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9 Terrifying Roles In Iconic Horror Movies That Destroyed These Famous Actors

A good movie horror will make you have nightmares for days after watching it, but it can also haunt the actors for a long time after the camera stops rolling. These horror movie actors are no doubt talented people, but sometimes they are just too deep in their characters that their roles destroy them. It’s easy to be traumatized, especially when you’re the star of a horrible nightmare.

So let’s dive into the mess-up world of iconic horror movies and see how they push the actors to their extreme. Here is the list of roles that almost broke their actors.

1. Jack Reynor – Midsommar

Source: A24

Midsommar is one of the best folk horror films that showed us the monstrosity we could become if our emotions weren’t healthy. It’s a heavy psychological toll on all of us, including the actors who played the characters in the movie.

Jack Reynor who played Christian shared that the film haunted him and he had to really focus on his mental health throughout the shoot in order to feel okay. “People don’t even think about it. I think a lot of people just think, ‘Oh, it’s just a movie. You’re just going to do it. It’s not real.’ It’s fucking real when you’re there,” he said.

2. Ryan Reynolds – The Amityville Horror

Source: 20th Century Fox

There were many things that happened on the set of The Amityville Horror. However, what freaked Ryan Reynolds out the most was the death of Ronald DeFeo Jr, the real-life inspiration for his character. It happened just before the press tour for the movie kicked off.

Also how a lot of the crew were waking up at 3:15 in the morning, which was when all the horrible things in the house took place each time. Reynolds also freaked out with the setting, saying “It’s terrifying. You walk up and it’s just upsetting.”

3. Alex Wolff – Hereditary

Source: A24

Not only did Hereditary scare us, but it also scared Alex Wolff really bad too. He told Vice that he had PTSD after his time on the set. He suffered psychological complications and all the horror scenes were keeping him up at night.

“When I started talking about it, all these flashes with all this disturbing shit I went through sort of came back in a flood. It kept me up at night,” he said in an interview with Vice, “I don’t think you can go through something like this and not have some sort of PTSD afterward.”

4. Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Black Swan might give Natalie Portman an Oscar, but it sure took away a part of her sanity too. In order to bring her character to life, Natalie would practice ballet until her toenails fell off. She was so emotionally drained after the movie. The actress even claimed, “There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die.”

5. Vera Farmiga -The Conjuring

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Vera Farmiga seemed to be haunted both on the set and off-screen too. The actress had three mysterious claw marks appeared on her thing after she finished shooting the first film and returned to her home in New York.

“It was these three, very distinct, what looks like claw marks, that long nails or long fingertips could make,” she explained, “there’s clear evidence of some strangeness that’s occurred. My husband did not do that to me. I did not scratch some mosquito bites. It’s inexplicable.”

6. Dakota Johnson – Suspiria

Source: Amazon Studios/ Courtesy Everett Collection

Another horror movie about ballet that is super creepy is Suspiria. Dakota Johnson, who played the protagonist Susie, said the experience “fucked me up so much that I had to go to therapy.”

She further explained, “I’m a very porous person and I absorb a lot of people’s feelings. When you’re working sometimes with the dark subject matter, it can stay with you, and then talking to somebody really nice about it afterward is a really nice way to move on from the project.”

7. James McAvoy – IT

Source: Warner Bros./ Courtesy Everett Collection

James McAvoy also had nightmares about the infamous clown in IT after he starred in the movie. His most memorable nightmare was when he was lying on his side in the bed and Pennywise was in bed with him too. The clown even stoked his back and said “Wake up, James, wake up.” No wonder why the guy was so terrified!

8. Linda Blair – The Exorcist

Source: Warner Bros.

The Exorcist must be one of the most iconic horror movies of all time. However, unlike other horror movie actors on this list, Linda Blair’s real nightmare only started after the movie finished filming. She was 13 years old when she played the main protagonist in The Exorcist. All the weird things that happened on set were enough to give anybody goosebumps, but Linda had to deal with the pressure from the press too.

She was faced with a litany of questions about possession, faith, and Catholicism that were hard for a 13 years old girl to answer. She told Dread Central, “I didn’t realize then that it dealt with anything in reality, and so when the press kept asking me about all the devil stuff, it just kept adding to the pressure I was under, and it was just an awful thing to go through as a teenager.”

9. Jodie Foster – The Silence of the Lambs

Source: Orion Pictures/ Courtesy Everett Collection

And to wrap it all up, let’s talk about the infamous psychological horror The Silence of the Lambs. There was no doubt that Anthony Hopkins nailed the role of Hannibal. He played him so well that Jodie Foster was terrified of him. She was so scared that she didn’t speak to him off-camera for the rest of the shoot.

Foster’s fear continued to distance her from Hopkins right through to the last day of the shoot. “We got to the end of the movie and really had never had a conversation. I avoided him, as best as I could,” she shared. They got a sweet ending though. “It was the last day and he came up to me,” Foster said. “I sort of had a tear in my eye, I was like, ‘I was really scared of you,’ and he said, ‘I was scared of you!'”

These horror movie actors sure had to go through a lot, but there are more sinister things going on behind the scenes in these terrifying films. Things that are so creepy that they will send a chill down your spine. If you’re brave enough, then check them out on our list of 10 Freaky Behind-The-Scene Facts Of Iconic Movies.