Water for Elephants Screenwriter Richard LaGravenese mentions Rob in an interview
Q: Can you talk a little about the film’s cast?
A: When I read the book myself I thought of Reese because of a paragraph when Marlene (Reese’s character) is first introduced it described her complexion — the kind of beauty she had. It was sort of this glow, this sort of peaches and cream translucent beauty within the squalor of where the horses and the animals and the menagerie was. Who popped into my head was Reese, but it wasn’t just my decision; Francis (the film’s director) felt the same way and she was his first choice I think.
And Robert really has a lot of 1930s leading man qualities; he’s one of those actors who the camera just adores in the way that they did with 1930s leading men. And Christoph is just such a fine actor there’s no question about Christoph to make August (the main character’s rival in the film) a complex character.
Read the rest of the interview here