Oscar nominee Jonathan Pryce says he's not a religious man. But he did have a life-changing experience while filming the biographical drama "The Two Popes." He talked about that special moment in a recent interview on "Popcorn with Peter Travers." Pryce said it happened when a Jesuit priest he'd been working with behind the scenes asked if he could bless him.
"He was advising me as I was leaving Buenos Aires to go to Rome," Pryce told Travers. "He asked if he could bless me. And I found it quite overwhelming emotionally. And I accepted that and I asked if he would bless my family."
But the experience may actually not have come as much of a surprise to Pryce.
He said, "we were asked at the beginning of filming, were we religious. And I said 'no, but I fully expect to be by the end of the film'. And something happened to me. You're affected by everything you do. But I think that being blessed was quite extraordinary."
Pryce plays Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (later Pope Francis) opposite Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict XVI in the film. He said he knew right away he wanted to take on the role.
"I think it was mainly because I'm not religious," Pryce, 72, told Travers. "I was brought up in the Christian faith. I went to church until I was a teenager. But I found this pope was the first pope who I thought was speaking to me and millions like me about issues that weren't necessarily to do with the church or organized religion, but to do with politics, and to do with speaking out for the environment, about the economy, about the injustices. So he was someone that I felt great empathy towards. And it helped that I looked like him a bit. And I walk like him definitely."
Pryce said he also developed a great bond with co-star Anthony Hopkins.
"I'm in awe of Tony Hopkins. I'm a great admirer of his. And that played into those early scenes. And as you see the popes' relationship growing, my friendship with Tony grew," he said.
Be sure to watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Jonathan Pryce in the video above.