Robert Pattinson almost knocked himself out when shooting his latest movie.

The 28-year-old heartthrob is putting his days as Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise firmly behind him with The Rover, in which he plays Rey. The film is set in the future in Australia, at a time when the economy has crashed and violence is prolific.

Guy Pearce co-stars as Eric, and during their first scene together Robert almost got into difficulties.

"I like to do anything that allows me having to not act at all, so our first scene when Guy’s throwing me around with the car, I actually almost knocked myself out, letting myself go," he said during a Meet the Filmmakers event at the Apple Store, Regent Street, in London, UK.

Rey has a deep South accent, which was one of the first things Robert considered when he took the role. His character is full of tics and awkward asides, sometimes struggling even to get the words he wants to say out.

"I spent a lot of time thinking about the character, ten/11 months from the audition, so before we started it was fairly close to me," he explained.

"With this one, I started with the voice. Trying to find little vocal patterns, gimmicks, coming up with a subtext, and creating little twerks."

The film follows Eric as he attempts to track down Rey's brother after his gang steals his car. The Australian actor's role was more "about the physicality" he explained, also finding the time to praise Robert.

He was amazed when he watched the British star working on set, saying it made him "up his game" when he realised how talented Robert is. Although Guy was familiar with his co-star, he joked about not watching the Twilight vampire movies.

"Sorry ladies! I saw Rob in Water for Elephants, which I thought was a lovely film and Rob did a wonderful job, looked like a movie star. I was really impressed," he said.