Robert Pattinson’s character in ‘The Lighthouse’ may appear to be a piece of cake, but the actor had to go through a lot in order to prepare for it. Let’s hear more from the actor about it.
The film ‘The Lighthouse’ is based in part on the actual and gruesome story of a pair of Welsh lighthouse workers. It started out as an adaptation of an unfinished Edgar Allen Poe story in which a keeper describes his loneliness through diary entries. Shooting ‘The Lighthouse’ was a difficult experience for Robert Pattinson, and the film appears to have had the most influence on the ‘Twilight’ actor. Directed by Robert Eggers, Pattinson, who plays Thomas Howard, went through some terrible experiences to prepare for his role in the film.
- Pattinson’s first day of shooting
- Robert Pattinson’s intense preparation for the role
- Willem Dafoe shares his take on Pattinson’s preparation
Pattinson’s first day of shooting
The shooting for ‘The Lighthouse’ had Pattinson simulating masturbation on camera, and it was only the beginning. Pattinson’s self-pleasuring was the first scene that was on the film’s shooting schedule. Pattinson spoke about the scene in an interview with New York Times.
He said: “Well, my first shot was this ferocious masturbation scene. It is always nice to do something massive for your opening shot, and I went really massive on the first take”, he said. He shared how it went all 180 from everything they had done in rehearsal. The actor recalled seeing Robert Eggers a little in shock afterwards. But he was like, ‘Ok, cool, I did not get told to stop, so I will keep going in that direction’.
As soon as he got done with that, it was like the road started getting paved for him. Pattinson’s on-screen masturbation scene in ‘The Lighthouse’ was not his first. Strangely, the actor had previously done it in ‘High Life’, ‘Damsel’ and ‘And The Devil All the Time’ as well.
Robert Pattinson’s intense preparation for the role
The production only grew crazier for the actor. Pattinson has previously stated that he would become intoxicated on set to portray his character. He would not only vomit but he would also blackout and urinate in his clothes. The ‘Twilight‘ actor was practically unconscious the entire time he was filming scenes in which his character is drunk on kerosene. It was insane how much time he spent puking and pissing in his pants.
In an interview, Pattinson stated that filming ‘The Lighthouse’ was a form of torture for him. Pattinson was repeatedly sprayed with water in one sequence, to the point that it began to sting. It became so intense that he nearly hit Eggers in the face. The actor also spent time spinning in circles before getting into the mindset of his character. He would also often place rocks in his shoes and eat mud from the ground to throw up.
Willem Dafoe shares his take on Pattinson’s preparation
Actor Willem Dafoe also mentioned that Pattinson even pushed his own fingers down his throat to make himself cry for a scene. While speaking to Mr Porter, Dafoe shared: “He wants to throw himself into deep water, and he feels like it will only be true if he is drowning. It is ideal for this part because that is the state he would be in. For me, that seemed wacky. But I am not trying to judge. He has a good sense of the visual, of what is apt in a close-up”.
Pattinson even stated that Dafoe understood Eggers’ writing better than he did, so he decided to approach the film on a more physical rather than an intellectual level. But he definitely believed that his co-star Dafoe possessed a superhuman degree of intensity that he had never witnessed before. When Pattinson saw him play his image so smoothly on TV, he would constantly get surprised.
Dafoe, on the other hand, felt Pattinson was not much into rehearsal. In an interview with Interview magazine, he stated that perhaps it was the nature of the part. But he always felt like Robert Pattinson wanted to jump in and not figure things out, as if it was more authentic to tackle it without any pre-knowledge. He got reminded of the Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier quotation “Go”.
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