Though probably more known for his brooding good looks and for his star-making role as Edward in the film adaptations of the Twilight book series, Robert Pattinson wants people to know him more for his ways with animals than for his other attributes when it comes to his new movie. 

In an interview with Press Association UK  Pattinson claims that Francis Lawrence, director of the new film Water for Elephants, cast Pattinson particularly because of his comfort around animals.

Pattinson explains that while auditioning for the role of Jacob in the film, his connection to the animals on set sealed the deal stating “we went to meet the elephant and I think Francis had already made his mind up…and he just had a feeling…I just have a thing with animals.”

The film in which Pattinson stars is based on the popular novel by Sara Gruen, and particularly displays Pattinson’s departure from the Twilight and Harry Potter films that had catapulted him to heartthrob status and garnered him countless fans on both sides of the pond.

Pattinson admits that he is nervous about how critics and fans will regard his performance, but nonetheless comes to see the film as an indelible experience adding “I had such an incredible time making it…but it’s always nerve-wracking. I would just love to make films that they didn’t release.

That would be the best job in the world.” Despite his reservations, Pattison concedes that seeing the production quality once the film has wrapped and working with the best people on set has calmed his nerves.

One of the people Pattinson worked with on the film contends the 24 year old Brit has nothing to worry about – his co-star Reese Witherspoon.

Witherspoon, who recently married talent agent Jim Toth at her ranch in California, also sat down for the interview stating “I think he is extraordinary in the film…his performance was really beautiful…I think people will be excited to see him in a different kind of role.”

Water for Elephants is set to be released on April 22nd in the United States and though only time will tell how the film and Pattinson’s performance will be received, it will no doubt earn him a new legion of fans.