Sterling K. Brown filmed “Atlas” eyeball torture scene without anesthesia at first: 'Did not like it'

The actor reveals how they pulled off that gruesome scene without any CGI.

Sterling K. Brown will do whatever it takes to fully commit to his roles — even if that means experiencing a high level of pain and discomfort.

In his new Netflix sci-fi movie Atlas about an evil AI that tries to end humanity, Brown plays Colonel Banks, and in one particularly gruesome scene, Banks is captured by the AI Harlan (Simu Liu) who tortures him with a needle to his eye. While other actors may have opted for a fake eyeball or visual effects to bring that scene to life, Brown went for the real deal — and it shocked his costars just how far he went to film that moment.

"That was real, everybody!" Jennifer Lopez, who stars as the titular Atlas, says in Netflix's video interview. "That is not CGI."

<p>Beth Dubber/Netflix</p> Sterling K. Brown

Beth Dubber/Netflix

Sterling K. Brown

Related: How Ben Affleck helped Jennifer Lopez behind the scenes of her new film Atlas

"This is a scapula," Brown reveals. "Our producer Jeff Fierson, his dad Dr. Fierson is an ophthomalogist, who he brought in to actually put the scapula in. I tried it one time without anesthesia. I did not like it."

"That's right, I remember," Liu says.

Lopez then jokes that Brown was like, "Get it out! Get it out!" and Brown confirms that was "pretty much" what happened next.

Related: Simu Liu says agent pitched new movie Atlas to him as 'you're trying to kill J.Lo'

"I held it in for about 30 seconds, and then I was like, 'Nah, I don't think this is working,'" Brown adds. "Then he put in the little drops and I actually told the crew, 'Hey guys, this isn't the most comfortable thing for me. So if we could have quiet on the set, and get this joint done as fast as possible, I would appreciate it."

"I would have a panic attack," Lopez says as she praises her costar. "Better you than me."

"Thank you very much," Brown says.

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Watch the full interview below:

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