Robert Pattinson Jokes: “I’m Learning How to Read!”

Actor Robert Pattinson speaks onstage at ELLE's 19th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel on October 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.  Jason Merritt/

Robert Pattinson has made Twi-hards swoon in four Twilight movies, and while memorizing a script is a cinch for the actor, public speaking is another story.

"I'm learning how to read tonight," a nervous-looking Pattinson, 26, joked at Monday's ELLE Women in Hollywood event after he took to the stage to honor his Bel Ami costar Uma Thurman. Calling public speaking in front of his A-list peers — including Cate Blanchett, Susan Sarandon, Viola Davis and others — "terrifying," Pattinson later regaled the crowd with a story about the first time he met Thurman during Bel Ami filming.

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"Why did everyone [who spoke before me] have to be so funny?" the actor wondered aloud. During his speech, Pattinson infused his own brand of humor when explaining to the audience how he insisted that his on-screen Bel Ami wife be "more intelligent, talented, wittier and better in bed than me." "[It was] obviously very difficult to cast," he joked of the role that ultimately went to Thurman, 42.

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Racing through his speech before taking his seat back in the crowd, Pattinson — clad in a gray suit, white shirt and tie — puffed on an electronic cigarette when Thurman took the stage to accept her ELLE award. "Rob, you're a real gentleman on and off the screen," Thurman said, applauding her costar.

Though he hobnobbed with leading lady Thurman on Monday, over the weekend Pattinson only had eyes for girlfriend Kristen Stewart, 22. Making a low-key appearance on Saturday at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont, the reconciled Pattinson and Stewart celebrated a friend's birthday party at the same venue where Jennifer Aniston and fiance Justin Theroux dined, two sources confirm to Us Weekly.

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Living together again three months after Stewart's July fling with Rupert Sanders, the couple is keeping their interactions as concealed as possible. "They're afraid of backlash, so they're keeping things on the down-low," a pal explains.

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