Working on Robert Eggers’ slow-boiling horror film “The Lighthouse” left Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in two very different states of mind. The actors told TheWrap at the Toronto Film Festival that while Dafoe was able to easily slip in and out of the role, Pattinson soon found himself as pent-up as his character.
“I was charged up at the end of every day, to be honest,” Pattinson told TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven. “By the end of the day you’re keeping yourself…so wound up the whole time that by the end I wanted to go out clubbing. But there’s nowhere to go!”
“The Lighthouse” has been acclaimed since its Cannes premiere four months ago. It is the follow-up to Eggers’ satanic period piece “The Witch,” following a pair of lighthouse keepers whose grip on sanity slowly dwindles as they grapple with the isolation that comes with being in a tiny tower surrounded by stormy weather. Filmed in black and white and in 4:3 ratio, Eggers’ direction and Dafoe and Pattinson’s performance drag the audience into the claustrophobic reality these two face.
While Pattinson was overwhelmed by filming such a tense tale, Dafoe said he found filming the movie to be rather stress-free. He thinks the difference between the actors’ experience reflects the difference between Dafoe’s Thomas Wake, who bellows and hisses his rage freely, and Pattinson’s Ephraim Winslow, who keeps his emotions bottled up.
“He’s holding a lot of secrets in all day and I’m sort of splattin’ him,” Dafoe said. “I’m pretty chill. I transferred it all to him!”
Check out more thoughts from Dafoe, Pattinson and Eggers in the clip above, and see “The Lighthouse” in select theaters on October 18.