Nearly 50 years after The Exorcist made its theatrical debut, Linda Blair has opened up about protecting others from the same type of abuse she endured on the supernatural horror film’s set.
During an interview with The Messenger, Blair stated that she aimed to protect the stars of the film’s 2023 sequel, Lidya Jewett and Olivia O’Neill from the “child abuse” she experienced in the early 70s.
“I felt they should cast maybe a little older,” Linda Blair shared. “And they said, ‘No, we want to stay honoring sort of the Reagan legacy,’ and I said, ‘Well if you do that, these are the things you need to put into place.’”
Blair pointed out she advised the production crew to now allow the abuse she endured, which included major stress and other injuries. Her advice was well received, as the crew brought in some psychologists, theologists, and a spiritual advisor.
“Everybody really appreciated what I did for them,” Linda Blair continued. “Even the adults said that they took advantage and that they appreciated that I put certain things in place. And so when I did create this atmosphere for them, I kept an ear and an eye on everything.”
As she spoke about her time with Jewett and O’Neill, Blair said she gave them the best life lessons she could. “I tell them I’m always here as long as I’m on the planet and you need help or advice. Being a teenager is difficult, and it’s definitely challenging right now. But not only are they incredible actresses, they’re extraordinary people.”
Linda Blair Opens Up About Her Animal and Human Welfare Organization
Meanwhile, Linda Blair revealed that after stepping away from her acting career, she began focusing on the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation. The nonprofit is dedicated to animal and human welfare.
“We’re all volunteers in animal welfare except in the shelter system or trainers, boarding facilities, doggie daycare,” she explained. “They make money, rescuers don’t, and that is the cry that we are sending out. We used to donate, we used to volunteer. Please ask for help and let’s work together to see what we can do.”
According to its website, the organization is on a mission to “alleviate suffering” while rehabilitating and rehoming abused, neglected, and abandoned animals. “We aid in crisis situations while educating, encouraging, and empowering the public to make a difference in the lives of those who have no voice.”
The organization went on to add that it is a “unique safe haven” for animals by providing top-quality, lifelong care to the rescued animals. “We emphasize proper nutrition, provide first-class veterinary care, comfortable facilities, training, socializing, and of course, an abundance of love.”
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