playing each individual scene as an independent entity. So I wasn't even thinking about what sort of film it was."