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Robert Pattinson bleached his locks and visited prisons to play a small-time gangster in Queens, N.Y., in the Safdie brothers’ thriller ‘Good Time.’
Josmar Taveras

NEW YORK — Blonds don’t always have more fun. 

Robert Pattinson learned the hard way when he bleached his famously coiffed mop to play the amoral Connie Nikas, a greasy New York thug who haphazardly robs a bank and tries to spring his brother out of prison in Good Time (in theaters Friday in New York and Los Angeles, expands nationwide Aug. 25). 

“It was pretty gross. I thought I was going to look a lot trendier than I did,” Pattinson laments. After months of alternating between a dyed black perm and hydrogen peroxide-lightened ‘do, “your hair is no longer hair. It’s just strands of chemicals.”

Temporary hair loss behind him, Pattinson now has his messy locks tucked inside a backward baseball baseball cap as he picks at a salad (“Too much lemon!”) in the courtyard of Manhattan’s Bowery Hotel. Quaffing water and coffee (“I’m a compulsive sipper.”), he’s soft-spoken yet waggish when talking Good Time, which earned him career-best reviews when the pulpy crime thriller premiered at Cannes Film Festival earlier this summer. 

Pattinson, 31, who became an international heartthrob playing vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise,veered into more ambitious fare when the series wrapped in 2012, working with auteurs James Gray (The Lost City of Z), David Cronenberg (Cosmopolis) and Werner Herzog (Queen of the Desert). He emailed sibling filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie after seeing an image of their 2014 drama Heaven Knows What online and met with them in Los Angeles months before Good Time‘s script was even written. 

“We had seen, ‘Oh…