Robert Pattinson Recounts Scary Circus Story

David James/Twentieth Century Fox

He also says it's "bizarre" playing Reese Witherspoon's love interest in "Water for Elephants."

Robert Pattinson plays a veterinary student who runs away to the circus in Water for Elephants (out next Friday).

He didn't have a very pleasant experience the first time he ever sat under the big top tent.

"The first time I went to the circus somebody died," he said on the Today show Monday morning. "One of the clowns died; the joke car exploded. It was terrifying."

Still, he enjoyed filming the movie -- especially working with animals instead of humans. PHOTOS: Reese and Rob on the set of Water for Elephants.

“I think it’s so much better,” Pattinson said. “I like working with kids and I like working with animals. The more unpredictable elements you can put into a scene the more I like it.”

Playing Reese Witherspoon's love interest was "very bizarre," he said -- because he'd played her son in her 2004 flick, Vanity Fair. (His part was cut.)

He calls the movie's time period very romantic.

"I think that period, the '30s, was the most exciting; the end of the Wild West," he told Matt Lauer. "I always found it kind of interesting and then it turned into white picket fences."

Pattinson said he was pleased Breaking Dawn Part II recently finished filming.

"It was a long process. Eight months.” he said. “It was kind of a relief to finally get the contacts out of my eyes. I was just about to kill someone.”

Does he want to continue to act?

“Who knows.” Pattinson said. “You can’t predict what an audience feels. I guess if you keep doing what you like doing and you try to make movies that you would want to watch yourself, then hopefully one other person in the world will want to watch them. There is no way to second-guess an audience so who knows.

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