While filming, alongside Reese Witherspoon, in "Water for Elephants", Robert Pattinson almost gave his life to his art by being squashed by a 9,000-pound elephant, called Rosie.

That would not have been a terrible rock and roll obituary!

According to the National Enquirer Pattinson was riding on Rosie's back when she tossed him off and nearly rolled on top of him as he lay on the ground.

In the movie, filmed in Louisiana, Pattinson climbs on top of the elephant to give it a shower while talking to Reese Witherspoon below. Pattinson plays the character of a young man who has run off to join the circus in the 1930s.

A source said "The script called for the elephant to step forward while swinging her trunk from side to side, but Rosie got her signals mixed up.

“Instead, she sat down on her big butt, lifted her front legs — then rolled over. Before anyone could react, Robert slid right down the elephant’s back. It could have been a disaster if she’d rolled over on him — but he got lucky, landing face first in a pile of dirt and mud. He was filthy, but unharmed.

“Everyone on the set cracked up — especially Reese, who was laughing so hard she couldn’t catch her breath.”

Thankfully Pattinson took the accident in good humor and said "I'm just glad she didn't roll on top of me."