What is it about him as person that you would like to explore?
For me it’s always just trying to do something different and even though I’ve done the horror genre once, I mean, Insidious is a totally different set up. If anything, I’m closer to Roger, Ron [Livingston]’s character, the husband in peril and saving his family. There is a lot of being protective with me and Lorraine, but I think it’s fascinating, a couple that dedicated their life to the occult, supernatural, demonology and the guy was one of seven or eight demonologists, the only person at the time that was authorized or supported by the Vatican to give an exorcism who wasn’t a priest. He knew more about this world than most priests around the world. I don’t think most priests delved into the demons and the backstories and the hundreds of years of spirits. I don’t think anyone knew that better than Ed. He read. Everything about him, he was always reading and studying and from a very early age just really loved this world. I can latch onto somebody like that that has that kind of passion even though it wasn’t my passion, but it’s something I can really respect.
Did Lorraine come to set to see you?
Did she feel you embodied him?
Something she said--which was all I ever wanted because Ed and I look totally different even through history. I thought about trying to go closer to his look, but it wasn’t that important. People aren’t gonna see me and go, ‘He doesn’t look like Ed Warren!’ You know what I mean? The physicality doesn’t matter, but she had said to me, ‘I look in your eyes and you have that same kindness and that same openness that Ed had.’ And that to me just made me feel great. That’s all I’m going for is just to try to capture his spirit.
This is kind of crazy actually. I was looking at rings [for the costume] and I thought, ‘Eh, it’s probably closer to this one,’ and I sent him a picture and he was like, ‘Oh! That’s perfect! He had an onyx ring, it was grey.’ And so I picked this ring out and they come to set. We were sending e-mails back and Lorraine goes, “Oh my gosh, you know, I looked for that ring. It looks just like that, but I think I buried him with it.’ [Laughs] I was like, well I hope you don’t find it, or maybe you will! And then randomly my dad, my own father, had come up the next week and he had a ring and I don’t even remember when he got this. He had a ring that looked almost identical to the ring I’d picked out to play Ed Warren. I mean, the two diamonds and a little onyx piece there. He was on set and I was like, ‘Dad, let me see your ring.’ He holds out his hand and I was like, ‘Wow.’ And then, of course, my mom goes, ‘Oh, did you get that ring after Dad?’ I was like, ‘No, I had no idea.’
Did working on this make you a believer?
It’s funny. I try as hard as I can to separate my own beliefs. I’m not a skeptical person anyway. I think I’m a pretty open person, but it’s such a slippery slope that when I’m playing him, and this sounds kind of hokey and actor-y, but I really don’t think about my own feelings at all because he was such a believer and if people were hecklers in the crowd, he would take them on, one-on-one. He was very passionate about what he believed in. It’s like that thing about the men on the moon; people say, ‘No, we didn’t send people to the moon,’ and then you talk to Buzz Aldrin, they said, ‘You cannot take that experience away from me.’ Tthere is that kind of sentiment with Ed of going, ‘You can’t tell me what I’ve seen.’ And trust me, you get into the demonologists in some of the books that he’s written, a lot of it’s pretty far out there, it’s pretty deep and supernatural, so you’re sort of like, I wanna read, but the more I read, the more I, ‘Okay, let me just go for the ride.’ It’s tough. That’s a long-winded answer. But when I’m Ed, I believe.