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The Patient's Domhnall Gleeson Details The Difficulties Of Filming Sam's Intense Finale Moment

The Hulu miniseries "The Patient" focuses on the story of a recently-widowed psychotherapist named Alan Strauss (Steve Carell) who is kidnapped and held captive by his patient, Sam Fortner (Domhnall Gleeson). Shortly after capturing Strauss, Fortner reveals that he is actually a serial killer who is seeking a cure for his homicidal impulses — something he believes he cannot do in Strauss's office, hence his imprisonment of the therapist.

Although much of the series is dedicated to the unique and twisted relationship between Dr. Alan Strauss and his eponymous patient, a good deal of the plot is also focused on the character arc of Sam Fortner himself — as he slowly but surely attempts to rid himself of his murderous tendencies and become a better person. This culminates in a breakthrough during the miniseries' climactic finale, in which Fortner manages to restrain himself from killing his father in a moment of compassion.

This breakthrough comes crashing down around him shortly after that when Strauss holds Fortner's mother, Candace (Linda Emond), at knifepoint and demands that he be freed. Fortner responds by choking Alan Strauss to death, ending his story on a horrifying and intense note. According to Gleeson, this particular scene was challenging to film — not only because he thought the strangling itself was very upsetting but also because of the numerous takes required.

Not only was the scene upsetting to film, but it also required numerous takes to get right

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Domhnall Gleeson admitted that filming this intense strangulation scene was not easy and brought out some upsetting emotions he wasn't even aware he had.

"You have to prepare yourself to let go and to not control your facial expressions or try to sell a feeling in those moments," Gleeson said. "But I found it quite upsetting. I watched a couple of the stranglings back... and I had no idea that some of those sounds were coming out of me. I was really startled by some of the noises I was making. There were some really strange, animalistic things going on."

In addition to feeling somewhat upset by his participation in this intense strangulation, Gleeson also explained that the scene required an immense amount of work as an actor, saying that he went through multiple different takes trying different ways to strangle Steve Carell's character. Gleeson said he wanted to give the director various options for the final cut. As such, he tried out multiple moods and performances during this climactic final scene. Considering the intense and unhinged emotions that were required for these scenes, as well as the numerous different takes Gleeson needed to nail down the right tone for the scene, it's no wonder why Domhnall Gleeson had difficulties filming the brutal ending of "The Patient."