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In July, Click was lucky enough to get the chance to go behind the scenes on The Rite, a supernatural thriller filming in Budapest, Hungary. Daniel Anderson braved the hellish heat and the distinct possibility of demonic possession to sit down with some of the cast and crew of the film. –

CLICK: How did you get the part?
COD:
I’d been given the script by my agent and I loved it instantly and put three scenes together on a tape at a friend’s photography studio. I kind of had a feeling that I knew I knew this character and I knew I really connected with it. And sometimes that doesn’t matter; sometimes you still don’t get it. But I sent it over not even expecting them to watch it and they did and then I guess that’s why I’m here now!

CLICK: What was it like when you found out?
COD:
I went to America for two months in January and February and met with Mikael the director, just to chat about the scenes and what it was going to be. And I knew I was going to be meeting the producers and then some of the executives at New Line. And it all seemed to go well but it was kind of a long process so I went back to Ireland and thought it had all fallen through so I’d have to find something else. Then get a phone call. I play in a band in Drogheda, in my home town, called The Enemies and I was on way out to do a gig with the band and I got a call to say I’d got the part. And I was on my own and I remember hanging up and just thinking ‘really?!’ So I phoned my parents to let them know and I was just standing alone in my living room because my wife wasn’t there. So everyone came into the pub where I was playing and we had a few pints to celebrate.

CLICK: Why do you think they chose you?
COD:
I don’t really know why. I guess he asks a lot of questions to himself, questions of faith and whether or not demons exist. Whether there are good and evil forces at work or is it just human nature. He questions that and I guess I grew up Catholic in Ireland and I remember The Exorcist was banned up until very recently. Friends of mine weren’t even allowed bring the film into their house because it was seen as evil. And I just think this script is so intelligent and this character is so measured in how he speaks, in his thoughts. I just really… I can’t fully explain why but it’s just something I understood instantly. So I guess I was lucky but that doesn’t happen that often you know.

CLICK: What was it like working with Anthony Hopkins?
COD:
Yea, first off he’s just a gentleman. He’s just a lovely bubbly man. He’s helped me a lot because we have practically all our scenes together. He’s been great – he’s sort of guided me along and taken me under his wing, giving me tips here and there. CLICK: What kinds of tips? COD: I was struggling with one scene and kept getting frustrated and eventually after trying a few times he said ‘sometimes you have to let it go’ – just do it and not think. If something instinctive happens you never think about it. So I guess that would be one. Little secrets and things he’s told me. But it’s been phenomenal for me to have such amazing company for my first movie.

CLICK: Were you scared on your first day?
COD:
Well my very first scene was with Tony and it’s a sequence where we walk up a hill in Rome and it wasn’t supposed to rain but the heavens opened and we quickly changed the scene. On the very first day I had to allow myself 10 seconds of panic before we started! Just thinking ‘what happens if I mess up’ – especially because my first scene is with Tony, he’s one of my idols. A real screen legend. What if they suddenly decide I’m not right for the part? So I just allowed myself those 10 seconds and decided that I had a job to do and that they trusted me enough to give me the job so I have to go in and just do it as best I can. It was kind of scary though yea.

CLICK: What are your own beliefs?
COD:
I was born and raised Catholic and still practise but my mother is a psychotherapist so it really fascinates me how you differentiate between possession and what could be a mental illness. What I think this film does very well is that it puts that across, that you can’t really prove it is possession but you can believe it. The more I work on this the more I think – if I do believe in God then I have to believe in the idea of an evil side as well. I’m pretty strong in my beliefs anyway. As the character you have to question things.

CLICK: In Ireland exorcism is pretty much unheard of, was it tough to get your head around people accepting it as a real thing?
COD:
When I went to the exorcisms in Rome I did go in with an expectation of seeing something extreme. And when you see people being blessed you realise that whether or not I believe in it is immaterial in a sense because they truly believe. And if that is therapeutic for them then it’s a good thing. It’s pure faith, pure belief in a higher power and in a sense you have to admire people like that. It’s fascinating to see that faith.

CLICK: Is it hard to play the exorcisms scenes – physically or emotionally?
COD:
I guess they can be quite physical but I think emotionally they’re quite draining because you’re trying to figure out exactly what the scene needs to be. Sometimes there’ll be something quite shocking that will happen and you have to somehow relate that back to yourself, to experience that for real. If that makes sense.

CLICK: Do you have any future projects?
COD:
Not at the minute no, I have a few things that might happen but at the moment I’m just happy doing this, it’s taking over all of my thoughts at the moment.

CLICK: And what about the band when you get back?
COD:
We’ll see yea – it depends on how the gig goes at the wrap party! I sort of miss it, you know.

CLICK: Do you think this experience has changed you?
COD:
Personality wise I don’t think so but it’s been everything that I’ve always wanted to do, something I’ve been working for the last 10 years since I became an actor and I guess in that sense it’s a big change.

CLICK: So you’ve arrived!
COD:
I don’t know yet, we’ll have to wait until the film is finished! I feel more pleased for my family and friends who have been so supportive for the last 10 years while I’ve struggled up. So I feel in some sense it was worth it. And I couldn’t think of a better movie to work on to be honest. I’m really, really happy.

 

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Who Is Colin?

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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 Hook in Once Upon a Time and his role as Michael Kovak in the Rite.

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Current Projects
Once Upon A Time
Colin as Hook/Killian Jones
Status: Season 6
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'Once Upon a Time' tells the story of a new world, one in which fairy tales and modern-day life collide.

What Still Remains
Colin as Peter
Status: Post-production
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After the loss of her family, a young woman struggles to survive in a world long-since destroyed by disease; but when a lonely traveler offers her a place in his community, she must decide if the promise of a better life is worth the risk of trusting him.
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