For actress Fernanda Andrade, a sense of fear was always present while shooting the horror film “The Devil Inside” in Romania and Italy.
“Even in that fearful state, there is this certain adrenaline, which I think is also what makes people go to the movies,” Andrade, 28, told me during an interview last week. “You want to feel alive in that way, even if it is fear. It was definitely different that anything I had ever done before.”
In the film, Andrade, who was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, plays Isabella Rossi, a young woman who travels to Italy to find out the truth behind her mother’s exorcism.
During our interview, Andrade talked about how “The Devil Inside” is different from other exorcism movies that have come before, and explained why she didn’t get much sleep during the filming of the movie.
“The Devil Inside” was release on DVD and Blu-ray May 15.
What interested you about playing the role of Isabella Rossi?
I thought the plight of Isabella and her strength and struggle was a really powerful story. She is a survivor in my eyes. She had been broken and defined by this one big event her whole life. She got to a point where she decided to face it – to go to this place with a lot of hope. I thought that was really brave. I really couldn’t wait to get in her skin.
The industry puts out a feature film dealing with exorcism every couple years or so. What makes “The Devil Inside” different from what we’ve already seen before?
I think a lot of exorcism flicks made before this are made with a certain level of sensationalism, which is part of the fun. But I think the intention of “The Devil Inside” was to document the experience of it as truthfully as possible. [Director/co-writer] Brent [Bell] and [co-writer] Matt [Peterman] talked to a lot of experts and people who had been through things like this. I think they really wanted to make the audience feel like they were dropped in that room and given the opportunity to watch.
What kind of research did you do for this film?
I read as much as I could. I read a book called “Interview with an Exorcist.” I saw some of the interviews that Brent and Matt were doing with the experts and the priests. Exorcism isn’t exactly something people want to talk about. It’s certainly not a subject people jump at. But it was incredible after the movie how more people wanted to talk about things they didn’t necessarily want to talk about with their family and friends.
Do you believe exorcisms are real?
I do believe whoever experiences these things believe these experiences are very real. I think it’s a huge testament to the human mind and the power of coconsciousness. I think if you solidify something like that in your conscious, then your experience is real.
I know people who love horror movies but won’t get near any that are about demon possession. What do you think it is about these types of movies that terrifies people so much?
I think we’re all terrified of things we can’t explain. Exorcism is certainly one of those things that we just can’t grasp – that big unknown. People would rather steer clear of it. I understand that fear. That fear is really close to the idea that this could actually happen. I think the fear of it and the possibility of it actually happening are too much for some people.
Did this movie cause you to have any sleepless nights?
Oh yeah. (Laughs) I didn’t sleep very much in Romania. Sometimes I watch the movie now and I’m like, “Man, you can tell I haven’t gotten any sleep.” We were shooting nights a lot and didn’t seen the sunlight at all. I had no idea what time of the day it was. I had really strange dreams the whole time. It definitely wasn’t an environment for sleeping.