Ben Daniels got 'completely terrified,' he tells EW at Comic-Con
William Friedkin’s The Exorcist has been scaring the pants off moviegoers since 1973, and this fall, a TV series inspired by the horror classic will be serving up a weekly dose of demonic possession, right in the comfort of your own living room.
The Fox series’ stars Ben Daniels, Geena Davis, and Alfonso Herrera stopped by EW’s studio at Comic-Con Friday to talk about their memories of the film as well as the impact working on the show has had on them. Let’s just say it might not make soothing bedtime viewing.
”I slept with the lights on a couple of nights,” Daniels admits to EW’s Sara Vilkomerson. “I’m a complete horror film nut, and it’s always lived in a very fictional area for me.” But when he started to research his role as Father Marcus, a priest who has performed exorcisms for over 40 years, “[I] got completely terrified… it’s there, in every culture, that people get possessed, and that someone can cure them of that possession.”
Herrera, who admits to having been terrified of The Exorcist when he first saw it when he was 10 (!) years old, connected to some of the universal themes of the tale. “I do think that light and darkness exist, and I think that evil and evil forces exist,” says the actor, who plays another priest, Father Tomas. “I think this balance exists, and it’s what we’re trying to portray in this show… this war that has existed since the beginning of time.”
The new series isn’t a straight retelling of The Exorcist, but rather a new story that pays homage (even musically) to the old one. “This is such a cool take on it, because it acknowledges that that actually happened,” says Davis, who describes herself as having been “tremendously impacted” by the 1973 film. “So this is now, 40 years later, 40-plus years later, and, uh-oh, something starts happening again…”
Check out the whole Comic-Con interview above. Exorcist premieres on Friday, Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
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