By Caris Bizzaca
Eric Bana thinks everyone has a sixth sense.
He just wishes his was better at predicting sport results.
The 45-year-old Australian actor has become more open-minded to the idea of spirits and exorcisms since he got the heebie jeebies preparing for supernatural thriller Deliver Us From Evil.
Bana plays Ralph Sarchie, a real-life Bronx detective who wrote a book about his chilling experiences on the job.
The sceptical cop finds his beliefs shaken when a series of inexplicable and horrifying crimes start to threaten not only his city but his family.
Naturally, there's a hard-drinking priest called Father Mendoza (Edgar Ramirez) to assure him what's at play is nothing less than demonic possession.
Before making Deliver Us From Evil, Bana had his doubts about such malevolent matters.
"[I was] sceptical but also just had no knowledge," he says.
"There's plenty of countries where exorcism and the subject matter's not taboo or not thrown away as a joke topic.
"So just learning about it culturally and religiously was a bit of an eye-opener."
And occasionally, quite terrifying.
To prepare for the role Bana says he sought out material and a few grainy tapes about exorcism that aren't available to the general public - and for good reason, he admits.
"I guess it's scarier for me, perhaps as an actor, because I like to be able to say that I can tell a difference," he says, of whether it was real or not.
"[It] was just not comfortable to watch and not something I'd ever want someone I know to see," he explains.
However, when it comes to watching the spooky and disturbing in movies, Bana says he's a fan of the horror genre... when it's done well.
Instead of slasher flicks, he favours movies such as The Shining, Misery and The Blair Witch Project.
"I love the genre when it's eerie," he says.
And that's something he says Deliver Us From Evil writer/director Scott Derrickson does really well.
"I love Scott's previous work, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, Sinister. He's someone who knows more about horror than most of us ever will," he says.
"That's why I wanted to do this film."
That, and because Deliver Us From Evil is not your typical exorcism movie.
"Being grounded in reality helps but also there's not too many horror films that are police procedural thrillers," he says.
"[People] are expecting a basic horror film but we're doing something else."
And while the experience may have opened his eyes - and given him nightmares - about the supernatural, there are some things he's always believed in.
"I think we all have [a sixth sense], and some of us quash it, some of us have reason and logic re-define us to a degree... but I like to pay attention to it," he says.
The Chopper star just wishes he had more control over his mystic potential.
"I wish I was better at it with sporting results, but I'm not," he laughs.
Deliver Us From Evil releases in Australian cinemas on July 24.
source: newshub archive