Bringing any movie to life that is based on reality comes with some unexpected challenges, as you want to honor not only the actual events that occurred, yet also honor how the script fictionalizes those events, so with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It telling the story of an exorcism, possession, and murder, its stars had their work cut out for them. Ruairi O'Connor plays Arne Johnson in the film, a man who claims to have been compelled by otherworldly forces to kill his landlord, while Sarah Catherine Hook plays his girlfriend Debbie Glatzel, who wants to support Arne but is overwhelmed herself by the nature of the crimes. The experience would take both an emotional and physical toll on the performers. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It hits theaters and HBO Max on June 4th.
"I think the most salient part now, or the bit I'm probably dealing with most with my therapist is probably the physical demands," O'Connor detailed to ComicBook.com about the challenges of filming. "Like I was tied to that bed, or handcuffed to the bed for four days. We actually did two shootings of handcuffed bed scenes, so I had to thrash about ... my forearms are very skinny and slight normally, but they were huge, they looked like I'd been at the gym for 10 years on steroids. But it was just swelling. And then the tears become real and the screams become real, and you're just so thankful, because it's so much easier when there is a visceral thing to respond to. But it was a lot of icing of the wrists after to bring them back to a normal size, or a slightly less than normal size, I guess, as is my normal forearm size."
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It reveals a chilling story of terror, murder, and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they'd ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.
Hook noted that, while there was some pressure, the fact that she was playing a character who the general public wasn't entirely aware of meant there was some room for interpretation.
"There was a lot of pressure for many reasons, but that, the pressure of playing a real person, specifically Debbie Glatzel, someone who I didn't know and someone who no one knows, that kind of pressure wasn't there because I didn't feel like I needed to mimic her voice or just completely embody her as a person," Hook pointed out. "Because she's obviously also written very differently in the script, and I think Ruairi would say the same with his interpretation of Arne, as well, like we were playing real people, but we had a different approach to it, I think. But I will say, I developed a really lovely relationship with the real Debbie Glatzel, and gained a lot of insight from her, her perspective of the whole event and everything, so, her retelling all of that to me did help out a lot with my process and my journey."
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It hits theaters and HBO Max on June 4th.
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