New cable network FEARnet are set to celebrate 40 years of The Exorcist by screening the film and all of its sequels/prequels this Sunday 17 Feb, starting at 2pm. To promote the marathon they’ve enlisted the help of Linda Blair who spoke to web outlets recently. (Sadly, our little Exorcist-based website wasn’t approached).
Thankfully, for the most part, the various interviews have steered away from the typical pea-soup, head-rotating questions and have been able to delve into things such as Exorcist II: The Heretic, and 1990′s Exorcist-spoof Repossessed.
Crave Online published their detailed interview (3 pages) and Linda revealed that Tom Hanks was considered to co-star in Repossessed alongside her. Of course, the role eventually went to Leslie Nielson.
Movieweb have published a great video interview (embed not working, sorry– please follow this link to watch). It’s always nice to see Linda Blair’s beaming smile and talking passionately about the films and her World Heart Foundation. She also talks at length about Exorcist II: The Heretic and how the project became doomed after she signed on based on a script that was drastically changed.
Dread Central touched on the psychology of The Exorcist, including a great question about Ellen Burstyn‘s role as Chris MacNeil:
Dread Central: I wanted to go back for a moment to the relationship between Chris and Regan because it’s fascinating to me on so many levels; I think it was one of the first times we saw a single mother as a central figure in a horror movie and one that was an actress as well, which definitely establishes a very unique dynamic. But after revisiting the original last night, I have to say that some of my favorite moments in The Exorcist are the quieter moments you and Ellen share together. Everything about it still feels very natural.
Linda Blair: Thank you for saying that! All of the credit for that is due to Ellen; I’ve said it so many times before- Ellen is the heart and soul of The Exorcist, and there would be no movie without her. She’s just extraordinary. We did rehearse a lot, too, which is why I think our relationship felt so natural- it was easy to feel comfortable around her. She pulled me aside one day when we were shooting and told me if I ever needed anything to just ask her; back then I had this solo thing going on, and she could just read right through me. She saw that I needed that, and it really helped me.
And without our relationship, all the love and all those single-parent issues Chris was facing in The Exorcist, I don’t think audiences would have connected as well with it. Even after 40 years, those are all still relevant issues and just prove that there’s no substitute for timeless storytelling. All those other struggles, beyond Regan becoming possessed, is what drives the audience through Chris’ journey. The Exorcist is HER movie; everyone always talks about Regan, but The Exorcist is really about Chris and what she goes through.
Visit FEARnet.com and check listings for details on their Exorcist marathon and their exclusive contest.
LATE EDIT: Another great read, Fangoria have published their exclusive interview as well.