10 Actors Who Scared Themselves

5. Alex Wolff Suffered PTSD And Disturbing Flashbacks - Hereditary

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Windy Hill Pictures

Ari Aster's scintillating 2018 debut Hereditary is one of the most hauntingly unforgettable horror films of the last decade, and so it's not remotely surprising that the film also burrowed deep into the mind of at least one of its stars.

Alex Wolff portrays Peter Graham, the 16-year-old son of protagonist Annie (Toni Collette) and her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), a young man who is unwittingly central to a coven's scheme to resurrect a demon-king known as Paimon.

Wolff later stated that he believes he developed a form of PTSD from shooting the movie:

"It stuck with me while we were filming, and it stuck with me well after. When I started talking about it, all these flashes with all this disturbing s**t I went through sort of came back in a flood. It kept me up at night to where I got into a habit of emotional masochism to the 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. 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 afterward."

Wolff added that the anxiety he felt during shooting was intense enough that, when watching the film for the first time, there were moments he didn't even remember performing.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.