Horror Films that scared the actors emotionally (and sometimes physically)

Horror films are scary, but for some of these actors things got a little too real for them during the filming of these landmark scare films and caused some lifelong emotional, and sometimes physical scars.

Ad. Article continues below.

Tippy Hedren in The Birds
If it wasn’t enough that Tippy was already afraid of birds the fact that Alfred Hitchcock emotionally tormented her during the filming almost sent her over the edge.  Hitchcock had a history of not being entirely sensitive to his actors especially the women.  He would promise Tippy that only fake and mechanical birds would be used in her scenes and then prompted the crew to hurl real birds at the already shaky actress.  Bad form, Alfred, though it did make her performance painfully real.

Shelly Duvall in The Shining
What is it about iconic directors tormenting their leading ladies?  Stanly Kubrick wanted to push Duvall to the edge to get the performance that he wanted for her in this horror masterpiece.  He did so by making her retake her scenes over 40 times and berating her in-between.  Kubrick infamously told her to “stop wasting” the crews time after her performance wasn’t up to his standard.  He also ordered none of the crew to symphysis with her to keep her on edge.  The result was almost a complete breakdown, and her hair started to fall out.  While Duvall has since said it as her best performance and she would do it again, she’s not in a rush to do anything like it ever again.

Janet Leigh in Psycho
Hitchcock makes a list again. While the infamous “shower scene” in Psycho meant that a lot of people switched to baths for their hygiene, it also affected the actress in it.  Leigh stated after filming the scene she never realised how vulnerable and defenceless someone in the shower is.  For years after making the film, she would make sure to lock all doors and windows to her house or hotel when she showered.  She would also leave the bathroom door and the shower curtain open.

Everyone in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
With a movie like this, it would take someone of steely determination not to get scared of the iconic bad guy Leatherface.  Director Tobe Hooper wanted his creation to have the ultimate scare though as he hid the actor playing him from the entire cast.  The first time they saw the creepy actor was when they shot their scenes with him.  The screams in the film are 100 per cent genuine from each actor.

What horror movie still gives you chills when you see it?