Russell Crowe talks The Pope's Exorcist, filming with Taika Waititi

Just in time for Easter, Aussie actor Russell Crowe has decided to pull on the blessed robes of a Vatican priest and scare the bejesus out of audiences with his new horror film The Pope's Exorcist.

One of the bonuses of making the film it took the soldier of Rome back to his old Gladiator stomping ground.

For some of us Russell Crowe's Gladiator was and still is a religious experience.

And in this life the 59-year-old Oscar-winner really has found God playing the role of a real-life priest, Father Gabriele Amorth - an exorcist at the Vatican.

"Thirty-six years he's chief exorcist of the Vatican. Tens of thousands of exorcisms and you know, just think about the darkness he faces every day of this work-life, talking to the afflicted, talking to people who are at their lowest point in their life and having enough light in him to reach into that person and bring them back again, you know? It's amazing," Crowe told Newshub.

Crowe is here to deliver us from evil by delivering us some evil and he is pretty passionate about this story. He threw himself - with religious fervour some might say - into researching.

"I did my own research into Amorth and I found this incredible life, incredibly colourful life. He had done all these incredible things, so that's what fascinated me," Crowe told Newshub.

"I spent some time in Rome, some time talking to people and reading and I was very very lucky the Vatican were very open to giving me some experience and privileges and some of those things you can't really explain."

Being a soldier of Rome may go some way to explaining it but there's no questioning Crowe's commitment to character.

Speaking of which, Crowe goes for a trip down his Thor memory lane, hamming up his Zeus to the beat of Taika Waititi's anarchic drum.

So how does playing an exorcist compare? Newshub entertainment editor Kate Rodger asked Crowe what haunts him more - making The Pope's Exorcist or working with Waititi?

"Oh man - Taika, he's just my cuzzie. I had so much fun working with him, he's such a beautiful fella. My nightmare is not working with Taika again!" Crowe laughed.