Scott Haze has revealed he went to "crazy extreme lengths" to prepare to play a deranged killer in Child Of God.
The actor spent three cold months living in the Tennessee mountains, lost 45 pounds by subsisting on one piece of fish and one apple a day, and slept in cold caves before he portrayed violent murderer Lester Ballard in James Franco's big-screen adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel.
"I knew that this was a role that I had to go to crazy extreme lengths. I slept in caves many nights with bats all around. It was crazy," he revealed at the Venice Film Festival.
"I let everything go, just hung out with the hillbillies and stayed as isolated as possible," he added.
Scott - who based his portrayal on real-life killer and body snatcher Ed Gein and Leatherface of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - said he managed to stay "in the mind-state" and "was not in this world" while filming.
He didn't check his phone, text messages or even how his beloved basketball team Los Angeles Lakers were doing, but he brought an iPod loaded with Eminem music with him.
"I thought, at the end of the day, we'd have a great movie and James and I would hug each other and say we did it. We get to say, 'Hey, we did something special,' and I think we did."
Director James praised his leading man and long-time collaborator.
"He didn't really talk to anyone, stayed to himself, and was like that for the whole shoot. It is Scott giving the performance of a lifetime," he gushed.