Robert Pattinson almost punched The Witch director on set of their new movie

Robert Eggers delivered one of the best horror movies of the modern age with THE WITCH, and his follow-up, THE LIGHTHOUSE, is being closely watched in the industry. Not much is known about the movie other than it stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe and that it was shot in black and white and on 35mm film stock. We can also ascertain that the project put a little bit of strain on the stars, as Pattinson said in a new article he came very close to laying one on his director.

In a piece for Interview Magazine, Dafoe and Pattinson spoke with one another about their time on the set of the fantasy-horror movie, which is set in 1890 in Nova Scotia. The actors play characters named Old and Young, respectively, and shooting on location near the water made for a tough production. “The conditions were so harsh that we hardly talked outside of scenes,” according to Dafoe.

In fact, conditions were so rough Pattinson says he came close to punching Eggers in the face during a scene when he was getting water splashed in his face. That doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world, let alone enough to justify striking someone, but the way Pattinson recalls the day makes it sound pretty understandable.

That’s the closest I’ve come to punching a director. However much I love Robert [Eggers], there was a point where I did five takes walking across the beach, and after a while I was like, “What the fuck is going on? I feel like you’re just spraying a fire hose in my face.” And he was like, “I am spraying a fire hose in your face.” It was like some kind of torture. It definitely creates an interesting energy. [Laughs]

The two began talking about the esoteric nature of the story, with Pattinson saying that he knew from the start of rehearsal that Dafoe understood the movie better than he did. He continued, talking about how that affected his approach to the role, and how much Dafoe blew his mind during scenes.

"My idea for The Lighthouse was that if I don’t really understand this script on a cerebral level, then I’ll try to understand it on a physical level," he said. "But I must say that I’ve never seen someone with such a supernatural level of energy as you. I remember watching you and being, like, 'How are you doing this?'"

Dafoe replied in kind, saying, “I’ll take that as flattery, but I’ll also return it by saying that your approach was fierce. You were a warrior.”

Production on THE LIGHTHOUSE began April 9 of this year and will be released by A24 at some point in 2019. Although I'm already dying to see this new movie given the involvement of Eggers, Dafoe and Pattinson, part of me is even more anxious knowing this was how rough the conditions were on set. Seems like everyone went all out to create an authentic, eerie experience, so hopefully, this will be a worthy follow-up to THE WITCH.




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