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Colin O'Donoghue & Alice Braga on 'The Rite'

February 9, 2011   |   Written by Times of India

TOI chats up Colin O’Donoghue and Alice Braga, whose supernatural thriller is slated to release this Friday

When you play characters in a situation like in “The Rite”, do you question your own beliefs so that you can express the characters beliefs?
Colin:
Yeah. You have to question your beliefs. When I was doing the work for the character of Michael, I spent a lot of time reading theological books and stuff about demons and angels. And I think you begin to get caught up in it. But we were working 14 hours a day on this, and then you have to go home and do your work for the next day. So you’re constantly in it, so you can’t help but question your beliefs or faith or whatever it is.

Does it change you?
Alice:
I think so, in a way. It’s interesting. I agree with what Colin said. With my character, Alice, I try to understand where the character is in her life, and how these things are affecting the character and her beliefs, and how the story changes the character. Once you’re in it you start questioning yourself as an actor, and you try to understand what the character is going through to make that belief real.

What was it like being in a room and watching Anthony Hopkins at full tilt when you’re nose-to-nose with him?
Colin:
Yeah, well, what’s interesting about it is, this is my first film and you can’t let yourself go, ‘Oh, my God, that’s Anthony Hopkins’, every day that you’re doing scenes. So, you have to shut that down. I remember that there was a scene, one of the exorcism scenes, where I was off-camera and I was watching what was happening and I sort of went, ‘Oh, my God.’

Alice: And it’s so wonderful, because it’s Anthony Hopkins, but at the same time he makes you feel completely relaxed. He doesn’t intimidate you. And when you’re acting with him, sometimes you’re admiring, and then you’re like, ‘Stop admiring. Be in it.’

What are your own feelings about exorcism as a psychological or spiritual thing? Presumably you did a little research.
Colin:
Yeah, I did a lot of research. I went to some exorcisms in Rome. I met a few exorcists and it’s a question that I’ve asked them all. The interesting thing is that none of them tried to convince me it was real. It was sort of, ‘Yes, she has a demon behind her eyes. This is how it manifests’. They didn’t try and say, ‘You should believe this’ because of whatever, because to them that’s a daily thing that they deal with.

Alice: Matt Baglio, who wrote the book, is a journalist and he went through that journey to write the book. He was in a way questioning himself and trying to find out if it’s real or not. So, what Colin just said, I think everyone that participated in the process kind of started questioning themselves, because it exists in the Vatican. This is something that has been talked about lately. But I think it’s hard to know. You end up questioning yourself, if it’s spiritual or not.

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Colin O’Donoghue is an Irish actor/musician. He was born in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland on January 26th, 1981. He is best known for his role as Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones in Once Upon a Time and his role as Michael Kovak in The Rite.

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