The Russian Doll star also shares stories from some of her many other credits, including Pee-wee's Playhouse, American Pie, Slums of Beverly Hills, But I'm a Cheerleader, Orange Is the New Black, and more.
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Industry veteran Natasha Lyonne remembers the role that made her think, "You know, showbiz is all right" — and it's probably not what you think.

The star had a brief role in 2001 horror spoof Scary Movie 2. In it, she plays a version of Linda Blair's demon-possessed character, Regan MacNeil, from the 1973 classic The Exorcist. Lyonne's scenes, which serve as a cold open of sorts to the film, involve priests played by Andy Richter and James Woods attempting (and failing) to do an exorcism on her.

Woods' character, Father McFeely, was actually initially supposed to be played by screen legend Marlon Brando, and he'd even shot some of the scenes before he had to ultimately drop out of the project, Lyonne reveals in the latest video in EW's Role Call series (above).

"I have a VHS copy of the dailies that I got because Marlon Brando's final role — sadly for him, but luckily for me — is doing this Exorcist opening teaser. I don't know what he was thinking, really. I mean, why would he do that," she says with a laugh.

Lyonne recalls Brando wearing an earpiece and being "very chatty" on set. "He had an oxygen tank and he just kind of held my boob, because that was in the script. He was supposed to be like, 'The power of Christ compels you …' I just remember being like, 'Ah, this is the surrealism that André Breton, Salvador Dali were talking about.'"

SCARY MOVIE 2
James Woods and Natasha Lyonne in 'Scary Movie 2'
| Credit: Everett Collection

Another gag that the original script called for involved the bed her character was laying on to be a "low rider." "So, I had Brando with the earpiece and the hand on the boob, and the makeup, and 'The power of Christ compels you,' and not to curse, but, 'Your mother sucks c---s in hell,' and so on. This was all happening at once, and I remember like, 'You know, showbiz is all right.' In that moment, showbiz was A-okay."

Then, of course, Brando dropped out due to health reasons (he died a few years later in 2004), and Woods came in and replaced him, which Lyonne says was, "a little weird." "But Andy Richter and I still do bits about it. So, all told, a fine experience," she says.

The Russian Doll co-creator and star got her start in Hollywood on Pee-wee's Playhouse at the age of 6 ("Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman, sends the best gifs in the biz, long before they became so accessible with iPhones," she says), and from there went on to have memorable roles in American Pie, Slums of Beverly Hills, But I'm a Cheerleader, Orange Is the New Black, and many more.

For more of Lyonne's wild tales from those projects, including how she's trying to convince Jennifer Coolidge to do an American Pie Triple X — "It would be like part 30, almost like Fast and Furious!" she says — watch the full Role Call video above.

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Scary Movie 2
type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
runtime
  • 90 minutes
director

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