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Jeffrey Dean Morgan isn’t exactly a man possessed, but it’s clear making a horror movie’s made him question his belief in the supernatural.
A self-proclaimed skeptic prior to making “The Possession,” Morgan admits he may have found reason to back-peddle on his beliefs following some bizarre occurrences while shooting the story. The movie was inspired by real life incidents in which numerous owners of a mysterious box - later revealed to purportedly be a “Dybbuk box” housing an evil spirit from Hebrew folklore - reported various catastrophes and disturbing events while in possession of the object.
Morgan plays a divorced dad whose young daughter (Natasha Calis) apparently becomes the vessel for something sinister after he innocently buys a similarly enigmatic box for her at a yard sale, and as he explains the spooky after effects weren’t just limited to the screen.
On what possessed him to do the film:
“Natasha’s audition is why I did the movie. The script was awesome and I knew it could work, but the only way it could work is if we had this amazing actor playing Em. And I remember talking to [director] Ole Bornedal being like ‘I don’t know, man – I mean, how are you going to find this person? I don’t know that she’s out there.’ And Ole sent me this DVD and I watched it and I picked the phone and I was like ‘Yeah, that’s it – she’s it. You hire her and I’m in the movie.’
On his shifting belief in the possibility of possession and the supernatural:
“I did as much research as available to [anyone] initially, based on this [Los Angeles Times] article that led to the original [Dybbuk box] listing on eBay and kinda how it all started and what happened to the person that owned this box. That was sort of the beginning of it, and then you find out that the big box has been around for hundreds of years. And then Ole was kind enough to send me some video of exorcisms, which scared the crap out of me, I’m not gonna lie, because I was a complete skeptic going in. Now that being said, I am still a bit of a skeptic, but we had some weird things happen on this set. And we were also very open to that, because we’re making this movie and you’re kind of in that character spot, but I walked away from that movie maybe less of a skeptic than I was going into it.”
On the bizarre occurrences during the making of the movie:
“This happened three or four times that I’m aware of: I’ve been on movies for a long time now and I’ve never seen a 5K light explode in the middle of key scenes and this happened three or four times. In a closed studio - without doors open or fans nearby - suddenly a gust of wind would come from nowhere. The last thing I’ll leave you with and let you all freak out: all of our props, the Dybbuk box included, were put into storage in Vancouver so we could go back if we had to and do reshoots we’d have everything there. A week after we wrapped filming the storage unit burned to the ground and it was investigated. It wasn’t arson, it wasn’t an electrical fire – it started from within. That’s all I’m gonna say.”