Interview: Alex Barima Discusses The Exorcist and Acting in Horror - Dread Central
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Interview: Alex Barima Discusses The Exorcist and Acting in Horror

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One of the big surprises in horror in the past few years was when Fox’s “The Exorcist” turned out to not only be watchable but it was actually quite fantastic! Many people were hesitant about such a beloved property getting the small screen treatment but the end result was something truly special, to the point that when a second season was hanging in the balance, fans rallied behind the show and demanded a second season! Obviously that worked as we’re in the middle of that second season right now and fans are still relishing every possessed moment!

Here today to talk about the show is Alex Barima, who plays Shelby in this season. In our interview, we discussed what it’s like coming aboard the show, the role of Shelby, his love of gaming and anime, and more!

Season 2 picks up with Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) and the now-collarless Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) out of Chicago and on the road, searching out evil. Across the Atlantic, Father Bennett (Kurt Egyiawan) attempts to weed out those within The Vatican who have turned against God. Ultimately, Tomas and Marcus are led to Andrew Kim (John Cho), a former child psychologist who runs a group home for five at-risk foster children on a secluded private island off the coast of Seattle. When one of the children under Andrew’s care is targeted by a powerful force, the two priests head west, setting themselves on a collision course with Hell.

Dread Central: Tell me about coming aboard “The Exorcist” and what that process was like.
Alex Barima: Being a part of The Exorcist has been a life-changing experience for me. I’ve never been so heavily involved in a film or TV project before, so it has been an unforgettable experience. I’m learning new things every day, and I get to work with amazingly talented individuals. Coming on board was a bit of a whirlwind, as I landed the role just two weeks before we started filming. After meeting the producers and the cast though, I knew this was going to be a fun ride! It’s hard to believe we’ve only been together a few months, and our journey is almost over, but I’m sure many of us will remain close after the show ends.

DC: Many people were, at first, very hesitant about a show based on The Exorcist. However, it became a horror fan favorite and people are extremely excited about the second season. What was it like for you knowing about this initial hesitation and then overwhelming love and support?
AB: Given the scale of this project, I was certainly nervous when we started production. I knew I was ready to work, but I put a lot of pressure on myself nonetheless. I was a fan of the first season and I wanted our season to live up to that. The entire cast and crew were breaking their backs making this, so we all wanted it to be successful. Once the premiere aired, the reviews and reactions started coming in, and I found it truly moving; it’s a blessing to be creating something people deeply care about and appreciate.

DC: Tell me a bit about Shelby and the role that he’ll play through the season.
AB: Shelby is one of the best characters I’ve ever played. I don’t watch much horror, but I know that if I was just watching the show as a fan, Shelby would be my favourite. He’s brave, smart, and intuitive, which are all qualities I’d certainly like to have. He’s the first to catch on to the imminent danger threatening his family, and he’s ready to do anything to save them. His relationship to God is so distinct from that of other characters on the show, which I find refreshing. I love the way he is portrayed in the writing, and i thank the writers for letting me explore his personality. It makes my job much more enjoyable and it really feels like we’re creating the story together.

DC: Horror has long been the outcast genre in entertainment. However, many of the greatest names in Hollywood have a strong connection to horror. What are your thoughts about the genre, especially since you’ve been a part of it prior to “The Exorcist”?
AB: I’m very easily scared, so I don’t watch much horror, except around Halloween. I find that many horror films and shows don’t get enough credit though. Being in The Exorcist has definitely changed my perspective on horror. It’s so much fun to work on, and I would certainly be open to working on more horror projects in the future. However, I’m not sure I’ve actually become any braver.

DC: I’ve heard that you’re a fan of gaming. Have you dabbled in the world of horror games? What are some of your favorites?
AB: I’m even more frightened by horror games than films! My roommate is a huge horror fan, so I’ll watch him play them sometimes. I’ve seen him play Resident Evil 7 and Outlast, but I couldn’t bring myself to try them. I have played the Friday the 13th game, but never alone.

DC: I also heard that you’re into anime. There are some fantastic animes that are fueled by horror. Are you a fan of any of those?
AB: The closest thing to horror anime I’ve seen is Death Note, which I still think is one of the best anime of all time. I usually gravitate toward shounen series like Dragon Ball and One Piece. My favourite TV show of all time is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.

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