Robert Pattinson: Elephant poop added realism to movie

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Robert Pattinson & Reese Witherspoon star in this 2011 film adaptation of Sara Gruen's novel about a veterinary student abandons his studies and joins a traveling circus as their vet. While here he meets and falls in love with the beautiful young star of the equestrian act (Witherspoon), and together they bond over their shared compassion for a special elephant.
April 21st, 2011

Robert Pattinson was "perfectly happy" to be surrounded by poop on the set of 'Water for Elephants'.

The 24-year-old actor plays veterinary student Jacob who works at a circus in the movie - which also stars Reese Witherspoon - and says he wasn't at all fazed by the dirty conditions on set, even when the excrement attracted "ten million flies".

He said: "I don't mind that at all. I have a natural propensity to work on big piles of poop. I don't know why I wasn't grossed out by it at all. It's something about the environment and everything felt so authentic all the time that you just accept it as part of the world.

"There was that scene when we were in the train car and there were ten million flies. On any other movie, I think I'd go 'Ohhh! One take!' On this, I was perfectly happy to make a little mound. I sat down and ate my lunch."

In fact, the 'Twilight Saga' hunk enjoyed every aspect of working with the gargantuan creatures and revealed that watching an elephant called Tai obediently obey his trainer's commands charmed him into deciding to accept the movie there and then.

He explained: "There was only one moment when we first saw the whole pack of elephants, the herd together, and Gary, Tai's trainer, said 'Sit!' literally as if you were talking to a dog and it sat down in exactly the same way a dog would.

"Just seeing that, I mean, it's totally incomprehensible when you see it. I basically decided to do the movie at that point. I hadn't read the script or anything.

He added to Moviesonline.ca: "It's very powerful thinking that you can have a relationship with these huge beasts."