The film was put on hold for six weeks while the set had to be rebuilt. These days, she is an animal rights activist and humanitarian, supporting PETA, Feed The Children and the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which rescues abused animals. Demonic possession has been a popular topic ever since the early days of horror, and it's no wonder, considering how widespread Christianity is as a religion. The go-to source for comic book and superhero movie fans.

I have found my true passion in life.”. In the same interview, she claimed that people would follow her down the street to heckle her about her role in the film. I would tell my mother that I really wanted to be a veterinarian, because I loved animals so much. For example, she reprised her role as Regan in Exorcist II: The Heretic. In season 1 of FOX's recent Exorcist TV series, Geena Davis plays a character named Angela Rance, mother of a possessed girl named Casey Rance. When not writing, Michael enjoys going to concerts, taking in live professional wrestling, and debating pop culture. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. It was then when I got a call to try out for The Exorcist. In fact, it's one of only six horror films ever nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.

For example, during the exorcism scenes, Regan is bedridden, only wearing a nightgown. More than 40 years later the movie, which earned her an Oscar nomination, has become a cult classic. After being successfully exorcised by Fathers Karras and Merrin in The Exorcist, Regan MacNeil's life didn't end up getting much easier. With a strained production and controversy following the film's release, it's no wonder why Linda Blair was never the same after starring in The Exorcist. But what mainly makes The Exorcist such a powerful film is the phenomenal performance by Linda Blair. Blair would be rewarded for her performance with a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and an Oscar nomination. It was at that moment I knew my life was about to change, but I didn’t know how and I certainly wasn’t prepared for the consequences. After being successfully exorcised by Fathers Karras and Merrin in The Exorcist, Regan MacNeil's life didn't end up getting much easier. Blair was accused of glorifying Satan by playing Regan, and as a result, she received tons of death threats. Set ablaze by a pigeon that flew into the light box, the fire occurred during shoots for the infamous exorcism scene.

Vasiliki Maliaros, the actress portraying Father Karras' mother, also died before the film's release. After medical intervention fails, Regan's mother seeks the help of Father Karras, who confirms that an evil spirit is possessing Regan. Specifically, Blair advocates for the American Pit Bull and works to educate the public about the many misconceptions surrounding the breed. Simon Cowell donates $50,000 a year which we are so grateful for. Priests Ortega and Keane help her combat the demon, who's ultimately forced out, but not before breaking Regan's back and confining her to a wheelchair. Regan is the target of Satan's influence, and gets put through a living hell, forced to do terrible things to and in front of others, and physically tortured as well.
Later in my thirties, I played Rizzo in Grease on Broadway. “After some make-up tests, it took three months of further meetings for them to book the job. I felt like the job would never start! Blair further explained that more often than not, interviews were held with hundreds of people in the room rather than one-on-one. Regarding her advocacy, Blair told The Sydney Morning Herald, "Where you find dogfighting, you're going to find drugs and guns. All the latest gaming news, game reviews and trailers. If you find anything unkind to animals, you're going to find the worst underground criminal activity.". I read the novel but with no real comprehension of the story. I do remember thinking: “Wow, how will they make my head spin?” The director explained about special effects, which were fairly new in 1972. The interview took place at The Hollywood Show, an LA celebrity signing convention. It's so bad that William Friedkin once called it the worst movie he's ever seen. 'After The Exorcist I made a number of television movies about young people in difficult situations' [SAT MAG]. newspaper archive. As a little girl, Blair started appearing in print ads, such as in catalogs, and she quickly made her transition to television ads. Considering that Linda Blair's deeply convincing and horrifying performance is the focus of the film, many misplaced their anger on the young actress. But before that, there was the 1974 television drama Born Innocent, where Blair played the role of Chris Parker, a young girl who runs from her abusive family. According to Blair, "I had many people approach me that raised fear in everyone around me. The police were hired to live at my house." Unfortunately, the nude photos had an unintended consequence. In the classic horror movie, Burstyn was the mother of a child who becomes possessed. Quality of the actual film aside, Blair returned as Regan, now 16-years-old. The world was mortified by the film but now it’s become a cult hit. Jack MacGowran, who played Burke Dennings in the film, died unexpectedly after contracting influenza. The application process was grueling, and during an interview with Studio 10, Blair explained that the glue used to hold the prosthetics together actually burned her face. After the film released, Blair found herself in an uncomfortable position. The idea of infernal creatures using human bodies as puppets for committing vile acts of evil is a seemingly endless well for horror movies to drink out of, with lots of new possession stories hitting theaters, streaming, and home video each and every year. While the concepts may have been fictional for Blair, for many other viewers, the ideas of possession, the devil, and other religious themes explored in the film were absolutely horrifying concepts rooted in reality. Initially, Blair was ready to give up acting for horseback riding, but when the teenage Linda heard about the film adaptation of William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist, she decided to give acting another go. More than 40 … According to an Intimate Portrait episode highlighting Linda Blair, the extremely low temperatures were a result of the air conditioning units used to achieve the visible cold breath during the nightmarish scenes. A FL native, Michael is passionate about pop culture, and earned an AS degree in film production in 2012.

