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Ralph Ineson Reveals Why He Was Never The Same After The Witch - Exclusive

If you think back to the very first horror movie you ever saw, it's almost certainly one that gives you an immediate and visceral reaction. Usually there's a scene with a jump scare or gore — some kind of unsettling sequence or character that, no matter how many years pass, stays with you. Horror movies are cool, but they are also scarring. And that makes sense because scars can also be cool when they are physical evidence of an experience endured and overcome. While your first horror movie will likely forever cut the deepest, the best scary stories have that impact no matter how old or experienced you are.

Imagine what might happen if, instead of just watching one of the scariest and best horror movies ever made, you were the star of one. Recently, Alex Wolff, star of the Ari Aster film "Hereditary" revealed that his experience making the film had a deep, long-term psychological impact on him. In a recent interview, Looper asked actor Ralph Ineson if he, as a star of some scary films — including the recently released "The Green Knight" — had ever felt a long-lasted impact from any of his past roles.

It turns out Ineson had an immediate answer to our question: the 2015 horror film "The Witch"  story written and directed by Robert Eggers about a family who decides that their puritanical town isn't puritanical enough. As a result they set off deeper into the unknown of New England until they accidentally come upon a deep, dark wood full of black magic and witches.

Even Ineson's mother thinks The Witch changed him

While, from a certain perspective, "The Witch" has the happiest ending of any movie in 2015, it's a stone cold bummer for William (Ralph Ineson) the patriarch of the starring family. His bordering-on-violent desire to keep an iron grip on the morality of his family leads to dire, mortal consequences. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the film had an impact on Ineson himself as a result. When asked which movie impacted him the most and for the longest afterward, Ineson said, "'The Witch,' very much so. My mother will still say that 'The Witch' changed me. And I think I was about 45 when I made 'The Witch.' And she was really worried about me for about two years afterwards. She thought that it had changed me, because it was really intense. Brilliant, I mean, I love that movie. I love all the memories of making it, but it was incredibly intense."

Perhaps the most interesting part of Ineson's explanation was whom he credited with teaching the cast how to get to those scary, emotional places. "A lot of it is down to the power of Kate Dickie, the actress," he said. "She kind of led us, me and Anya Taylor-Joy, into some really dark places the way we performed that. And it was such a learning experience for me as an actor and yeah, but it absolutely affected me emotionally, physically, and everything for a long time after we finished filming."

Fortunately, "The Witch" was also positive in many regards — including from a career perspective. "That was almost my hundredth credit, I think, on IMDb when I did 'The Witch,'" says Ineson. "It almost completely changed the way I did my job and that's quite intense in itself."

"The Green Knight" is in theaters now.