Robert Pattinson urinated on himself for authenticity in ‘The Lighthouse’

The Duchess of Cambridge sits near the Duchess of Sussex as they attend the West

Robert Pattinson and Willem Defoe could conceivably be Oscar contenders for their weird little movie, The Lighthouse. They play 19th century lighthouse keepers who go completely bonkers in their isolation. Variety reported recently that the studio is going to put money behind Rob as lead actor and Willem as supporting actor for the awards season. They also cover the November issue of Esquire UK. I was expecting a joint interview with lots of give and take, but it’s not – they were interviewed separately, on different continents. Willem comes across as the well-adjusted artist who knows what he’s doing. Rob comes across as a bit neurotic and weird and try-hard, but charming. You can read the full piece here. Some of the highlights… just with Rob’s quotes.

Rob on playing someone bonkers: “Because you’re 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. You can literally just be sitting on the floor growling and licking up puddles of mud.” This sounds figurative. He really means it. On The Lighthouse, in the scenes in which his character is meant to be drunk on kerosene (there are quite a few of them), he was “basically unconscious the whole time. It was crazy. 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.”

One scene in particular: “There’s a scene where Willem’s kind of sleeping on me and we’re really, really drunk and I felt like we’re completely lost in the scene and I’m sitting there trying to make myself gag and Robert [Eggers] told me off because Willem’s looking at him going: ‘If he throws up on me, I’m leaving the set.’ I had absolutely no idea this whole drama was unfolding.”

Getting cast as Batman: “It’s kind of insane. I was so far away from ever thinking it was a realistic prospect. I literally do not understand how I’ve got it, at all.”

The reaction in Cannes to The Lighthouse: “I thought it was serious, and dark, and kind of sad. I was quite shocked by [people laughing].”

[From Esquire UK]

He licked puddles, tried to make himself throw up for real and truly pissed himself? Esquire UK notes Lawrence Olivier’s remark to Dustin Hoffman to “just try acting,” and it seems very appropriate here. It’s not that Rob’s method is so intense, I think he just doesn’t know how else to do it. He thinks it would be a cop-out to just pretend to be drunk or pretend to be bonkers. He thinks that would be inauthentic. Anyway… it will all be worth it if he gets an Oscar nomination!

Photo and cover courtesy of Esquire UK.

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30 Responses to “Robert Pattinson urinated on himself for authenticity in ‘The Lighthouse’”

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  1. Jade says:

    This kind of things make me roll my eyes at method acting. Good acting is good acting I don’t need actors to literally become the character they play. I feel like it’s viewed as a superior way of acting by many actors and I wish it wasn’t b/c they can really come off as pretentious and annoying. (not saying it’s the case for RP, he seems more like clueless to me)

    • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

      “….he was “basically unconscious the whole time. “It was crazy. 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.” ”

      This is “charming”?? This is NUTS.

      Like Olivier said, try acting!

      It’s *one thing* to delve into a character’s MOTIVATION, but this is just an excuse to “behave badly”. I know there is a whole school of acting devoted to this method of BEING the character, even off-set, for the entire time you’re shooting/playing the part, but to me, it’s just crazy.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I feel sorry for wardrobe who would have had to have cleaned it up afterwards.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        My thoughts exactly. And the set crew that had to wipe up puddles off the floor. Totally unncessary, dude!

    • Lucy says:

      The other day I was watching an interview with the cast of IT 2, and when asked about whether Bill Skarsgard stayed in character as Pennywise off-cameras, Bill Hader was all like “nah, he’s too cool for that”. It did sound as a bit of a dig to other actors who never break character while shooting. I like Rob a lot, but he can be better than that.

    • Kate says:

      I wonder if he practiced biting his coworkers during the Twilight era.

  2. GossipLover says:

    A little bit of eye roll with this interview, but I was a huge fan of his during the Twilight craze and I’m so happy to see that he didn’t just fade away after the movies were done with. He put his head down, did good work and has started to build a reputation for being an actor that can competently tackle any role. I feel like he’ll continue to work for decades if he wants to. It’s nice to see after the way he was written off after the Twilight franchise ended.

    • MemphisMe says:

      I wasn’t a Twilight fan so I kind of wrote him off until I realized he was the talented kid who played Cedric in the fourth Harry Potter film. I gave Water For Elephants and Remember Me a shot. He’s got natural talent. He could drop method acting and still be great. Lord help his normal costars if he doesn’t. He could end up sending castmates used condoms and anal beads ala Jared Leto.

      • tealily says:

        He *is* talented. I wonder if he’s trying something new here in an effort to be a “very serious actor.” Whatever’s going on, I’m still looking forward to seeing this film, even if this interview makes it sound like the whole movie is two guys laying around retching.

    • Another Anne says:

      I would take this all with a big grain of salt. He’s known for making up goofy stories during interviews.

  3. My3cents says:

    Well at least he didn’t send his castmates dead rats.

