NEW YORK, June 27 (UPI) -- Mike Colter says his religious-themed horror show, Evil, turned out to be more relatable to TV viewers than he expected.
"So many people -- fans, that is -- that reached out via social media or that I would bump into in the streets that would say, 'There are so many things that I connect to,'" Colter said recently during a New York Comic Con virtual panel discussion with his co-stars.
"They would tell me things about the show that I didn't notice because it happened to them," he added. "People who had night terrors. People who were seminarians. People who had tried to go to Catholic school and went a certain way and then changed their minds because this show really does encapsulate a lot of what people experience in life, but don't talk about out in the open."
In the series, Colter plays David Acosta, a Catholic seminarian who teams up with forensic psychologist Dr. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) to investigate paranormal disturbances.
New episodes of Season 2 premiere Sunday nights on Paramount+ The supernatural drama also co-stars Aasif Mandvi, Michael Emerson, Christine Lahti and Kurt Fuller.
"It all starts with the brilliant writing of Robert and Michelle [King.] That's definitely what drew me to the project," said Herbers.
"Unfortunately, we live in a time when you don't have to look very far to find evil. For me, at least, it is very helpful to be able to process what is happening in the world while playing Kristen."
She thinks the show might also help viewers digest current events, as they enjoy a good scare and some laughs along the way.
"It doesn't always go in the direction that you think it is going to go," said Mandvi, who plays Ben Shakir, the member of David's team responsible for its technical equipment.
"Some of our most effective storylines are not about a demon or a ghost," he said. "They are about psychological stuff or things that exist in the world -- technology, how that is used. I think what keeps the audience interested is that the palette has widened so much from what you think is just going to be an exorcism."
Fuller, who plays Kristen's therapist, Dr. Kurt Boggs, has another theory about why the show is so popular.
"Sure, it's scary. Sure, it talks about evil, but the relationships between the characters, the interplay, the depth of it, the rhythms of all the relationships are so evocative and so true and you really don't know where it's going and people react in ways that are real and not TV dramatic," Fuller said.
"That is what sucks people in and keeps them going."
Lahti plays Kristen's mom, Sheryl, who is engaged to the sinister occult expert, Dr. Leland Townsend (Emerson.)
"It's a lot of fun because he is addicted to mischief," Emerson teased. "He has profiled [Sheryl] well. He has analyzed her and for the time being, or for a spell, their needs dovetail fairly neatly, but, of course, he is not to be trusted."
Lahti believes Sheryl knows exactly what she is getting into by romancing Leland.
"He is exciting. He is breaking all the rules. Her daughter -- if I may say, Katja -- is a stick in the mud. She is very narrow minded. She plays by all the rules," Lahti laughed.
"Sheryl wants to really just have an incredible adventure. I don't think she's easily influenced and I think she has a dark side, as well. She's been through a lot. She has had some bullies in her past and she doesn't put up with it."
Colter is also looking forward to exploring David's mysterious relationship with Leland in Season 2.
"I love the time that the writers are taking to get into the characters' backstories and suggest things and then let it develop slowly," he said.
"That is more interesting sometimes than shows that try to divulge a lot of information at once, so the audience is caught up and they understand everything at once and they feel like they are in," he added.
"I like to figure it out for myself and I think as long as audiences are trying to figure things out, it makes them come back every week."