Jeffrey Dean Morgan of "Watchmen" and "Grey's Anatomy" fame plays the father of a girl possessed by an evil spirit in the new movie "The Possession," which marks his first horror film.
In "The Possession," Natasha Calis plays Em, who buys at a yard sale an antique box with Hebrew inscriptions engraved on it and then becomes possessed by a demon. Her father Clyde, played by Morgan, and her mother Stephanie, his soon-to-be-ex-wife, portrayed by Kyra Sedgwick, try to save her. Alternative rock musician Matisyahu plays a Hasidic Jewish man who helps them.
Check out 5 facts about Jeffrey Dean Morgan and "The Possession," which was released on Friday, August 31.
1. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is really scared of one thing.
"Anything happening to my kid," the 46-year-old actor told OTRC.com. "I think that's the only thing that really gets under my skin, is the thought that anything could happen to him, which kind of helped me in this movie because it's about my child getting possessed so I could relate to that as a father."
The actor and girlfriend Hilarie Burton of "One Tree Hill" fame are parents to a 2-year-old son. Morgan also has a 7-year-old son from a previous relationship.
2. Jeffrey Dean Morgan founds some violent scenes difficult.
"The stuff that bothered me was the stuff I think I did with Natasha," he told OTRC.com. "There were a couple of scenes that I had with her that stuck with me not because they were scary, but I was more worried for her. I really love that little kid and it was heavy, intense stuff and that was the stuff that worried me."
"There was one scene in particular where it seems as though the father, my character, is hitting her and I had a hard time that day," he said. "And the exorcism was also very hard. But I feel like I did my job, I did an okay job playing her father because really, going in, I just wanted to make sure I didn't screw up a young actor and making them become a statistic. Seriously and I wanted her to have a great time and I think she did, so we all win. And she gives an amazing performance, so it's cool."
3. Jeffrey Dean Morgan says weird stuff happened while making "The Possession."
The film is based on the story of a American antiques store owner Kevin Mannis, who says he bought a wine cabinet at an estate sale and later sold it on eBay after his mother suffered a stroke when he gave it to her as a birthday present.
He says he purchased the cabinet, dubbed the "Dibbuk Box," at an estate sale and that it came from a Polish woman who survived the Nazi Holocaust. Her granddaughter told him that it had never been opened because it was possessed by an evil spirit. The box contained old artifacts, including a statue with "Shalom" written in Hebrew, two locks of hair and a candlestick holder with octopus -shaped legs.
Mannis sold the box on eBay and it was eventually passed on to various people, all of whom reported strange occurrences. The story was also chronicled on an episode of the SyFy series "Paranormal Witness."
Even though the real "Dibbuk Box" was not present, the actor says while filming the movie, strange things occurred. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he saw lights exploding and felt cold bursts of wind on a closed set.
"In the making of this film, some odd things happened in the making of it that haven't happened to me in 25 years of making films," he told the Associated Press. "So my theory was, and it remains - 'Don't mock the box.' You know? We're going to have a healthy respect for that box."
4. Jeffrey Dean Morgan doesn't love horror movies, so director Ole Bornedal had to get creative.
"I wasn't looking for a horror movie at all," he told the Associated Press. "I'm not a fan really of the horror movies. I don't know what to say - I wasn't looking to do it and I got sent the script along with a really, really nice note from the director and the reasons why he thought I should do it."
Morgan starred in the 2004 comedic horror musical film "Dead & Breakfast" with Jeremy Sisto. He is best known for roles on shows such as "Supernatural" and "Grey's Anatomy" and in films such as "The Losers" and "Watchmen."
5. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is skeptical about the power of the box, but is also a little superstitious.
" You know, it is what it is and you know, people can make up all sorts of stuff and believe and blame the fact that a tree fell on top of them by the owning this box," he said. "I mean, I don't know. That being said, there was a lot of weird stuff that was happening to people who owned this box. I didn't want it anywhere near me. I still don't. I wouldn't tempt that kind of fate."
"The guy who had owned it offered to bring it to Vancouver if we wanted to see the box," he said. "There was a resounding 'No.'"Additional reporting by Maria Sansone, correspondent for KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).