Here's something you might not have known about Robert Pattinson's new movie, The Lighthouse: it includes a lengthy scene of him masturbating inside a shed. And here's something you might not have known about Robert Pattinson: he's very happy to discuss it!
The actor stars in the Robert Eggers thriller along with Willem Dafoe, with the pair playing two lighthouse keepers who are posted on a remote New England island in the late 1800s. Gradually, the men begin to go stir crazy in their surroundings, hallucinating mermaids, keeping grave secrets, spying on each other, and committing acts of violence. Oh, and there's Pattinson's "ferocious masturbation scene," of course! (His words.)
While chatting with Variety in September, Pattinson noted that this actually isn't the first time he's had a masturbation scene. (Remember that big masturbation sequence in Twilight?)(Just kidding.)
"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 realised when I did it the fourth time. But when I saw the clay figure of the mermaid, if you're getting turned on by that, you're in a very strange place in your life."
Yes, Pattinson's character, Ephraim, finds himself aroused by a carved mermaid figurine, which prompts his trip to the shed. The 33-year-old star of The Batman spoke more about this during an interview with The New York Times, revealing that the scene in question actually happened on his first day on set. Way to make an entrance, right?
"Well, my first shot was this ferocious masturbation scene. 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, 'OK, 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."
And he wasn't done! He also explained how deeply he committed 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 . . . It's just boring! I mean, I've definitely seen actors who love rehearsing and are very good, so there's got to be some benefit to it. But there's something about that full commitment when you're shooting, when it's do or die, that allows you to be more free. Or maybe I'm just lazy and I can't be bothered to do it until the day we shoot!"
Don't worry — Pattinson still had some more to share with The Los Angeles Times! His interview with journalist Glenn Whipp begins with an anecdote about one of the actor's friends sending him "a screenshot of headlines featuring his name and masturbation," as well as a text reading, "So ... um ... how exactly are you promoting this movie?"
"I do find it quite entertaining," Patttinson says, chuckling. "It definitely gets people talking about the film." He pauses, considering. "I don't know if it gets people to actually see the film." He bursts out laughing at the thought. "The other day, I was saying to A24, 'I'm not sure how successful I am at doing this promotional stuff.'"
I for one think Pattinson is very successful at doing this promotional stuff. Long may The Lighthouse's press tour reign.