The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” hit theatres and HBO Max on June 4. Joining “The Conjuring” regulars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson were some fresh new faces, including rising star Sarah Catherine Hook.
Hook plays Debbie Glatzel, the girlfriend of Arne Johnson. Johnson is known for being the first person to plead innocent by reason of demonic possession. Like all films in “The Conjuring” universe, “The Devil Made Me Do It” is based on the case files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Heavy had a chance to catch up with Hook to chat about her experience portraying Glatzel as well as her upcoming projects.
HEAVY: The “Conjuring” movies have such a loyal fanbase. What was it like stepping into an already well-known cinematic universe?
Hook: Initially it was just super exciting because I was part of that loyal fan base. I’ve loved “The Conjuring” series since it first came out. When I auditioned, I remember thinking, ‘Oh my god, I don’t even care if I’m in it, I’m just so excited that there’s gonna be another movie!’ So it was mostly exciting but obviously felt a little bit daunting as well.
HEAVY: Did anything about the process of filming a horror movie surprise you?
Hook: On the first day of filming, we had a set blessing. Catholic priests came in and prayed over everyone whilst spritzing holy water around the set. I was not expecting this, but soon found out it was actually a tradition for the “Conjuring” films. I think I would’ve been pretty bummed had I not been there to experience it, so I feel lucky to have been involved in whatever scenes were being filmed that day.
HEAVY: You got to meet the real Arne Johnson and Debbie Glatzel, whose real-life experiences inspired the movie. What was that like?
Hook: I had already been in contact with both Debbie and Arne before meeting them face to face. Our first phone call lasted about two hours. I had a lot of questions. Debbie did most of the talking – retelling the event, describing their lives post-possession – as well as simply getting to know each other outside of death and demons. Debbie was bold and candid while Arne was more on the timid side, but their love for each over was ever-present and, quite frankly, adorable. I’d say by the time they arrived on set we had already established a lovely friendship, so it felt like I was meeting up with some old pals.
HEAVY: Did meeting the real Debbie change how you thought about portraying her?
Hook: Yes and no. Unfortunately, a lot had been filmed before our initial conversation, but I did start to carry more of her spunk and her “I don’t care what you think of me” attitude. That’s probably what I admired most about Debbie.
HEAVY: You had to film some pretty intense exorcism scenes. What was that experience like?
Hook: Exactly that – INTENSE. We filmed the opening exorcism scene over the course of a week. Lots of wind, screaming, crying, and contorting…the works. As traumatic and physically demanding as it was, those were my favorite days. The whole gang was there: Ed, Lorraine, Drew, Father Gordon, and the family. I kept having little moments of “Wow, I’m really in The Conjuring, aren’t I?” (laughs).
HEAVY: You were recently in an episode of the Hulu horror anthology series, “Monsterland.” Aside from horror, what other genres are you most interested in doing?
Hook: Boy, would I love to do some comedy. Or something where I can sing! I went to school for Vocal Performance with a focus in Opera so at some point I’d like to put that degree to use!
HEAVY: Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming acting projects? What are you most excited about?
Hook: I’m currently filming an upcoming Netflix series called “First Kill” where I play a 16-year-old vampire! I’d say it’s horror adjacent so I’m happy to report I’m staying on brand (laughs)! I also filmed an episode of “Impeachment: American Crime Story” which focuses on the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. I play Monica’s best friend, Catherine Allday Davis. I’ve actually been itching for this one to come out since first hearing about it as I am a huge fan of the ACS series and Beanie Feldstein, who plays Monica! Pretty excited all around for everything that’s coming.
HEAVY: That’s so exciting. Best of luck with everything, thanks so much for chatting!
Hook: Thanks for having me!