at the National Catholic Register; lots of interesting material, but this was my favorite part and the part which makes me really look forward to Deliver Us from Evil:
Where did Father Mendoza come from?
I owe a lot to the actor, Edgar Ramirez, who played him, for that character. …
So I went after Edgar. He was the only person I went after for the role. And he read it, and he passed on the script. He said, “The movie could be great, but there’s not enough there.” So I said, “Well, let’s have lunch and talk about it.” And so we sat there at lunch for four hours one day in Beverly Hills, and what really opened it up for me was him starting to talk about a Jesuit that he knows in Venezuela — a good friend of his who is a Jesuit priest, who had struggled with addiction in his past, which was instrumental in him converting and becoming a priest. And he had made mistakes even as a priest and was very human.And as we started to talk about the role that guy had played in Edger’s life, I thought, “That’s what I want.” That’s where this whole idea Mendoza says comes from: “A saint is not a moral exemplar. A saint is a life-giver.” This man who had dedicated his life to helping people, to giving his life to people — I was really interested in trying to write a character like that.
As Edgar and I continued to work on it, what became most interesting to me — the movie never says it; it’s pure subtext, but it’s always there — is we said, “This is not a guy who sees himself as the exorcist warrior, who’s out there battling demons.” He’s not the demon-hunter, he’s not the demon-slayer at all. He’s out there helping people. He doesn’t care about the demons. He knows this is what can help people. He’s doing this to try to release and liberate the individual.
more (via JRB)