Robert Pattinson made his name in teen-friendly franchises Harry Potter and Twilight, but his latest Oscar-nominated film – The Lighthouse – is more X-rated.
He tells Sky News: “There was a moment there was a shot where the Lighthouse was literally a phallus. When I saw it I didn’t even realise what it was. They cut it out.”
He jokes that the member in question possibly belonged to the film’s director, Robert Eggers.
The film is about two Victorian lighthouse keepers – Thomas Wake (played by Willem Dafoe) and Ephraim Winslow (played by Pattinson) – who find themselves thrust together on a rocky outcrop off North America in 1890.
Eggers was inspired to make the movie after reading about a real-life tragedy in 1801, where two Welsh lighthouse keepers were left stranded during a storm, resulting in one dying and one going crazy.
While The Lighthouse doesn’t retell their tale, Eggers used it as a jumping off point for the film.
Describing it as a study in identity, Eggers joked: “Nothing good can happen when two men are left alone in a giant phallus.”
Like his co-star, Pattinson says Eggers was a man he was keen to work with.
“I thought it was very original. I’d been reading a lot of scripts at the time and it just really stood out. I wanted to work with Robert anyway, I really liked him and I love The Witch.
“There was just something so fascinating about it – it was really ambitious, it felt well researched, it just felt like a world when you read it.
“And when you get these characters doing such extreme behaviour, then I just knew it would be really fun to play.”
Dafoe plays a lighthouse keeper, alongside Pattinson who plays a new lighthouse recruit.
The two lighthouse keepers (or ‘wickies’) quickly form a love-hate relationship.
It’s a dynamic that seems to have transferred to the actors.
Pattinson’s role in particular called for him to scrub, fetch and carry in all weathers on nearly every day of the 32-day shoot.
The gruelling nature of the role left him vomiting, eating mud, even wetting himself on set in order to get into character.
His on-set antics are rumoured to have become so exaggerated, Eggers was forced to reprimand him for fear of irritating his 64-year-old co-star.
Pattinson says his behaviour was a bi-product of the role: “When you can do these scenes where it’s just really extreme and you can see in the scene what’s required of you, you need to be super hyped up.
“But at the end of the day, it was just lovely because you just spent every single drop of energy you had, and then go home. I was sleeping amazingly every single night because we’d just been screaming the whole day.”
Another on-screen adversary, but one with less influence on set, was a trained seagull.
With swooping flocks reminiscent of Hitchcock’s The Birds, it’s a partnership that doesn’t end will for either party.
Despite the on-set-challenges, the 33-year-old actor says he wasn’t afraid to step outside his comfort zone.
On the contrary, he relished the opportunity: “There’s a part of me which kind of likes the sort of… I like perversity in something you kind of think… I don’t know.
“I think a lot of people like to play things pretty safe and once you’ve broken that fear of, ‘Oh, what will people think if I do this?’, when you just do it once, then you’re like, ‘Now I realise I don’t actually care what people think, and it’s fun.”
Pattinson goes on: “People come out of a movie theatre being like, ‘What was that?’ I mean, it’s an exciting feeling. That’s just the world I want to I want to be part of.”
And it’s a world in which he’s constantly reinvented himself, proving he’s not afraid to push boundaries.
Left field choices including indie films The Rover, the Safdie brothers’ Good Time and erotic horror High Life have paved the way for a movie like The Lighthouse.
The mermaid masturbation scenes of The Lighthouse couldn’t be further from J K Rowling’s wizarding world.
But Pattinson says he didn’t have to work too hard to overcome his inhibitions.
“There’s something weirdly protected about doing a movie, doing almost anything in a movie, even though more people will see it. There’s just that little, strange line and I’ll say, ‘It’s not real’ – but it is real. It’s really bizarre.
“I’m a lot more confident if there’s a camera there than if there isn’t… Otherwise I’m just like a nervous wreck.”
With a superhero role in the bag, Pattinson’s confidence will soon be called on in spades.
Taking over from Ben Affleck as the next Batman, a less conventional Bruce Wayne looks likely to be in store for DC Comic fans.
Indeed many expect an anti-Batman that will bring a whole new understanding to the dark knight of Gotham.
With The Batman not out until summer 2021, there’s still plenty of time for speculation.
Source : Sky News