Brie Larson Says It Took a Year to 'Get Out of' the 'Dark' Headspace After “Room”: 'It Was Really Scary'

"It took me a long time to be able to just do basic things that I used to enjoy in my life," the Oscar winner said

<p>A24 films</p> Brie Larson in 2015

A24 films

Brie Larson in 2015's 'Room'

It took time for Brie Larson to disconnect from her performance in Room.

During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter for a Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable, the 34-year-old discussed how she has struggled with letting go of her intense roles, saying “the hardest part for me has not been committing to the characters, it’s getting out of them.”

“I basically haven’t done anything as dark as Room since Room because it took me a year to get out of it,” she explained. “And it was really scary. It took me a long time to be able to just do basic things that I used to enjoy in my life.”

In Room, Larson played a kidnapping victim who was held captive with her 5-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) in a garden shed.

The star, who won Best Actress at the 2016 Oscars for her performance, underwent six months of preparation for the part, staying out of the sun for months and gaining 15 lbs. of muscle after working out with a trainer. She also studied the effects of sexual abuse and vitamin deficiencies, along with reading about people in solitary confinement and captivity.

<p>Christopher Polk/Getty</p> Brie Larson with her Best Actress Oscar for 'Room' at the 2016 Academy Awards

Christopher Polk/Getty

Brie Larson with her Best Actress Oscar for 'Room' at the 2016 Academy Awards

Related: Brie Larson Says She's Unsure She'll Keep Playing Captain Marvel While Seemingly Calling Out Trolls

Larson said in the THR roundtable that during an intense shoot “you hope that you have the grace of a line producer who’s scheduled it so that there are moments where you can offload," but shared that for her role as Elizabeth Zott in Apple TV+’s Lessons in Chemistry this wasn’t the case.

"I didn’t have that, [and it was made harder because my] character won’t let anybody see her emotions. Eventually I was like, ‘You have to put a pop-up tent on set, and that’s where I’m going to go cry.’ Because sometimes it feels so intense and I’m like, ‘I can’t do it anymore!’ So you have to find ways to offload. I put a lot of board games on set. You have to find what works for you.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the Captain Marvel star also discussed who in the industry has helped her navigate the tougher and lonelier parts of being an actor.

“Over the years, I’ve gone out of my way to make friends with other women in the industry because there was usually just one woman on a job,” she said. “It was just me, and there are things that make me uncomfortable or things that I’d like to change or to laugh about, and connecting with other women has been a game-changer because you get to swap stories.”

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<p>Gregg DeGuire/Deadline via Getty</p> Brie Larson in Los Angeles in April 2024

Gregg DeGuire/Deadline via Getty

Brie Larson in Los Angeles in April 2024

Related: Samuel L. Jackson Praises Marvel Costar Brie Larson as 'Stronger Than Most People Give Her Credit For'

Back in 2015, the year that Room was released, Larson told PEOPLE it was “an emotional marathon to make” the drama.

“There are moments when you think, I just don’t have anymore to give,” she recalled at the time. “You realize that there’s more and that life keeps going, and that it is hard. That’s okay.”

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She also told Variety she warned her friends and family that she might be extra sensitive while making the film, which was directed by Lenny Abrahamson and adapted from Emma Donoghue’s novel of the same name.

“I know enough about the brain to know I was rewiring it,” she said. “As much as we like to say, ‘I’ll be able to shut it on and off,’ there are certain things that when you’re playing this person 12 hours a day, your waking life is this character.”

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