  4. mia girl says:

    I really want to see this movie, pissed pants and all.

  5. Mtec says:

    Have your guys noticed this whole do it for the “authenticity” schtick is just a male actor’s game? Like somehow female actors have been able to learn how to act and just act, but certain male ones think they gotta piss themselves, shaved down their teeth, starve themselves close to death, be actual assholes and “crazy” when the role calls for it, etc….Seriously, “just try acting” is truly all they gotta do. I think it comes from insecurity.

  6. ChillyWilly says:

    “If he throws up on me, I’m leaving the set.” Damn straight, Willem! I would beat this little pip squeak’s ass if he pulled that crap. This method mess is just an excuse for actors to act like assholes.

  7. Beech says:

    In one of Liv Ullman’s books, she wrote about the joy and challenge of hitting her marks. I reckon Ingmar Bergman didn’t mind.

  8. kerwood says:

    I think if Willem Dafoe is complaining to the director about you, you’re not acting; you’re ACTING OUT. The ‘method’ has nothing to do with pissing yourself. It’s what untalented actors do when they can’t do the real work.

  9. Molly says:

    Yuck, too much information.

  10. Ally says:

    How many flops does this guy get to have before everyone admits he’s not a star or a draw outside the Twilight franchise?

  11. ElbaQ says:

    I’m just not buying it, the whole thing sounds like narrative for an Oscar campaign ala di Caprio eating raw liver in The Revenant.

  12. Tigerlily says:

    I’m too old to have ever been into Twilight or Robert Pattinson. Have never understood the buzz about him. Not good looking by any stretch plus an idiot who takes method way too far

  13. Midnightatthemuseum says:

    Never mind all that, he’s a gorgeous man in a fab sweater with lovely hair and a pint of Fullers and that’s all you need to know….(yes I have seen The Lighthouse, twice in the last three days, and it’s extraordinary, don’t know how else to describe it! Amazing performances by Willem and RP)

  14. Abby says:

    I’m just going to pretend I didn’t read any of this to somehow preserve my opinion of Rob. Gah this movie sounds gross and he sounds like Shia LaBeouf here. No thanks.

  15. Alex says:

    It’s so funny because…I feel like if he were a star (as big as he is now) in oh…let’s say 1995, or really any time the monoculture was still in tact, this would of DEFINED his career (in the worst way, obviously.) It’s interesting what doesn’t stick anymore. I can’t even gather energy to care.

  16. PlayItAgain says:

    Eh, Rob has said stupid stuff like this during interviews his whole career. He just makes stuff up sometimes. I think part of it is he psychs himself out during press duties sometimes and can’t help himself. He’d be happier if he could just skip the press entirely, but it’s part of the job. Honestly, this isn’t nearly as weird as some things he’s blurted out in the past.

  17. Molly says:

    And when he is playing Batman he will be telling how he was pooping hanging upside down or something, I imagine.

  18. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Oh GOOD GRIEF. He’s not an actor then. If you have to do the real thing, you’re not acting. Frakking thespians and their overbearing narcissism.

  19. Nancypants says:

    I’ll see it because I have a thing for lighthouses and I think Defoe is an incredible actor.
    Boondock Saints anyone?

    As for wetting your pants for a film… big deal.
    I wet my pants in public driving through Kansas a couple of years ago.

    No, it had been a difficult trip home and I was coming back drinking coffee and juice and water and suddenly I needed to GO.
    It was a small town but there was a large liquor store right there and I ran in and headed to the bathrooms in back but the dam broke.
    I got cleaned up and there was a bucket of mop water I used to mop the bathroom floor then hightailed it out of there.
    Of course, I had clean clothes and shoes in the car and pulled to an empty parking lot to change.
    Still wasn’t pretty but I cleaned up everything.
    Hopefully, Robert did the same.

    Of course, he could have just poured some water on his crotch and called it a day.

  20. Heat says:

    The Lighthouse screening is one of the most INTENSE film-going experiences I’ve had. The visuals and sounds and bonkers performances from both actors are not for everyone, but I am glad I saw it. I saw it at TIFF, and Willem said that they didn’t really get to know each other until doing the press tour, but he seemed to like Rob. Pattinson wore the most voluminous pants at the premiere. I’m sure it is FASHION that I don’t get, but it was like a suit 2x too big for him. It doesn’t really translate in the photos, but it made me laugh.

  21. Nancypants says:

    P.S. Do you know this is a remake?
    I’m watching the original BBC film now.
    (I’m not working today.)
    It’s bleak but pretty good.
    I wish I had waited until a cold, rainy day and made clam chowder.
    I think Dafoe and Pattinson will do it better.
    Filmed in Canada; Cape Forchu and Nova Scotia.
    I want to see it.

  22. margedebarge says:

    He’s known for making up crazy shit when doing press. Back during the Twilight era (promo for Water for Elephants I think) he claimed he saw a clown die in a car explosion at the circus as a kid.