When we visited the set of the upcoming Corin Hardy-directed The Nun in Bucharest, Romania last summer, the film was just about to wrap up. Demián Bichir (Alien: Covenant) sat down to talk to us while he took a break between takes of a scene set towards the middle of the film when his character, Father Burke and Taissa Farmiga‘s character, Sister Irene, are just about to enter the abbey where the Nun resides.
“This scene right here, when we arrived to the actual cloister, we had contacted the Abbott and told her what we need and why we are here. She had asked us to come back the morning after if we wanted to talk to the Sister and the rest of the nuns so we can find out what happened and inquire about the recent death of the nun,” Bichir said. “So the only way in to this cloister is through a woman and it has to be a nun, and that’s why we recruited Sister Irene, the wonderful Taissa [Farmiga]. So she’s going in and that’s almost like saying goodbye to your kid the first day of school. It’s really… you just worry about her and you don’t really know what’s going to happen, so that’s what’s happening now.”
We actually got to watch a few takes of the scene from different angles, and it did seem like Father Burke was more than a little apprehensive about splitting up with Sister Irene. He’s been at this a long time, and he knows how dangerous it can be. Bichir went on to talk about the motivations for Father Burke.
“My own demons, my own private, personal demons from my own past experiences as a demon hunter, as a miracle hunter,” Bichir added. “I’ve dealt with demons before and that marks you, whether you are a priest or any other type of human being. I think that’s one of the things I love about the story, it relates to all of us very easily. We all carry those demons in many different ways and some of us choose to deal with them and face them and some of us just put it in a drawer in your heart or mind and that’s probably not a good idea because they will hunt you down later on. Father Burke carries those particular burdens so it’s not an easy life for him, but it’s the life he’s been called for – he accepted it from day one and he knows that’s pretty much his mission on this planet. He will probably die fighting demons.”
I really liked how much Bichir seemed to understand his character. Let’s be real here, having personal, deep characters isn’t an aspect that a lot of horror movies focus on. However, if you’ve seen Corin Hardy’s other feature film, The Hollow, it makes sense why the talent in The Nun had to put in a little extra legwork to learn as much about the characters they’d be playing as possible. As Birchir continued, he likened Father Burke to a soldier with a demon hunting toolkit. He then went on to explain some of the tools he would bring to the demonic battlefield.
“When you sign up to be a soldier of Christ you become that, a soldier,” Bichir said.
“In any military type of environment you need to be well trained, you need to know what your tools are, but I think the most important thing for any soldier is to understand that your life is not yours anymore and that you will die sooner than later, right? Once you understand that you become braver and more courageous and fearless because you know that the worst thing that could happen to any human being, which is dying – it’s okay with you, you’re okay with that. So you become a stronger type of soldier and in order to fight demons I have my own tools, my own AK-47 would be my holy water, to begin with, that’s obviously powerful in any special occasions. My own crucifix, I have a couple that are my favorite, like any cowboy or soldier, I have my own favorite weapons and that’s all you need; holy kit and holy books, that’s all you need to save the world one demon at a time.”
The Nun releases September 7, 2018.