Robert Pattinson Says Playing Reese Witherspoon's Love Interest Was 'Bizarre'

Pattinson had been cast as his 'Water for Elephants' co-star's son in 2004's 'Vanity Fair.'

On Friday, Robert Pattinson is running away and joining the circus. He stars as Reese Witherspoon's love interest in the romantic drama "Water for Elephants." And while this time around they're playing lovers, in the past, Pattinson has played Witherspoon's son.

"It is very bizarre," he said of the casting on the "Today" show on Monday (April 18). "I think that's kind of bizarre [that] they cast me as her son," he added, referring to the 2004 flick "Vanity Fair." His part was later cut.

In the film, Pattinson's character joins the circus after his parents are killed in a car accident. But in real life, the "Twilight" star never romanticized about a life under the big top. "Running away and joining the circus? [No], the first time I went to the circus somebody died," he recalled. "One of the clowns died; the joke car exploded. It was terrifying."

Pattinson, however, does have a more romantic view of the time period in which the film takes place. "I think that period, the '30s, was the most exciting; the end of the Wild West," he explained. "I always found it kind of interesting and then it turned into white picket fences."

He plays a veterinarian in the film, and he admits that while the old Hollywood maxim is "Never work with children or animals," Pattinson sort of lives by the opposite. "I think it's so much better. I like working with kids. I like working with animals," he said, sharing one warning for fans: "The zebras are the ones to watch out for; always avoid zebras."

Pattinson hopes that as his career chugs along, he'll still be able to get viewers in the seats, even in a post-"Twilight" world. "Who knows? I mean, you just kind of can't predict what an audience feels," he said. "I guess if you keep doing what you like doing, hopefully then one other person in the world will want to watch them."

Check out everything we've got on "Water for Elephants."

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