The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Star Says It Took A Physical And Mental Toll On Him

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Nine months behind schedule, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is now available to stream on HBO Max and watch on the big screen in theaters everywhere, with the highest-grossing horror franchise in history looking to extend its lead at the head of the pack with another healthy box office haul.

The early reactions have been encouraging, which is good news for the skeptics who thought the absence of James Wan as director might have an adverse effect on the quality of the threequel, especially when his replacement Michael Chaves’ The Curse of La Llorona is viewed as one of the weakest installments in the expanded Conjuring universe.

That being said, the filmmaker has touted the third adventure for Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson’s Lorraine and Ed Warren as the biggest, boldest and darkest entry yet, so it’s not surprising to hear that the intense set pieces had an effect on the cast. In a new interview, star Ruairi O’Connor revealed that The Devil Made Me Do It ended up taking a serious toll on him, both physically and mentally.

“I think the most salient part now, or the bit I’m probably dealing with most with my therapist is probably the physical demands. Like I was tied to that bed, or handcuffed to the bed for four days. We actually did two shootings of handcuffed bed scenes, so I had to thrash about. My forearms are very skinny and slight normally, but they were huge, they looked like I’d been at the gym for 10 years on steroids. But it was just swelling. And then the tears become real and the screams become real, and you’re just so thankful, because it’s so much easier when there is a visceral thing to respond to. But it was a lot of icing of the wrists after to bring them back to a normal size, or a slightly less than normal size, I guess, as is my normal forearm size.”

It’s not exactly surprising to learn that O’Connor went through the wringer when he plays the pivotal role of Arne Johnson, who was involved in the first recorded court case in the history of the United States judicial system where demonic possession was used as the basis of the defense in a murder trial. CGI effects are all well and good to bring the supernatural horrors of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It to life, but sometimes the most important thing in conveying terror to an audience is the actors on screen selling it with the utmost conviction.