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As horror film fans on Tuesday night lined the streets outside the TCL Theater in Hollywood for the premiere of The Nun — the latest installment in The Conjuring series — the film’s stars, including Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga and Bonnie Aarons, walked the black carpet through a gauntlet of blank-faced nuns, some fake and some real, that would jump out at the cast as they took photos and stopped for interviews.
Bichir plays the film’s hero, Father Burke. The actor told The Hollywood Reporter that his character refused to be scared: “Father Burke is the James Bond of souls. He’s like the Dirty Harry of demons. You don’t mess with Father Burke unless you want to get bruised. Playing him, I was really into being very, very powerful and protected at all times with his armor around that comes from a bigger energy. So I was not only comfortable, but very calm and relaxed and happy.”
The Nun is the fifth film in the Conjuring Cinematic Universe, a horror series with a worldwide gross of over $1 billion on a collective budget of under $100 million.
The latest effort centers on an investigation by Father Burke and Sister Irene into The Nun, a terrifying spirit who has had brief but memorable appearances in previous Conjuring films.
Farmiga, who plays Sister Irene, has become a horror veteran by now, having also appeared on several seasons of FX’s American Horror Story. Despite that, she remains timid when it comes to scary movies and even found shooting The Nun to be a spooky experience.
“I’m not a big fan of horror movies in general. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horror movie all the way through. I just don’t like it,” the actress revealed. “We filmed in Romania and Transylvania, and there’s so much history there and so much soul, you can almost feel the spirits just being there and existing and surrounding us. There’s times where you’re walking down a castle corridor alone and it’s pretty freaky.”
Corin Hardy, the pic’s director, had his own scary experience while filming in a haunted Romanian castle.
“We were in a real old ancient fortress in Romania and I was shooting in this 200-foot-long tunnel, underground, pitch black. While the camera was going, I had to enter a room to look at my monitors, which is a little sealed room,” he explained. “As I went in, I saw a couple of men standing in the darkness watching, I thought they were Romanian crewmembers, and I directed the shot and I turned to see what they thought — and there was no one there!”
In line with the scary experiences the cast and crew had making the film, the premiere’s audience was squirming in their seats and gasping in fear as they endured plenty of expertly crafted thrills and chills.
The Nun is set to open Friday.
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