Exclusive: Bonnie Aarons on The Nun sequel & 20 Years in the horror genre
It’s hard to believe it’s already been five years since Bonnie Aarons made her Conjuring franchise debut as the demonic nun Valak in the second installment of the hit horror series. With her spin-off film proving to be a financial hit, ComingSoon.net got the chance to discuss the character’s future with the star and look back on her 20-year journey through the genre.
Long before she was terrifying Ed and Lorraine Warren as Valak, Aarons first her made horror debut with David Lynch’s surrealist psychological classic Mulholland Drive as The Bum who nearly scares a man half-to-death, but though she doesn’t quite see the film as part of the horror genre, Aarons does look back fondly on that role alongside all of her others and the path they put her on for her career.
“A lot of people don’t even realize the character — they’ll be like, ‘Whoa, that was you? Wow!'” Aarons brightly related. “I don’t think Mulholland Drive is a horror movie. I just think it’s astonishing, you know people go, “Wow! Whoa, what?!” I love to work whatever genre I’m working in, but I have a fondness for this genre because it’s so much fun. I get to dress up and be a Bum, a Nun, The Master, a crackhead. [laughs] It’s fun!”
After the successful debut of her character in The Conjuring 2, it was no surprise Warner Bros. saw the potential for more terror from Valak and ordered a spin-off film much like the prior film’s Annabelle, which turned into a prequel story exploring how the demon would eventually come into the Warrens’ life. Much like the possessed doll’s first film, The Nun didn’t win over many critics or audiences upon its release but bring plenty to the cinema, grossing over $365 million at the global box office on its $22 million budget to become the highest-grossing film in the franchise, which the studio saw as evidence fans wanted more and entered development on a sequel to better flesh out the timeline between its predecessor and Conjuring films.
Though Akela Cooper signed on as early as April 2019 to pen the script for the film with Peter Safran and James Wan, who helped craft the story for the first film and had a plan for the sequel, attached to produce and Aarons reprising the titular role, word has gone quiet on where the film is at in its development. Fans aren’t the only ones currently waiting on bated breath for news, as Aarons reveals even she is still waiting to hear word about progress on the script but is eager to get back into the role.
“Oh, Grant, I light a candle every day,” Aarons said with an eager sigh. “I would love to jump back in that habit. I love that film and that character and that whole crew. I light a candle every day. I have to see what they wrote, you know, I hope it explores more of the depth of the demon. I think the demon came from the bowels of hell. We’ll see whatever it is. It’s Warner Brothers. It’s going to be phenomenal. It’s New Line Cinema. Whatever they do is going to be phenomenal. They really know how to make a film over there.”
Though fans may still have time to wait to see Aarons return as Valak, they can see her in the Barbara Crampton-led gothic thriller Jakob’s Wife, which is now available in select theaters and on digital platforms!