Linda Blair Says She Had ‘No Idea’ That ‘The Exorcist’ Would Be So Popular

Actress Linda Blair said she was surprised by the success of her most famous movie, “The Exorcist,” which debuted in theaters 50 years ago on December 26, 1973.

The star was just 14 years old when she was cast in the lead part of the horror film about a young girl who becomes possessed by a demon. She spoke with Fox News Digital about her experience filming the movie and how she reacted to the unexpected attention the film received around the world.

“For me, it was so not Hollywood. I had no idea,” Blair told the outlet. “Mom and I just thought, ‘Oh, you know, your project, if it gets a little airing, the commercial runs,’ and that wasn’t the case. The case was it became an international controversial sensation around the world.”

Blair said the movie studio sent her on tour in part to prove that she was just acting and not actually possessed.

“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. We can absolutely do better,” she continued.

The 64-year-old star also talked about the conditions on the movie set.

“The temperature, which people forget because we didn’t have all of the incredible magic that we now have with filmmaking,” Blair revealed to Fox News. “So it was 17 below in the morning, and then it was zero when we were filming and very uncomfortable and the makeup was such cutting edge, like pieces are glued on my face and the contacts were very uncomfortable.”

She also discussed how it was uncomfortable to say swear words which were in the script for her character.

“[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,” Blair said. “That was hard for me because I wasn’t raised to be like that.”

Overall, the actress’s feelings about the movie are positive. 

“Of course, anybody can reflect back on things that are painful to them and uncomfortable memories, but you have to try to compartmentalize and move forward,” Blair said. 

“The Exorcist” had mixed reviews but still managed to nab $193 million during its theatrical run. It was the first horror film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. It was nominated for a total of 10 Academy Awards, winning for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound.

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