Before he gets into super-hero shape for next summer's The Green Lantern, he's starring in the white-knuckle thriller Buried, playing an abducted American truck driver in Iraq who awakens to find himself buried six feet under.
"All of the physical injuries are like souvenirs," the actor, 33, tells Parade for this weekend's issue. Among those "souvenirs" that would break a lesser man: a tiny bald patch.
"But the emotional stuff is harder," he says. "When you're spending 17 straight days in a heightened state of anxiety and panic, it's not very good for your nervous system, so you walk away pretty jittery. I definitely struggled with a lot of insomnia when I was working on this film and that was something that was new to me."
To unwind after the brief but grueling shoot, he decided against taking one of his typical Amazing Race-like, strenuous vacations.
"I had planned your standard kind of lay down on a beach somewhere and try to not do anything but maybe read a book," he says, "and that didn't work out so well because what I didn't think of in advance would be that I would be lying on sand yet again. So I did actually go to the place I was supposed to be vacationing at and I stayed for six hours and then just went home."