The only thing weirder than Robert Pattinson’s new film might be the outrageous headlines it’s inspired.
”Robert Pattinson actually wet himself making ‘The Lighthouse,’ “ Yahoo recently declared of the nautical psychodrama, opening Thursday in Chicago. Similarly unusual reports of him eating mud, getting blackout drunk and nearly punching writer-director Robert Eggers on the set quickly made the rounds on social media.
”I didn’t actually get drunk – that would’ve been absolutely impossible,” Pattinson says with a laugh. “I can easily whip myself up to be way more out of control sober, because if I was drunk, I’d just be chuckling to myself.”
”Peeing myself was another exaggeration,” he adds, “but I did eat quite a lot of mud,” rolling around and licking up puddles as he tapped into his unhinged character.
Pattinson, 33, wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in “Lighthouse,” an R-rated black-and-white film co-starring Willem Dafoe as a rollicking ex-sailor named Thomas, who takes on Pattinson’s Ephraim as his assistant.
Set in the late 19th century, the dark comedy unfolds in a lighthouse with mystical powers on the rocky Atlantic coast. Living and working in close quarters, the incongruous duo starts to unravel after Ephraim, in a momentary fit of rage, unknowingly angers the sea gods and a violent storm traps them inside for days.
”It’s such a crazy script,” Pattinson says of “Lighthouse,” Eggers’ second feature film after 2015 horror breakout “The Witch.” Shooting on a rural inlet in Nova Scotia last year, “we were essentially in exactly the same conditions as those characters would be in reality, and there’s something kind of freeing when you’re just constantly covered in mud and soaking wet. There was a kind of anarchic energy, which I always thought was really fun but also pretty exhausting.”
As for that supposed dust-up with Pattinson, there wasn’t one: “He’s a professional — he’s not going to threaten to punch me or anything,” Eggers says. There was one rainy day during the shoot where “the rain wasn’t [showing] in his close-up, so we were spraying him with a fire hose. At that moment, I could see he was like, ‘F—- this, man.’ “