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In an article about the movie Barbarian, it says the following:

Before filming began last summer, he received advice from legendary creature performer Doug Jones, including the fine line between physical expression and nonverbal overacting and another handy pro tip: Get prescription creature contacts made, else risk biting it while chasing your co-stars through those dark tunnels.

I presume "prescription creature contacts" means contact lenses that allow the actor's eyes to appear nonhuman. I don't remember The Mother character having nonhuman eyes, but maybe I just didn't get a good enough look at them.

But what did Jones mean by "biting it"? The definition that seems to make the most sense in the context of Jones' advice is:

to fall and hit the ground

But why would prescription creature contact lenses make it less likely to fall than normal contact lenses or just no contact lenses at all (assuming the actor has perfect vision). Do creature contact lenses somehow make the environment seem brighter than it really is?

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    "biting-it" is just slang for being involved in an accident or being injured.
    – iandotkelly
    Sep 25, 2022 at 14:46
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    …which I'd have thought even more 'interesting' trying to run in Saru's shoes, whether you can see or not… i.stack.imgur.com/EYr2v.jpg
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 25, 2022 at 15:29
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    "(assuming the actor has perfect vision)": this is the faulty assumption.
    – dbmag9
    Sep 27, 2022 at 9:48
  • "Bite it" refers, in my experience, to hit the ground on your stomach, often with your face (nearly) hitting the ground as though you were biting the ground.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 27, 2022 at 13:06
  • @dbmag9 No, my faulty assumption was that Davis could have worn normal RX contact lenses for the role. Turns out he couldn't because The Mother character had lighter colored eyes than he has. Sep 27, 2022 at 14:16

1 Answer 1

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He is wearing cosmetic lenses

Comparing many pictures of the actor on the internet he has dark brown eyes.

Harris headshot

In the article you link, in both pictures of him made up as the monster, his irises are very pale brown.

Harris being made up as the creature

Why the advice?

The advice is to get prescription lenses rather than just cosmetic ones. This would require more effort and cost.

"biting-it" is just slang for being involved in an accident or picking up a serious injury (or even worse), not just in terms of falling. In the context here, it's suggesting that performing the role without having good eyesight is dangerous. The role involves "chasing your co-stars through dark tunnels".

Presumably Matthew Patrick Davis normally wears lenses or wears glasses. He's just receiving advice to not perform the role without eye correction and risk injury.

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    That seems like really obvious advice, not exactly a "pro tip". And it's redundant too if Davis normally wears prescription contact lenses. Sep 25, 2022 at 15:36
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    @pacoverflow .... you normally can't wear two sets of lenses at the same time - you can't wear a set of prescription lenses over/under the cosmetic ones. Yeah, it does seem like obvious advice, but I can't read this any other way.
    – iandotkelly
    Sep 25, 2022 at 15:53
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    The amount of "obvious" advice that still needs to be given is enormous. Not everybody has thought up the best solution to every possible problem in every possible situation before they have to handle it - and many solutions require a long lead time.
    – Nij
    Sep 25, 2022 at 23:56
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    Speaking personally, my vision without lenses is not great, but it's fine for just walking around. I might easily think, were I to be acting in a monster role that required creature lenses, that I could get by with my crappy vision on set; assuming the monster doesn't have to read any signs or make out small objects from a distance. And perhaps the people responsible for arranging for my creature lenses might think I could get by without perfect vision, to save themselves the hassle. So an experienced monster advising me to insist on prescription lenses might actually be a good idea.
    – Ben
    Sep 26, 2022 at 12:21
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    I've never heard "biting it" to mean anything other than "falling." Is this an industry-specific use of "biting it"? Sep 26, 2022 at 19:21

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