His journey into the paranormal began with “Insidious” as Josh Lambert and director James Wan knew Wilson was ripe for his next film, “The Conjuring.” Not wasting much time, Wan had Wilson back in front of the camera for “Insidious 2.”
And least we not forget Wilson has had his share of demons in the flesh to deal with. One in particular was Samuel L. Jackson in “Lakeview Terrace,” who gave Wilson and his wife Kerry Washington Hell.
Last year the gifted and talented actor/singer starred in one of the season’s best TV series, “A Gifted Man.” In each episode Wilson is visited by the ghost of his altruistic wife that was accidentally killed. His character is that of an eminent, self-absorbed surgeon that divides his time volunteering at a medical clinic for the underprivileged and treating his prominent patients.
Playing the family man again in another supernatural drama, The Film Strip asked Wilson if there is any metaphorical meaning embedded in this story. “I still think you have this root of a family drama, a marriage and trying to figure out what to do,” he explained. “My wife, Renai, desperately wants her husband not to be; well, I don’t want to give anything away, but she wants to believe in and trust him. She is sort of giving us direction [that something is wrong], like she suspects I’m having an affair.
“So there’s this mystery of what is your husband going through and why is there this distance between the two of you . We always had it rooted in a domestic drama. That’s how we view the first one and that gave us a real foundation for this one because in this one you’re getting into some very non-linear sort of time travel and we’re all over the place. It was just fun. I think the root of the matter is the lengths you’d go to keep your family together.”
Rose Byrne [Renai] says Wilson went to a really dark side in “Insidious 2” and it was frightening but not as unnerving as a house they were shooting in. “Some of those houses in Las Angeles are pretty scary,” she offered, “and I wouldn’t want to sleep there. I’m pretty sensitive to things like that.” Byrne had to change gears drastically and go from ghosts, demons and possession straight to “Annie” with Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis as Annie.
Lin Shaye (Elise Rainier) has her own take on “Insidious 2.” “I think we all have dark things inside of us,” she opined. “Horror stories give us a platform for our deepest fears. Everybody experiences a horror story in his or her own personal way even though it’s the not the same event. Asked if she thought “Insidious 2” was a metaphor for something else, she came back with: “I think it’s whatever you think. Any work of art reaches into your personal whatever. It resonates for you what’s real…If it awakens demons in you, good luck!”
Marie Moore is a syndicated veteran entertainment journalist who reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]