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An Interview with Tom McLaren, Star of The Exorcism of Molly Hartley

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2015

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Devon Sawa, Tom McLaren

Your new movie The Exorcism of Molly Hartley - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?

 

This film is the sequel to The Haunting of Molly Hartley, which Fox released in 2008. Molly is now an adult and possessed by an evil spirit. A fallen priest is called upon to exorcise her. I hate spoilers so I’ll give just a teaser. I play Father James, an experienced priest working with Devon Sawa’s character Father Barrows. Things go awry during an exorcism and this sets up Devon’s storyline for the remainder of the film.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and since you're playing a priest, do you consider yourself at all a religious person, and does playing a man of the cloth come natural to you?

 

I identified more with the character’s razor sharp focus than his faith. Exorcism rites are quite foreign to me as you can imagine. But I can identify with someone who is serious, educated, and has a high degree of concentration. When I first read the script, I knew these words and phrases would be quite a challenge to learn, so I researched the meaning behind such unusual phrases like ‘profligate dragon’ and then rehearsed it constantly. I wanted it to look like Father James has been in this situation hundreds of times.

 


How did you get involved with the project in the first place, and were you aware of the film's first part The Haunting of Molly Hartley before applying for your role in The Exorcism of Molly Hartley?

 

I have so many people to thank, but the producers at Twentieth Century Fox and WT Canada Productions are definitely my guardian angels for giving me this incredible opportunity. 

I was aware of The Haunting of Molly Hartley and watched the DVD as soon as I booked this part. I thought it was a great film and a wonderful premise for a horror franchise.

 

To what extent could you identify with the film's horror theme, and likewise its approach to exorcisms?

 

I will borrow generously from X-Files mythology by saying ‘I want to believe’. I never over-analyze any horror movie concept. If it’s presented in an interesting and mesmerizing way, I will go along any horror theme that entertains me. Never ask me to explain Twin Peaks for example, but I loved every second of its celluloid brilliance and so I fell for it utterly and completely, explanations aside!  Exorcisms, the devil, possession, etc. are all fascinating concepts and that’s why I find them so entertaining.

 

What can you tell us about your director Steven R. Monroe, and what was your collaboration like?

 

Steven is a kind man and a very talented director. I was thrilled to be working with someone who is well-known in this genre (he directed the I Spit on Your Grave reboots). He made me feel very comfortable and I knew I was in ‘good hands’ from the first moment I walked onto the set.  The director always sets the tone and Steven runs a calm and controlled set even though we worked at a fast pace.

 

Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

We filmed outside of Winnipeg in July so fortunately, the weather was warm. The house I filmed at was used for both interior and exterior shots. The only problem was we were across from a river and the mosquitoes were rabid! At sunset they would swarm. Bug bites aside, it was a wonderful experience. There was respect and professionalism between every single crew member and actor in this production. I must say I was particularly thrilled to be acting opposite the talented Devon Sawa. He’s a great guy. I pinched myself realizing I’m working with that amazing actor from Final Destination!

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

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Coming November 17th to digital and DVD worldwide, I’m a not-so-nice banker named Harvey Ward in the feature film Santa’s Little Helper, starring the awesome Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin. It’s from Fox and WWE Studios. I’m also currently in the audio drama series The Dracula Files (available from storyforgeproductions.com), playing the classic horror character Renfield! I have loved the Dracula franchise my whole life and I am fortunate to play the resident madman in a new and original version. I also have several indie films coming out next year including many in the horror/thriller genre.

 

Your website, Facebook, whoever else?

 

I’m very active in all areas: tom-mclaren.com

Facebook page is at facebook.com/tommclarenpage

Twitter and Instagram @tommclaren1

I believe social media should be social, so I’m happy to chat with fellow movie lovers!

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Overall, I am a huge horror movie fan, and so this is a dream project for me to be part of. I first watched the old Universal monster movies when I was a kid and this definitely influenced my taste in entertainment. To now be in my own horror film is quite surreal to me. I hope fellow horror lovers will enjoy The Exorcism of Molly Hartley. It’s currently available on digital, Blu-ray and DVD everywhere worldwide.

Thanks for chatting with me!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD