Brie Larson’s new role is pretty far from her best actress-winning turn in last year’s Room. In Ben Wheatley’s new thriller Free Fire, Larson plays the lone woman in a shootout among a group of vicious thieves and ne’er-do-wells.
“There’s actually not a ton of dialogue, it’s more physical than anything else,” Larson, 26, said at the PEOPLE / EW / InStyle Portrait Studio in Toronto, where Free Fire premiered as part of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness section on Thursday night.
As Larson explained, her character gets shot in the leg early in the film. “For the following month, every day I was crawling on the floor that had tons of rocks and things on it,” Larson said. “So I had to sort of figure out, because I had one arm that’s bad too, you’re just sort of scooting and lifting your butt up and slamming it back down. You’re trying to crawl for your life.”
For more on the Toronto International Film Festival, go to PEOPLE.com/tiff
But the result of that commitment to authenticity? A bunch of epic black-and-blue marks.
“I slowly got the most disgusting and intense bruises all up one side of my leg,” Larson said. “It became progressively more and more painful and more and more awful-looking. My job is so weird. This is what I’m doing. How do I explain this to people?”