Taissa Farmiga and Demián Bichir Interview: The Nun

The Nun is a spinoff of The Conjuring 2 and the fifth movie in The Conjuring series.  Taissa Farmiga plays Sister Irene, a novice nun.  In 1952, she travels with Father Burke, played by Demián Bichir, to investigate the mysterious suicide of a nun.  The film gained main stream attention when YouTube pulled The Nun’s six-second ads after jump-scare complaints.  The ads fooled viewers into turning up the volume right before the titular character appeared with a blood-curdling scream.

Screen Rant: Guys, congratulations on the film.  I'm glad I wore my dark pants last night, because I barely made it through.  Demián, your character, he's kind of inspired to solve this mystery of the missing nun.  What is it about Father Burke’s past that inspires them to do this?

Demián Bichir: Well, it’s everything.  First of all, he's a soldier. He had a terrible experience in the past and that's exactly why he said to everybody, especially the Vatican, can you not come to me anymore.  Until they call again. And then since you’re a soldier, and it doesn't matter, like feelings or fears are. You to get up and get to it.

Screen Rant: Now, Sister Irene, she's a great piece of The Conjuring franchise. I really like her a lot. Strong character. Is there anybody that you based that performance on? Or anything that inspired that performance?

Taissa Farmiga: There wasn’t a specific thing. I did watch The Nun’s Story with Audrey Hepburn, which was a huge inspiration, just for all the information about what it takes to become a nun and all the little details about, on daily basis, what the struggle is like. Because it's a struggle for self-perfection and it's an almost completely unattainable goal. So, that's one thing I wanted to incorporate in my performance, was the physicality of it, which is walk humbly, walk close to walls, close doors quietly, don't talk… don't talk without purpose.  Only talking to have something important to say. And there's a lot of little details that you don't think about on a normal basis. How you're holding yourself. So, I thought that was really important to bring to Sister Irene.

Screen Rant: Interesting. Now your sister is a veteran of The Conjuring franchise. Did she have any notes or advice for you coming into this world?

Taissa Farmiga: I think her biggest piece of advice was leave work at work. To play Lorraine, she had to do a lot of research into demonology and exorcism, which luckily, I got to avoid. And I focus more on the pure and the holy and what it takes to be a nun.  But it was very good advice. I didn't want any supernatural occurrences to happen, so I chose to shut myself off to them. And I left work at work.

Screen Rant: Nice. Now there's different approaches to filmmaking when it comes to horror films. Did Corin run his set more, tends to keep you guys in the moment? Or was it more loose until the cameras started rolling?

Demián Bichir: Well, first of all, he's a tyrant and—

Taissa Farmiga: [LAUGHS]

Demián Bichir: If you want suffering, say yes, to working with him.  Yeah, he is really, really nasty. And I'm glad he's in another room. And I really don’t want to work with that guy again.  Sorry, Corin.

Taissa Farmiga: [LAUGHS] I don't know what movie you were shooting point.  I had a great experience.

Demián Bichir: Well, that’s the point.  It was entirely two different films.

Sister Irene and The Nun

Screen Rant: The tale of two cities. Right? You guys shot this entirely in Romania. Corin talked about some creepy things that happened on set for him. Blessing sets, stuff like that. Did you guys have any personal experiences yourself?

Taissa Farmiga: I did not, but as I previously said, I actively shut myself off to any possibilities from other worldly things coming to contact me.  If they're there, that's fine. I just, I don't want to be introduced to them.

Screen Rant: How about yourself, Demián?

Demián Bichir: If there were any, I just did a lot of that to come in, at any time, or giving that time or place or… Because of being Father Burke, this Dirty Harry of souls, you can't be afraid.  My head, my brain, my heart were stronger and alert at all times.

Screen Rant: What is it about The Nun that you think audiences are just gonna attract too? Because even watching, the movie lives up to the trailer. The trailer scared the crap out of me.  Just the trailer. So, what do you think the audience is going to attract to? Just with The Nun.

Taissa Farmiga: I mean, listen… audiences fell in love with this demon nun character in The Conjuring 2. So, I think they want to know where something so evil and malicious can come from.  And The Nun is sort of an origin story for her. And you get to see where she's born, and where she comes from, and who draws her out. And I think that's satisfying. And also, it's terrifying. So, when you have something that's supposed to be so pure and holy and it's tainted, it's just ugh. It's just, it doesn't feel right.

Screen Rant: And if you guys had to sum up The Nun in a hashtag, what would that be?

Taissa Farmiga: [LAUGHS] UMMM hmm. I don't know. Nothings coming to me. Come on. Give me a vision where my visions?!

Demián Bichir: Hashtag…

Screen Rant: Hashtag what?

Demián Bichir: Hashtag, run.  I would put an R instead of the N.

Taissa Farmiga: Oh, that’s good. I’m into it.

Screen Rant: Guys, congratulations on the film. It is amazing.

MORE: Corin Hardy Interview for The Nun

Key Release Dates
  • The Nun (2018) release date: Sep 07, 2018
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