For years it has been a commonly known piece of Exorcist trivia, actress Mercedes McCambridge provided the voice of the demon in The Exorcist. Technically correct. However, Mercedes herself doesn’t appreciate when people make it sound so simple:
“That drives me crazy, when people say, “you were the voice in The Exorcist”, no! I tried very hard to create a character. A demon. Lucifer.”
The fascinating interview segment comes from the 900-minute documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey, written an narrated by Irish film critic Mark Cousins. Mercedes also explains, in her ever-eccentric way, how her hands were tied in order to make her voice crack for the role. You can watch the entire segment below.
The segment also shows audience reactions recorded in 1974. The narration says an actual documentary was made entirely about people reacting to The Exorcist, although I’ve never heard of such a thing existing. We’ve only been privy to this popular collection of audience reactions, unearthed by Justin. Incidentally, it was Justin brought this documentary to my attention.
Also interesting to note the documentary gets a piece of trivia wrong, naming Jason Miller as the actor slapped by director William Friedkin so he could get an emotional reaction. As explained by the man himself in The Fear of God documentary, it was actually Rev. William O’Malley.