Sydney Sweeney Got Fake Blood in Her Eye During the Last ‘Immaculate’ Take: Pained, She Told the Crew, ‘Keep Shooting’

Sydney Sweeney endures all kinds of religious and bodily horrors in director Michael Mohan’s “Immaculate” — and that included a real ocular injury on set.

Speaking to IndieWire, Mohan said that while shooting the last take for the nun horror movie out from Neon March 22, Sweeney got fake blood in her eye in one of the film’s gnarliest scenes. (And believe me, this is a film with its fair share of gore.) Theatrical blood typically includes ingredients like corn syrup, red food coloring, and even cocoa powder — in other words, stuff you’d never want to get in your eyes.

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“We wanted to do everything practically,” said Mohan, whose film stars “Euphoria” and “Anyone but You” breakout as Sister Cecilia, the new nun at a Roman convent who becomes the vessel for an immaculate conception she ultimately rebels against in a bloody final twist we won’t spoil here. But let’s just say you’ve never seen a pregnant final girl quite like this before.

“The biggest challenge was on the last take. Sydney got blood, fake blood, in her eye, and it was stinging her, but we hadn’t nailed the take, and she was actually in quite a lot of pain. But she’s my boss, and she was like, ‘Keep shooting, Mike. Keep shooting until you fucking get this,'” Mohan said. “We didn’t reset or anything. We kept the camera rolling, and I think it was the third take where we finally got the perfect take […] but the pain in her voice was because she’d gotten fake blood in her eye.”

In “Immaculate,” Sweeney plays a devoutly religious young woman who gives herself over to the convent, only for her faith to be ultimately tested and crushed — all culminating in a last act that will delight veteran horror fans.

“That was probably the hardest thing,” Mohan said of shooting the blood-filled scene. “But it was harder for her than it was for me.”

Sweeney was, in fact, Mohan’s boss, as she serves as a producer on the Catholic hell-raising horror movie that shot on location in Rome in February 2023. She also oversaw her rom-com box office hit co-starring Glen Powell, “Anyone but You,” as an executive producer, but “Immaculate” marked her first stint as an outright producer.

She previously worked with director Mohan on the erotic thriller “The Voyeurs,” and after that film, she brought the “Immaculate” script, written by Andrew Lobel, to Mohan’s attention because she wanted to collaborate on a horror film. It was a script Sweeney auditioned for years ago as a teenager that she and Mohan dusted up and retrofitted to the actress, who’s now 26.

“She can go to these really unhinged places, and so to be able to combine all the things she’s so strong [with], she’s just so versatile. It was so great to have a character arc that really shows the full breadth of her acting capabilities,” Mohan said.

“Oftentimes with Syd, it’s like we don’t even have to speak to each other,” Mohan said. “We just sort of look at each other and we both know what the next take, what the first take didn’t accomplish, and what the next take needs to be. And that makes it really easy.”

“Immaculate” premiered at SXSW 2024. Watch out for more IndieWire coverage of the film in the coming week.

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