Director James Wan is already set to have another hit on his hands with The Conjuring 2, the follow-up to his 2013 horror thriller pulled from the real-life case files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Early reviews for the film have been overwhelmingly positive, and that's thanks in no small part to solid lead performances by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.
In an interview with Collider, Wilson and Farmiga went in-depth on their experience playing the Warrens, their actual beliefs in the paranormal, and their thoughts on the Conjuring franchise.
Wilson suspected that there would be a sequel following the success of The Conjuring, but the actor believes the second installment offers a new opportunity within the horror genre:
"Within the genre of horror, whenever there have been franchises, it’s all been from the villains point of view, like with Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and Saw. There hasn’t been a franchise from the positive side and the good side. That’s brings an inherent, 'Oh, that’s interesting.' We can dig into their relationship and spend half the movie on that, and then spend the other half on the family."
For Farmiga, the second film provides the enticing opportunity to further dive into a unique character:
"A franchise, for me, is the chance to explore deeper characterization and, potentially, a slightly bigger paycheck, which is very alluring. I started off in television and continue to dabble in television, and I love deeper and deeper exploration of a characterization."
The actors are able to give such convincing performances in part because they've actually met the real-life Lorraine and Ed Warren. As Farmiga said:
"The bottom line is that we’re delighted by these characters. We didn’t get the opportunity to meet Ed, but we see their chemistry through Lorraine and the way she speaks about him. It’s really beautiful and really intense and ordained. Their partnership was really holy, in that sense. She’s such a cheerful creature. There are cheerful people, and then there’s Lorraine Warren. She’s so joyful, and it’s bemusing. That affects our performances. We knew they had an incredible love and partnership. So, we had no choice but to try to recreate that."
The Warrens might have evidence suggesting the existence of ghosts, demons and other paranormal entities, but that doesn't mean that the stars are full-blown believers. However, they recognize that the Warrens believed, and that's all that matters. As Wilson put it:
"For me, when I talk about this case, our first job is not to judge the character. I believe what Ed believes, period. That’s where my belief stops."
There's no doubt that Wilson and Farmiga are dedicated to their Conjuring characters, which is part of what makes the films unique. The Conjuring was special in part because of its focus on character, further elevating the film's scares. Thankfully, based on what the film's stars have to say, we'll learn even more about Ed and Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring 2.
The Conjuring 2 hits theaters on June 10. Are you excited to see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return as the Warrens? Let us know in the comments below.