Even if you haven’t seen The Lighthouse, the psychological thriller Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe star in, there is one scene that’s, um, hard to avoid encountering.
Spoiler alert: It’s the one where Robert masturbates in a shed.
Since shooting that scene more than a handful of times, let alone on the first day of filming — talk about an icebreaker with your new coworkers — he’s been forced to relive it on his current promotional run behind the Robert Eggers film.
When he was asked about the “ferocious masturbation scene,” as he refers to it, he provided a treasure trove of pull quotes to The New York Times.
It’s always nice to do something massive for your opening shot, and I went really massive on the first take. It was a 180 from everything we’d done in rehearsal, and I could see Robert [Eggers] a little in shock afterward. But I was like, “O.K., cool, I didn’t get told to stop, so I’ll keep going in that direction.” As soon as I’d done that, it was like the road started getting paved.
He also talked about fully committing to the scene.
I want to do it different every time, and if you rehearse it 30 times, you have to think of 30 different ways to do it — even if the first way is probably the best way. I just hate it when I do a second take exactly the same as the first take. They might as well fire me.
Then, in another interview with Variety, he talked about a specific pattern emerging in his work:
I keep masturbating. In the last three or four movies, I’ve got a masturbation scene. I did it in High Life. I did it in Damsel. And The Devil All the Time. I only realized when I did it the fourth time.
Well, Robert still isn’t done talking about it — and, honestly, he’s been sitting back, highly amused by everyone else’s conversations on the topic.
After those interviews circulated, Robert got sent screenshots of the headlines from a friend along with the question, “So … um … how exactly are you promoting this movie?,” as he recently shared with the Los Angeles Times.
And he loved it. “I do find it quite entertaining,” he said. “It definitely gets people talking about the film.”
He just has one concern — and it is so, so earnest: “I don’t know if it gets people to actually see the film. The other day, I was saying to A24, ‘I’m not sure how successful I am at doing this promotional stuff.’”
Robert, with comments like these, you are truly killing it.