Patrick Wilson talks The Conjuring

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Patrick Wilson talks The Conjuring
Posted by Wilson Morales

July 16, 2013

Coming out this week is the latest film from James Wan, the supernatural thriller ‘The Conjuring,’ which stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, and Joey King.

“The Conjuring” tells the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga), world renowned paranormal investigators, who were called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives.

For Wilson, who plays Ed Warren, this is his second pairing with director James Wan. The two had previously worked on the sleeper hit film, ‘Insidious,’ and will work again on the sequel, ‘Insidious: Chapter 2.’

Blackfilm.com caught up with Wilson as he spoke about his role in the film, the difference between this film and ‘Insidious,’ and working with James Wan.

What makes Ed Warren so confident at his job?

Patrick Wilson: Knowing the toll that some of these cases and spirits took on his wife, he was just an extreme projector; even if things rattled him, he would just try to not let it happen again. I also think you’re talking about a different time. He’s a guy from the 50s who is strong-willed and charismatic, but a very solid guy. It was his first job scientifically and pragmatically to debunk any other theory. He would prove everything wrong until he didn’t have any answers. He would turn to his wife and ask if she saw something. That was his mode.

If the new case was the most horrific one they ever faced, were the prior cases easy enough for him to attain that confidence?

PW: At some point while getting into demonic spirits, he knew that he could only go so far and needed the help of a priest. He felt that he didn’t have time on this one. That’s where he really had to rise to the occasion. He became one of the ten people outside of the Vatican to give exorcism and he was the only one who wasn’t a priest. That shows his faith and it shows his respect among the Catholic Church. There were many cases before this one that struck him, but not like this one.

Do you believe in the supernatural?

PW: I do. I haven’t seen anything but just because I haven’t seen anything doesn’t mean it’s out there. It’s a very nebulous grey area so I think there are other forces of play. I’ve never seen a ghost but if someone says that they did, who am I to say that they hadn’t or they don’t exist. What do I know? That’s a little more fearful to say that they don’t exist.

Having done ‘Insidious,’ what was the attraction to doing this film?

PW: Well, it’s a whole different beast. There’s one thing being possess and you’re on the flip side on this one. This was a real character and someone very real. When you are dealing with the supernatural and the characters from ‘Insidious,’ I’m sure that Elise from that film was inspired by Lorraine Warren. When you have a chance to play the real McCoy, you want to jump at it. Knowing James (Wan) and the kind of movie that he wanted to do, and our relationship, I knew that I was in great hands; and knowing Vera, you do a movie like this because not only of the script but of its potential. We loved playing these characters and we’ll do it again if given the opportunity.

Was it easier working with James because you had done a similar film?

PW: Outside of being directed by James Wan in ‘Insidious,’ there is nothing similar. This is a whole different beast. I’m playing a real guy and it’s set in the 70s and based on a true story. I’m not taking anything away from ‘Insidious,’ and that was a wonderful great script and bizarre. We dealt with some fantastical areas with the supernatural and go even more with the second film, but it’s a whole different beast, and the research I did for ‘The Conjuring’ was more expensive because you’re dealing with demons and exorcisms and a real couple that devoted five decades of research. We had quite a lot to choose from. It was a much set of circumstances than ‘Insidious.’

How was working with Vera and meeting Lorraine Warren?

PW: Vera’s awesome and we’ve known each other socially. My wife was in ‘The Higher Ground’ with her, which I loved. I had been looking for something to work on with her. Lorraine is just so wonderful and has a great spirit. For someone who had seen some harrowing things, she’s a very peaceful and loving person. In five minutes, you will feel as if you’ve talked with her forever. She’s very approachable and that was wonderful to know. Vera and I went up and spent an afternoon with her in her house, trying to glean whatever information we could so that we could round out our own characters. I think Vera did an unbelievable job at both getting the wonderful eccentricities of Lorraine, but also finding the passion and love of her wanting to help people. She really nailed that.

On another topic, do you have any thoughts on coming back to the stage?

PW: I’m always looking for something to come back to Broadway. It’s difficult to find the right show and right time.

What’s a good reason to see ‘The Conjuring?’

PW: In screenings for this film, more people come up to me and tell me that it was the most scared they had ever been. This is also an R rated film with no bad language, no blood and no nudity. These are all the things that give a film an R rating. You have a film that is restricted for kids under 17 strictly because this is how much it scares you. You will be scared from the film but you will also care for the characters, and that’s a testament to the Hayes brothers and to James for creating such a well rounded human family drama set in this world that will terrify you.


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