As a circus performer in the 2011 drama Water for Elephants, Reese Witherspoon gets in the ring with her film paramour, movie veterinarian Robert Pattinson.
"I'm not gonna lie. He's a very, very handsome man," Witherspoon tells USA TODAY's Donna Freydkin.
The two had co-starred in the 2004 costume drama Vanity Fair. And yes, times have changed for Pattinson, who's now a reluctant heartthrob thanks to the blockbuster Twilight movie series.
"The fervor and madness and girls waiting at 5 a.m. on a set in the middle of nowhere just to see him," recalls Witherspoon, of their shoot. "He's sweet and loving and has the nicest family. Kristen (Stewart, Pattinson's girlfriend) is really sweet, too. He's a very sensitive soul. He worked really hard. He looks great in the movie, too."
Her daughter Ava, 11, met Pattinson, but wasn't smitten because she hasn't read the books yet. Witherspoon thought she was too young. "I really liked them, me and all my 30-year-old friends! I love the books," she says.
As for Witherspoon, does she have it written into her contracts that all her costars have to be hunky males?
"I do. How did you find that out? Someone's gotta do it. It's like America's Test Kitchen, but for making out with hot co-stars. I do it for the girls. I love my job. They're all really good guys. And I know all their girlfriends," she smiles.
ETA: WFE Synopsis:
When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie.
It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.