This weekend, The Conjuring 2 is set to scare the pants off audiences everywhere. The highly anticipated sequel reunites director James Wan with co-stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson for another epic battle against evil forces, this time in Enfield, England.

Daily Dead recently chatted with both Wilson and Farmiga at the press day for The Conjuring 2, and during our roundtable interview, the pair who portray real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren discussed where the sequel picks up, reteaming with Wan once again, and much more.

Can you talk to us about where we are picking up with Ed and Lorraine in The Conjuring 2 and where those characters were at, at that point?

Vera Farmiga: It's six years later; that is where we start. So there have been six more years of skepticism, six more years of weariness in this sport, and so you pick up, I think with Lorraine being quite haggard and tired. This is post-Amityville, and it's all taking a toll on her. I think a big deal for them, too, which was a part of this film, was the skepticism, and so the film starts off with Lorraine experiencing a certain amount of unwillingness to investigate at that point.

Patrick Wilson: She does it because she feels threatened also by the demons.

Vera Farmiga: I think she's just tired, and Lorraine Warren's mindset is very black-and-white. She knows she has the power. For her, her faith is everything. But there is a toll it takes on her psyche, on her mind, on her body, and her emotions. I think it's also that she feels the potential doom because of the vision that she's seen in Amityville regarding Ed. I think that's what terrifies her the most: the thought of losing him.

It's evident that James realized what he had with you two and he really leaned on your chemistry a lot for this. It really drives the movie. Can you explain why you guys work so well together?

Patrick Wilson: Oh, I don't know. That's something that's hard to explain. I don't mean to speak for her, she's more than capable, but for me, I feel like I've reached a point in my life, in my career, where it is really great to work with somebody that, one: you think the world of as a person, and then as an actor you feel like there's nobody better.

We love playing these people, so there's the right amount of drama and laughter. I think we smile if we feel like that. You also know when you come back that nobody is settling for anything. You constantly want to mind the film.

We've got a director and producers that love to push us and we push them. Even on the first film, I remember we came from meeting Lorraine and going up to the house and we saw these paintings around that Ed had done and we're like, "We gotta throw those in there."

Vera Farmiga: I agree. I think the bottom line is that we're delighted by these characters. We didn't get the opportunity to meet Ed, but we see their chemistry through Lorraine and the way she speaks about him, and it's really beautiful.

It was really intense. It was really ordained. Their partnership was really holy in that sense, and she's such a cheerful creature. There are cheerful people and then there's Lorraine Warren. She is so joyful and it's bemusing and that just affects our performances. We knew they had an incredible love and partnership, and we had no choice but to try and recreate that.

When you guys started this venture years ago, did you think there would be a sequel?

Patrick Wilson: Yeah, I think so. I think just structurally I felt that this was a different beast. You're not following the same people like we did in the two other movies [the first two Insidious films] I did with James, where you're either possessed or you're not possessed and there's nothing really else to do.

You're either scared or you're not and I think within the genre, if you think about it, whenever there have been franchises, they have all been from the villain's point of view. HalloweenFriday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street—you can keep going.

You've never had a franchise from the positive side, from the good side. That brings an inherent, "Well, that's interesting because we can dig into their relationship, spend half the movie on that, and then you spend half the movie scaring folks." So structurally, from a filmmaker point of view, it's teed up for you, you just have to make sure you don't screw it up. And we've got something really wonderful here, honestly, and I figured we would come back for another one if we got the first one right. We didn't know if James would come back, but when he did, that made us all so happy.

And now, you are looking at the potential for a franchise, which is incredible. Does that excite you guys on a creative level?

Vera Farmiga: A franchise to me is a chance to explore deeper characterization, that's what that means for me, and potentially a slightly bigger paycheck, too, which is also very alluring [laughs].

I started off in television, I continue to dabble in television, and I love to be able to do a deeper and deeper exploration of a characterization. I think in this day and age, too, this is why television has become so popular. We want to connect in this age of disconnection. We want to connect with these characters, in terms of storytelling, and then root for them.

That's why you see the most popular films are the ones that have sequels, which is in fact television, just with a big screen. I was always hoping to come back because I sincerely adore her. I adore this character. I just want to surround myself with fun-loving, kind people, and that's what this project is. I'd gladly come back again and again.

Is there a responsibility you feel as actors when you are playing characters that are real people versus characters that are fictional, and does that change your approach to your performances at all?

Vera Farmiga: I think in particular when you're friends with who you're portraying, yes. Absolutely. At the same time, we're doing a sweetened, condensed version of their experience because obviously, this is entertainment.

Patrick Wilson: It was seven years that this case took, so it was hard to distill that into two hours, but I think we did a pretty good job of what really made this case so special: the relationships and the difference that Ed and Lorraine made in the lives of that family.

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.