Other actors lost family, including Blair, whose grandfather passed during the film's production. After the film premiered, one of the primary complaints from concerned critics was that The Exorcist would spark a belief in paranormal topics among viewers, such as exorcisms.

On the Morning Show, they didn't ask me one question of interest. We rely on donations to keep us going. Here, Blair's character grapples with her parents' recent divorce, as well as her feelings of inadequacy, ultimately turning her to alcohol to cope. Perhaps the most bizarre occurrence during The Exorcist's production was the electrical fire that burned down the set.

Cookies help us deliver our Services. In season 1 of FOX's recent Exorcist TV series, Geena Davis plays a character named Angela Rance, mother of a possessed girl named Casey Rance. Despite the controversy surrounding the film's content, The Exorcist was a massive success. Vasiliki Maliaros, the actress portraying Father Karras' mother, also … Disaster after disaster kept plaguing filming until finally a priest was called upon to exorcise the set. To do this, Linda participated in a series of nude photoshoots for the October 1982 issue of Oui magazine. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. Infamously, Blair was often strapped into a harness during exorcism scenes. For Linda Blair, the events of The Exorcist were fascinating but fictional. Despite demonstrating her impressive acting capabilities in The Exorcist, Linda had a difficult time getting cast for roles that didn't cast her as a helpless victim. When I was around 12 or 13, I auditioned for the TV shows Flipper and Lassie, but I didn’t get the parts. Ellen Burstyn has starred in many iconic movies during her long career, but one of her most physically demanding roles was Chris McNeil in 'The Exorcist.' Seemingly unable to break free of the victim role, Blair attempted to revitalize her image. I’m very proud of my non-profit organisation, the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation which finds homes for rescue dogs. By the time she was five years old, Blair had starred in multiple commercials for notable companies like Ivory Soap, Welch's Grape Jelly, and Carefree Gum. Instead of big Hollywood pictures, Linda would go on to star in exploitation and B-films for most of her career. To help her daughter, Blair's mother brought her daughter to meet William Friedkin, the film's director, to audition for the role of Regan.
The role was physically demanding to the point that Blair was put in an uncomfortable, and even dangerous, situations. Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Additionally, when Blair would conduct interviews abroad, there were many instances where the journalists didn't speak English, adding further stress for the young actress. Related: The Exorcist Franchise Ranked, Worst To Best. The actress, who was only 14 when the horror classic hit theaters, was expected to work with non-ideal filming conditions and found herself amid controversy following the film's release. “Despite the fame and global attention I’ve had I’ve returned to my first love, caring for animals. Linda Blair as Regan with Jason Miller as Father Damien Karras[SAT MAG]. He also loves both Marvel and DC movies, and wishes every superhero fan could just get along. “It was a very competitive business. “The premiere took place in December 1973 in New York City and the film received a standing ovation.

I'm sad, but I'm not mad at them." Still, she's alive, and seemingly demon-free.

Linda, 55, lives on her animal sanctuary, outside Los Angeles, and currently has 100 rescued canines in need of a loving home. Currently, the film still holds the spot for the second highest-earning R-rated horror film of all time. Most recently, Michael helped launch Screen Rant's new horror section, and is now the lead staff writer when it comes to all things frightening. Despite escaping The Exorcist with her life, Regan MacNeil would then have to suffer the indignity of appearing in 1977's Exorcist 2: The Heretic, one of the worst sequels of all time.

William Friedkin once called it the worst movie he's ever seen. Visit hollywoodshow.com. As Blair told Dread Central, "The amount of pressure that came down on me wasn't anything I was prepared for. “I remember the film being a really big deal as it was a popular novel being made into a movie.


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