5 Actors Who Were Traumatized by Acting in Horror Films

Horror movies are not real and nothing is to be scared of…but it is a fact that we love horror movies and we are attracted to scary movies, and some actors who appear in horror movies are traumatized by their experiences on set for years after the cameras stop rolling.

And 5 actors got real about how their experiences making scary movies.

Jack Reynor

1. Jack Reynor

Reynor appeared in 2019’s Midsommar and the experience took a toll on him. He said, “it was a tough week after it was finished, you know?”

Reynor said that the nudity and s**ual scene toward the end of the movie was tough and he didn’t process it until later on. He said, “There are not many examples in the contemporary cinema or in the history of cinema where it’s a male character who is exposed in such a humiliating way, and certainly in a s**ual context, too, and suffers this kind of fate.”

“That has been largely reserved for females. I think it’s really gross in a lot of films. But this was an opportunity for me to try and inhabit that thing and to see what it was like from the inside. It was nerve-wracking, and it did feel very expositional. It made me feel more vulnerable than I anticipated I would feel.”

Reynor also said of the bear suit scene, “It’s dark and it’s unsettling to watch all these people around you basically making it look like they’re going to kill you in a horrific way. There’s nothing you can do and you’re paralyzed, you know? It was heavy,”

Alex Wolff

2. Alex Wolff

Ari Aster’s 2018 film Hereditary is disturbing on many levels.

And actor Alex Wolff admitted that making the Hereditary gave him PTSD. Wolff said, “When I started talking about it, all these flashes with all this disturbing shit I went through a sort of came back in a flood. It kept me up at night, to and I got into a habit of emotional masochism to the point of just trying to take in every negative feeling I could draw from. I forced it upon myself rather than the opposite of what you’d usually do in life, which sits on the heater until it starts to burn, and you jump up immediately.”

“I had to do the exact opposite of that and absorb the pain and let it burn. It’s a reverse emotional thing. It’s hard to describe eloquently; it’s just a feeling. I don’t think you can go through something like this and not have some sort of PTSD afterward.”

Janet Leigh

3. Janet Leigh

Janet Leigh acted in one of the most shocking scenes in horror movie history when she met her fate at the hands of the character Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic, Psycho.

The famous scene where Leigh is k**led in the shower left an imprint on the actress and she stopped taking showers altogether and took baths instead.

Leigh said, “I make sure the doors and windows of the house are locked. I also leave the bathroom door open and the shower curtain open. I’m always facing the door, watching, no matter where the showerhead is.”

Shelley Duvall

4. Shelley Duvall

Duvall got the role alongside an insane Jack Nicholson in 1980s The Shining and the actress called the experience “almost unbearable.”

Duvall said she was “really in and out of ill health because the stress of the role was so great.”

She added that director Stanley Kubrick “pushed me and prodded me further than I’ve ever been pushed before. It’s the most difficult role I’ve ever had to play.” In fact, Kubrick made her do the baseball bat scene in the film where she confronts Nicholson’s character 127 times.

The stress for Duvall was so bad that her hair even started to fall out.

Bill Skarsgård

5. Bill Skarsgård

Skarsgård emerged as Pennywise, the world’s scariest clown, in It and he said playing the role was similar to being in a destructive relationship.

The actor added that even after production ended on the movie, he had “strange and vivid Pennywise dreams” every night.

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