Corin Hardy's film costars Demian Bichir and is released, Sept. 7

By Clark Collis
August 10, 2018 at 03:55 PM EDT

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How much did it help Taissa Farmiga getting cast as Conjuring spin-off the The Nun (out Sept. 7) that her sister Vera starred in both 2013’s The Conjuring and 2016’s The Conjuring 2? Not one bit! In fact, director Corin Hardy (The Hallow) was reluctant to even consider the younger Farmiga sibling for the role of Sister Irene in his Romania-set terror tale, which details the origin of the inhuman spirit Valak from The Conjuring 2.

“He did mention that about a month into filming,” says Taissa. “He didn’t want it to be the easy solution: ‘Taissa is Vera’s younger sister; she can do it!’ I had to go in and audition and fight for my part.”

“I’m a huge fan of Vera and I felt it would just seem like too much of an obvious choice,” says Hardy. “Like, I’ve got the job, and I’m like, ‘Oh, who’s out there? Oh, we’ll get her sister! She could do a good job!’ I knew that Taissa had auditioned, but I almost didn’t immediately watch her [tape], because we were looking for maybe a European actress to play the role, or an English actress, and there were some really fantastic, strong auditions. Then I sat down, and put Taissa on, and she was just captivating in such a unique way that you look for when you’re trying to cast your movie and find special people. It finished and I was like, ‘Okay, no one else can have this role except for her.'”

The Nun stars Demian Bichir as a priest named Father Burke and Farmiga as a novitiate, Sister Irene. “She had a difficult and isolating childhood,” Farmiga says of her character. “She experienced these visions that set her apart from her peers and eventually led her to a life in the church.” The pair are tasked by the Vatican to investigate a mysterious death at an abbey in Romania where, Farmiga reveals, “there’s some sort of presence that shouldn’t be there.”

Watch the trailer for The Nun, above.

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