To be part of a film that lasts forty years, that stands up, that has people showing their kids, showing their grandkids, everybody talking; and it doesn’t matter where I go in the world, now they realize it’s just one of the greatest movies ever made. I have nothing to do with that part as far as filmmaking. That’s the art of special effects, the art of a great screenplay, a great director, great actors and so on, which is what, of course, we’re celebrating here at Comic-Con, is these great big movies that bring together fictional characters that they grew up with. It’s the fantasy. The Exorcist is a fantasy.

–Linda Blair

Linda Blair portrayed Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist and Exorcist II: The Heretic.

Linda Blair appeared as the central character in The Exorcist as a child actress that went on to path her way to the Hollywood spotlight and fame, eventually becoming a cult figure among generations.

Experience Edit

You have to understand that when we made The Exorcist, I was a child first and foremost so when I first read the novel before auditioning, I saw it more from the perspective of a kid- how were they going to do these things? How was the bed going to levitate? That kind of stuff. I didn’t really think about the religious aspects of the story because it was beyond me at that time.

Nothing like it was being made at that time so I just really had no idea of what this story would become, what these characters would become to fans throughout the years. I didn’t understand it. And when the movie came out, the amount of pressure that came down on me wasn’t anything I was prepared for. Especially all the pressure the press put on me- they thought I had all the answers about faith and Catholicism.

I was not raised Catholic so I didn’t have any answers, and I certainly didn’t understand a lot of what was happening in the story either. We didn’t talk about any of these things – God, the devil, evil – before we started shooting, and I really didn’t ask any questions either; to me it was just a character that was made up from special effects and not a symbol of something more like Regan has become over the years.

–Linda Blair


I was thirteen years old and I wanted to be a veterinarian. I had been working since I was seven because my mother told me if I saved my money doing modeling commercials that I could go to school and be whatever I wanted; an astronaut. So I was quitting and we got the interview. I went in to meet Billy Friedkin, the director, and this went on for a very long time. I at this point went you know what? This thing is never going to finish. What the heck are we doing here?

We started filming and it goes on and on and on. When it’s done we wait another few months. Now they put it out in New York and it received a standing ovation and all of a sudden … we didn’t have the electronic media that we have now, so they could get the word-of-mouth; oh, my God, and this happened and then this person fainted and this woman was pregnant and she had a baby in the aisles; whatever these stories were; and it gained momentum.

I still think like we have the science of the unknown. We are all curious about what we don’t know, and there’s a lot of things we won’t know until we’re dead, and then we’re dead so we really can’t talk about it. That’s kind of my perspective on things. We did not know the film would even make it past the first week.

–Linda Blair

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