The A KNIGHT'S TALE star, 41, became so frustrated at having to wear the facial prop until he went to bed at night, he eventually left the terrorist drama and was replaced by MATRIX star Hugo Weaving.
He said before leaving the film, "That mask is the thing I'll be wearing through the movie. We'll never see my face. It's a great acting challenge. Wearing that thing takes... a lot of takes.
"SPIDER-MAN'S mask comes off. BATMAN'S mask comes off. Even The Elephant Man had eyes. That's all I ask for, just an eye!
"Every night I'm in that mask for another three hours when I go home. I have mirrors all over my apartment and I live in it until I go to bed. So my neighbours obviously think I'm mad."
Australian actor Weaving admits he can understand Purefoy's annoyance with the mask after taking over the role of V.
He says, "I know the difficulties James was having and I was warned by other people.
"Certain difficulties with the mask. I just think it can feel very hot. You feel quite... cut off."