Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Pope's Exorcist: Russell Crowe Wanted To Have A Few Father Amorth Easter Eggs

"The Pope's Exorcist" has entered into a proud cinematic tradition that pits priests against demons. In this film's case, however, the priest in question was a real person: Father Gabriele Amorth, a priest who worked as an exorcist for the Roman Catholic church, specifically the Vatican. "The Pope's Exorcist" is based very loosely on Father Amorth's five memoirs, and Russell Crowe — who plays a fictionalized version of Amorth in the film — and the film's director, Julius Avery, wanted to pay tribute to the priest by slipping a few references to his work as easter eggs.

You'll note that there are several Ferrari-related items in Father Amorth's possession in the film, and that he prefers red cassocks. According to Avery, this was an intentional reference to the real Father Amorth's background and had been suggested by Russell Crowe during the film's development process. "Father Amorth was originally from the town of Modena where they built Ferrari, so he wears Ferrari socks and has a Ferrari sticker on the Lambretta (his scooter)," Avery told The Hollywood Reporter in April. Crowe echoed this information during an interview with Collider, also in April. "There's sequences where we go through his journey because you're talking about a young boy who grows up in Modena in Italy, which is also where Ferrari comes from, which is why there's a couple of Ferrari references; he wears red socks under his cassock and he has a Ferrari sticker on his Lambretta motor scooter," he said.

These small references help to build and explain Father Amorth's world

These small touches help pump up Father Amorth's sense of personality and connection back to the pre-vocational life — and they definitely help to highlight the priest's sense of humanity. The fact that he's simply a mortal man proves to be a strong asset to him when he's forced to go one-on-one with Satan to salvage the soul of Henry Vasquez (Peter DeSouza-Feighoney) during the film's rollicking climax.

 Russell Crowe agreed, noting that during his research into the real priest's life and background, two things seemed to get the real Amorth through the constant barrage of tragedy and horror he was subjected to on a daily basis in his vocation — his sense of humor and his absolutely unshakable belief in his Christian faith. "You think about a man who has to constantly deal with afflicted people and the darkness that those people are going through, the darkness that their families are going through, and one thing that became really clear is he had this crazy sense of humor. These two things, right? The purity of faith and a sense of humor," Crowe told Collider.

Filmmaking is, in its own way, a leap of faith for those involved. No wonder Crowe was able to find a way to relate to the incredibly unique — and fantastic — life Father Amorth led.