Robert Pattinson is willing to do whatever it takes to get into character — even if that means licking mud an hour before it’s time to shoot a scene.
For his upcoming movie, the 1890-set The Lighthouse, which he stars in opposite Oscar-nominee Willem DaFoe, Pattinson went to extreme lengths to get into his character Ephraim Winslow, a lighthouse apprentice. The actor, 33, opened up in a recent interview with Esquire about the strange things he did to truly get into the role of Ephraim.
While Pattinson is described in the interview as a “mild-mannered English actor,” The Lighthouse provided the Twilight alum with an outlet to really lean in to “playing a mad person.”
“It means you can sort of be mad the whole time. Well, not the whole time, but for like an hour before the scene,” he explained.
For Pattinson, being “mad” meant “you can literally just be sitting on the floor growling and licking up puddles of mud.”
The Harry Potter alum said that he was “basically unconscious the whole time” while filming scenes in which his character is drunk off of kerosene.
“It was crazy,” Pattinson recalled of being on the set. “I spent so much time making myself throw up. Pissing my pants. It’s the most revolting thing. I don’t know, maybe it’s really annoying.”
Other method acting techniques Pattinson took to really get in character for the Robert Eggers-directed The Lighthouse included spinning around in circles before takes and putting rocks in his shoes.
Pattinson explained that being able to let his guard down on set is a good contrast to having to dodge the paparazzi or fans in public.
“A lot of the movies I’ve done recently, you literally feel as if you’ve stolen a car and you’re kind of careening through stuff,” Pattinson said.
“For a long time, you’re very self-conscious in the street. You’re hiding a lot, so [on set] you have an excuse to be wild,” he said. “It’s like being an adrenaline junkie. And also, when you don’t know how to do something, why not just run headfirst into a wall? See what happens. I haven’t got any other ideas.”
The Lighthouse hits theaters on October 18.