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While The Lighthouse hasn't received too much awards season recognition, the film ended up on a lot of end of the year top 10 lists (including mine). It's an absolutely wild movie with a pair of impressive performances from Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. However, those performances didn't come without a cost. Robert Pattinson has gone on record saying he felt like punching director Robert Eggers following a scene in which the actor was endlessly sprayed in the face with water.
However, while Pattinson may have wanted to slug his director, this was apparently news to the director. Robert Eggers recently told The Guardian that he had no idea Robert Pattinson felt that way about getting shot in the face with a fire hose, because the actor was the consummate professional on set, and never let on that he was unhappy. According to Eggers...
I didn’t know he wanted to punch me in the face that day, because he’s very professional. And not only that, the wardrobe supervisor told me he would have done another take if he needed to.
It seems that even though Robert Pattinson was really unhappy after doing five takes of a scene where he was sprayed with water, he would have done another if it had been required. Clearly, Pattinson was willing to do what was necessary even if it all made him more than a little upset personally.
The Lighthouse certainly doesn't look like the sort of movie that was easy to make. The movie is about a pair of lighthouse keepers, one old, and one young, who basically both lose their minds, or may have been crazy to begin with, isolated from the world and only having themselves for company. The weather is never good, the reason for all the fire hose praying that was necessary. Robert Eggers himself had talked about, how, even for him, the movie was tough to make. He reiterated that feeling here, admitting that, while he put up a good front, the process of making The Lighthouse literally drove him to tears.
I feel like you have to be the general when you’re on set. I saved my crying for my hotel room.
It has to be said, that the emotions and exhaustion that apparently were involved in making The Lighthouse happen largely translate to the experience of watching the movie. It's not what you would call a "fun" movie. There's a lot to appreciate about it, but it's an emotionally exhausting film to watch. Watching the characters slowly lose their grip because of the brutal, lonely conditions easily makes the viewer feel the same way.
For what it's worth, I guess you can call The Lighthouse a success as far as that goes. The movie was brutal for the actors and that feeling translates well to the audience. Even if it didn't break down to a fist fight.