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‘The Exorcist’ Star Linda Blair Was Shocked by Movie’s Cult Classic Popularity

‘The Exorcist’ Star Linda Blair Was Shocked by Movie’s Cult Classic Popularity

Linda Blair, star of the groundbreaking 1973 horror hit The Exorcist, continues to be baffled by the film’s popularity. Blair starred as Regan MacNeil, the young girl possessed by a demon in the fright flick. For her performance, the actress received a Golden Globe Award and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

It has been fifty years since the film first premiered in theaters. Linda Blair, who was only 14 at the time, recently shared that she never anticipated The Exorcist would become a cult classic. The movie was not only a commercial success but also grossed an impressive $193 million during its theatrical run.

In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, the 64-year-old actress discussed her experience on the movie set and how she dealt with the mixed reactions to the film’s success. “For me, it was so not Hollywood. I had no idea,” Blair explained to the outlet. “Mom and I just thought, ‘Oh, you know, your project, if it gets a little commercial run, that would be nice,’ and that wasn’t the case. The case was it became an international controversial sensation around the world.”

Many ‘The Exorcist’ Viewers Left the Theater Believing Linda Blair was Actually Possessed

Linda delivered a convincing performance in the movie, leaving many viewers convinced she was possessed by a demon for real. To dispel these beliefs, the movie studio sponsored a tour to demonstrate that she was just a regular child in real life. “It’s a very intense movie. My hope is that people would realize it’s about good and evil, and that is playing out right now on the planet with the war in Israel, and we can do better,” Blair shared. “We can absolutely do better.”

Linda Blair also revealed that she had to withstand extreme temperatures to truly embody her The Exorcist character. Director William Friedkin intentionally created a chilling atmosphere in Regan’s bedroom during crucial scenes, allowing viewers to witness her breath as she spoke.

“People forget that we didn’t have all of the incredible magic that we now have with filmmaking,” she recalled. “So it was 17 below in the morning, and then it was zero when we were filming and very uncomfortable. On top of that, the makeup was so cutting edge; pieces were glued onto my face and the contacts were very uncomfortable.”

Blair also revealed her struggle with the script, expressing her hesitation to incorporate profanity into her lines. “[Director] Billy Friedkin rewrote a lot of the script, my dialogue, and would tell me in secret the night before. I’d say, ‘Well, I can’t say that,’ and he’d say, ‘No, no, you can.’ So he’s the culprit behind all that nasty language, and I had to do it,” she noted. “That was hard for me, because I wasn’t raised to be like that.”