Linda Blair Hits Comic Con, Talks to Columbus Underground
The halls of the Greater Columbus Convention Center (400 North High St.) will be alive with the giddy shrieks of the Midwest’s best and brightest, and sometimes socially awkward. Yes, Nerdgasm 2013 – also known as Wizardworld Ohio Comic Con – descents upon our berg on Friday, September 20. Its three day takeover boasts famed animators, the hulking Lou Ferrigno, a Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger, and an assortment of Walking Dead. Those crafty wizards have more than that in store for their loyal worshippers and weekend muggles alike, though.
Stan Lee will be on hand. As if that’s not nerdtastic enough, William Shatner beams into town for the event. Can you feel the shudder of excitement? Not only Stan Lee and the Shat, though. Nerds of my particular ilk are most excited that The Exorcist’s Linda Blair will possess the event. She even called up to chat about it.
CU: How often do you do these events?
LB: I have been going out to meet people since around 1990. It’s been a very, very worthwhile experience because I can really tell you the heartbeat of America, what they’re experiencing, what they’re going through. Some of them, they’re die-hard, long term fans.
CU: Do you ever get the few who really think your head can spin around?
LB: Think it? No. Have fun with it? Yes. Most people at this point absolutely know that that is just not a possibility.
CU: Are you comfortable being a pop culture icon?
LB: It’s been the most interesting journey. There’s been no other actor I can think of that’s had this strange type of role, except maybe Anthony Hopkins, where one minute he’s the most evil thing on the planet and the next minute he’s in a romantic, beautiful movie. It’s a little more difficult on the women, which saddened me of course. But that’s the way life is. It was really such a strange experience. I was such a normal kid. Really it was the aftereffect, where the press made out that I was a child with problems. Do I think somebody else could have survived it? Not so sure.
CU: When was the last time you actually watched The Exorcist?
LB: I have been able to see it a little bit more often the last couple years. I’ve gotten to sit with Billy Friedkin and Bill Blatty and learn some beautiful things. I encourage people, find the blu ray and watch the documentary and you will not believe what you see. They show you behind the scenes, they show you the makeup, the dummy is right beside me. They show you the levitation, they show you how they did it. It’s all equipment that they might have used in a magic show. It’s all magic.
CU: Friedkin has often been considered one of the more difficult directors to work with. What was your experience?
LB: Billy’s a genius. Geniuses are not easy to be around. He’s the most kind, giving, loving, wonderful, amazing man. And then you’re going to have this switch side: get it right, get it right now! Bill Friedkin was a master way before his time. I think it’s important that people realize that the filming was extraordinary. They were the masters of magic.
While Linda knows what most fans will want to discuss, she’s making the trip on behalf of her charity for animal welfare. Her site http://www.lindablairworldheart.org/ outlines opportunities for affordable spay and neuter clinics, and affordable care for your pet. You can also find opportunities to help end dog fighting and support Blair’s cause to have pet owners licensed. And look for her Haunts Against Hunger, events like zombie walks and seasonal haunted houses where donations are raised for food pantries to support people and their pets.
Blair will be on site and available all three days of the convention. For more information including prices, visit www.wizardworld.com.
Photo via the Linda Blair Facebook Fan Page.