'Flight' Star Brian Geraghty on Working With Denzel Washington, Being a 'Nervous' Flier (Video)

At the film's New York premiere, the actor also tells THR about keeping his mustache for director Robert Zemeckis.

As Denzel Washington's young co-pilot in Flight, Brian Geraghty projects an authentically freaked-out reaction as a rookie attempting to crash-land a plane with 100-plus passengers aboard.

The pivotal scene at the beginning of the film is enhanced with director Robert Zemeckis' signature special effects, adding a jarring hyper-realism to a nightmare scenario. Geraghty filmed the mayday moment with Washington over a period of eight to 10 days and remains rattled by the preparation leading up to it, he told THR on the red carpet at Flight's New York Film Festival premiere.

"After making this movie, every time there's turbulence ... I get nervous, like, 'oh man!' Because I watched all these videos and I listened to all these soundbites of plane crashes, et cetera, to try to understand what it was like. I was having nightmares and so on, so now when I fly in a plane that doesn't like feel something (is) right, I start to go, 'oh man ... I can take this plane off but I can't land it.'"

Geraghty, whose film credits include 10 Years, The Hurt Locker and We Are Marshall in addition to a small-screen role on HBO's True Blood, said he learned more about his craft from watching Washington in action.

STORY: 'Flight' Director Robert Zemeckis Praises 'Magnificent' Denzel Washington

"How he does what he does is just a big mystery," he observed. "Watching his professionalism and how focused he is and how quiet he is and he's able to just dial right in. It's incredible."

He gushed of the Academy Award-winning actor: "He's just a legend. When I finally got the job, I was so excited, then I kind of went, 'Whoa, man, I gotta get it together, I'm working with Denzel.' He's a great guy, and so generous and fun and funny."

In the movie, which opens Nov. 2 amid growing Oscar buzz, Geraghty sports a 'stache -- per the request of Zemeckis.

"I was here in New York. We were living in Brooklyn -- my girlfriend and I -- and I had this audition for Flight," recalled the clean-shaven Geraghty, who was growing a mustache-and-soul patch combo at the time.

"So when I met with Bob .. he said, 'Keep that mustache.' ... I loved it. But you can't just have a mustache. You need a reason to keep it. So I was like, 'hey, I'm doing a movie and I'm playing a pilot. I gotta look like this.'"

Twitter: @ErinLCarlson

Email: erin.carlson@thr.com