Alex Wolff played Peter in Ari Aster’s Hereditary, a film in which a family matriarch dies, leaving this grieving family to be haunted by a trail of dark secrets. Hereditary hails to possibly be the scariest movie of 2018, and certainly the nature of this movie has shaken viewers. Brian Tallerico, for RogerEbert.com, wrote a warning in one critical review of the film, saying that what happens in Hereditary is “so horrible you may need to pause the film and decide if you can continue…” Indeed, Alex Wolff has now told reporters that filming the movie has disturbed him badly, reports Vice.
The actor implied to journalists during a phone interview that he’s suffering possible memory loss, as he has watched the film and doesn’t even remember filming certain shots. That bit may have been a joking jester, as he did laugh after. It could have been a comment more so to the film editing process piecing together filming fragments in a way he did not see coming. Wolff did not elaborate enough to draw a certain conclusion in regard to his remark. He also admitted that since the filming, he has been suffering some fairly messed up flashbacks over his involvement.
“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 afterwards.”
When asked by reporters what he thought made Hereditary so disturbing to not just himself, but to audiences, Alex Wolff stated in a way that he believes the amount of character development and slow-burn-like telling is what really sets audiences up to be disturbed. He says that even without the horror element, the film is a “moving tribute to familial conflicts” and with all things considered, Hereditary “seeps into people’s bones” as viewers watch while the family “disintegrates.”
As for Wolff’s current state of mind since the movie creeped inside his psyche, he told Vice that he stays up at night, going into what he describes as “a habit of emotional masochism” which he seems to attribute to his form of method acting. He spoke on his performance, saying that he was “just in the moment” and kept himself “pretty raw and volatile” while playing the role of Peter.
“It kept me up at night to where I got into a habit of emotional masochism at that 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 is sit 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.”
Hereditary opened in theaters, surpassing Lady Bird as A24’s highest-grossing film, worldwide. Toni Collette has received much praise for her performance, generating Oscar buzz. The film currently touts a critical score of 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, although audiences seem to have been split on the movie, earning it only a 59 percent for the audience scoring.