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The Pope's Exorcist: Russell Crowe On Learning About Father Amorth's Lighter Side

Faith and perspective can provide a stalwart protection against earthly evils. When the unexplained or horrible happens, people with a strong moral compass are often able to better weather the storm over others who do not possess that kind of internal fortitude. "The Pope's Exorcist" highlights that a powerful sense of humor is one of the greatest tools in the arsenal of Father Amorth (Russell Crowe), one of the greatest and most unconventional exorcists of his time. Surprisingly, Father Amorth was a real person, and Crowe was absolutely blown away by Father Amorth's playful nature.

Although some may think that a professional exorcist would be no-nonsense and dour, the real Father Amorth was just as playful as the character Crowe portrays in "The Pope's Exorcist." In an interview with CBR, Crowe explained that he never expected Father Amorth to have had such a sense of humor, especially considering Amorth's high-ranking status. However, upon reflection and research, Crowe soon realized that one would need a sense of humor to survive the situations Father Amorth often found himself in. 

Crowe added, "There are two clear things for me that give him that extra ability to do the job. One is the purity of his faith. The other is his sense of humor. If you're facing people that are afflicted and going through these dark periods, what better weapons to have for yourself than an absolute fundamental pure belief in what you're doing?"

The real Father Amorth reportedly performed over 70,000 exorcisms

The real Father Amorth claimed to have performed over 70,000 exorcisms, and once said that "The Exorcist" is a great representation of what he believes is demonic possession, which may have been why director Julius Avery was attracted to the project. As mentioned earlier, one might suspect that somebody who has wrangled with that many extra-planar entities would have been a hardened veteran who has pierced the very boundaries of this reality. In truth, however, many people revered and looked up to the exceptionally grounded Father Amorth. 

Speaking with Collider, Russell Crowe reiterated this fact, and said that many of the people who he spoke to about the real life figure consider Father Amorth to have been a rare individual of unique qualities. Crowe went on to say that he was amazed that despite all of the evil that Father Amorth fought he possessed a robust sense of humor to augment his potent faith. 

Crowe elaborated, "These two things, right? The purity of faith and a sense of humor. If you're facing that kind of darkness constantly on behalf of other people, if you're the man reaching into somebody who's in trouble trying to bring them to the light, then the purity of your faith and a sense of humor, that's got to be the best sword and shield that you could have in terms of protecting yourself in that moment." Needless to say, it seems like one needs to be able to laugh when it comes to contending with the forces of evil.