Cast and Crew of 'The Rite' on What They Believe

Beliefnet Interviews the Cast & Crew of 'The Rite'

Anthony Hopkins in 'The Rite'

“The Rite,” a new spiritual thriller about exorcism starring Anthony Hopkins, opens everywhere in theaters this Friday, January 28th. All photos courtesy of New Line Cinema.

Ever since The Exorcist terrified moviegoers in 1973 with its vision of the supernatural made flesh, audiences have been been fascinated by demonic possession. Is it real? Are people just faking it? Could it happen to me?  The unknown  - and how can anyone know about demons for sure? - has always been bone-chillingly terrifying.

This Friday Hollywood returns to the guaranteed-to-give-you-the-creeps subject matter of demon possession and they’re employing no less than the master of unnerving performances: Anthony Hopkins. The man famous for bringing Hannibal the Cannibal to life in The Silence of the Lambs plays Father Lucas, an unconventional priest who is an expert exorcist. Despite years of experience he runs into a power that not even he can defeat, leaving his salvation in the hands of his apprentice (played by newcomer Colin O’Donoghue), a young priest struggling with his own faith.

When making a film that deals with Good and Evil, the Divine and the Unholy, God and Satan, is it important what you believe? Do you have to accept that demonic possession is truth in order to craft a believable film about exorcism? Beliefnet Entertainment Editor Evan Derrick recently sat down with the cast and crew of ‘The Rite’ to find out just that. Stars Anthony Hopkins and Colin O’Donoghue; director Mikael Hafstrom and screenwriter Michael Petroni; and Father Gary Thomas (the real life exorcist upon whose experiences the film is loosely based) were all present to talk about God, demons, and what it's like to witness an exorcism first hand.

So, are there forces beyond our understanding at work or is this no more real than the bogeyman hiding underneath the beds of children?

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