The Invisible Man is a movie about a woman dealing with domestic abuse and the emotional trauma that comes with it. It's a harrowing movie about a woman who is being terrorized, but nobody believes her. And yet, while the movie does a good job driving Elisabeth Moss' character off the deep end, it seems that the actual production of the movie had the actress feeling a bit silly, as the digital effects work needed to create the invisible man looked quite ridiculous on set.
While large portions of The Invisible Man really are just scenes where Elisabeth Moss acts against nothing, in the moments where a physical, yet invisible, presence is required, the movie's tricks made Moss feel dumb, she tells BBC Radio 1, because she had to pretend like something was terrifying, when what she was actually seeing was one of the least terrifying things you can think of. The actress explains how one key scene in the movie wasn't nearly as scary for her as it appeared on screen. According to Moss...
There’s a stunt person. I wish I could continue this myth that I somehow did [stuff] by myself. The hardest thing is that when you actually do some of the stuff it looks really dumb in real life. You know with that sheet scene when he’s stepping on the sheets, I can’t describe to you how stupid that looks in real life. It’s like two feet things on sticks. It’s like a Charlie Chaplin movie, yes with the bread rolls. And I’m pulling the sheet and he’s going ‘clunk, clunk’ and you’re trying to act like this is one of the most terrifying things you’ve ever seen. That’s the challenge.
The scene in question comes early in the film and it's actually the point in the movie where Elisabeth Moss' character realizes that she really is being stalked by something invisible, and it isn't all in her head. She's awoken from sleep after her sheets are completely removed from her bed. As she begins to put them back, she sees footprints, with no apparent cause, appear on the sheet, with enough weight to keep the sheet from moving.
I have to admit, imagining the scene with a guy in green pajamas placing fake footprints on sticks against the sheet in front of Elisabeth Moss makes it all seem a lot less scary.
Luckily, while the actors may have felt somewhat silly on the set, the movie succeeds in making it all feel pretty scary overall. I suppose that we can compliment the acting skills of everybody involved. The Invisible Man may share its name with a classic movie monster, but the new film is quite modern and it's a take on the material that we simply would never have seen before now.
The Invisible Man is in theaters now.