Devon Sawa, Tom McLaren
Your new movie The Exorcism of Molly Hartley - in a few
words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in
This film is the sequel to The Haunting of Molly Hartley, which Fox
released in 2008. Molly is now an adult and possessed by an evil
spirit. A fallen priest is called upon to exorcise her. I hate
spoilers so Iíll give just a teaser. I play Father James, an
experienced priest working with Devon Sawaís character Father Barrows.
Things go awry during an exorcism and this sets up Devonís storyline for
the remainder of the film.
What did you draw upon to bring your character to
life, and since you're playing a priest, do you consider yourself at all a
religious person, and does playing a man of the cloth come natural to you?
identified more with the characterís razor sharp focus than his faith.
Exorcism rites are quite foreign to me as you can imagine. But I can
identify with someone who is serious, educated, and has a high degree of
concentration. When I first read the script, I knew these words and
phrases would be quite a challenge to learn, so I researched the meaning
behind such unusual phrases like Ďprofligate dragoní and then
rehearsed it constantly. I wanted it to look like Father James has
been in this situation hundreds of times.
did you get involved with the project in the first place, and were you
aware of the film's first part The Haunting of Molly Hartley before
applying for your role in The Exorcism of Molly Hartley?
have so many people to thank, but the producers at Twentieth Century Fox
and WT Canada Productions are definitely my guardian angels for giving me
this incredible opportunity.
I was aware of The Haunting of Molly
Hartley and watched the DVD as soon as I booked this part. I
thought it was a great film and a wonderful premise for a horror
what extent could you identify with the film's horror theme, and likewise
its approach to exorcisms?
will borrow generously from X-Files mythology by saying ĎI want to
believeí. I never over-analyze any horror movie concept. If
itís presented in an interesting and mesmerizing way, I will go along
any horror theme that entertains me. Never ask me to explain Twin
Peaks for example, but I loved every second of its celluloid brilliance
and so I fell for it utterly and completely, explanations aside!
Exorcisms, the devil, possession, etc. are all fascinating concepts
and thatís why I find them so entertaining.
What can you tell us about
your director Steven R. Monroe, and what was your collaboration like?
is a kind man and a very talented director. I was thrilled to be
working with someone who is well-known in this genre (he directed the I
Spit on Your Grave reboots). He made me feel very comfortable and
I knew I was in Ďgood handsí from the first moment I walked onto the
set. The director always sets the tone and Steven runs a calm
and controlled set even though we worked at a fast pace.
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
filmed outside of Winnipeg in July so fortunately, the weather was warm.
The house I filmed at was used for both interior and exterior shots.
The only problem was we were across from a river and the mosquitoes were
rabid! At sunset they would swarm. Bug bites aside, it was a
wonderful experience. There was respect and professionalism between
every single crew member and actor in this production. I must say I
was particularly thrilled to be acting opposite the talented Devon Sawa.
Heís a great guy. I pinched myself realizing Iím working with
that amazing actor from Final Destination!
future projects you'd like to share?
November 17th to digital and DVD worldwide, Iím a not-so-nice
banker named Harvey Ward in the feature film Santaís Little
Helper, starring the awesome Mike ĎThe Mizí Mizanin. Itís
and WWE Studios. Iím also currently in the audio drama
series The Dracula Files (available from
playing the classic horror character Renfield! I have loved the
Dracula franchise my whole life and I am fortunate to play the resident
madman in a new and original version. I also have several indie
films coming out next year including many in the horror/thriller genre.
Facebook, whoever else?
very active in all areas: tom-mclaren.com
Facebook page is at facebook.com/tommclarenpage
I believe social media should be
social, so Iím happy to chat with fellow movie lovers!
Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I am a huge horror movie fan, and so this is a dream project for me to be
part of. I first watched the old Universal monster movies when I was
a kid and this definitely influenced my taste in entertainment. To
now be in my own horror film is quite surreal to me. I hope fellow
horror lovers will enjoy The Exorcism of Molly Hartley. Itís
currently available on digital, Blu-ray and DVD everywhere worldwide.
Thanks for chatting with me!