Or, the flip-side: Max von Sydow looks like he has always been in his 80s!
The truth is, the Swedish actor was only 43 when he made The Exorcist, but was aged to look much older. Friedkin says they chose him for the role not just because he was a great performer, but because “he looked like Father Bowdern,” the real-life priest who performed the 1949 exorcism.
“His make up took four hours a day,” says Friedkin. For the opening scenes at a desert archaeology dig – which were shot in Mosul, Iraq – the heat soared above 120 degrees, which made the process all the more brutal for the actor.
“When we finished they would peel it off and the sweat would just pour out of his face,” Friedkin says.
It’s not quite as bad as the Nazi faces melting at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it probably made von Sydow’s head feel like one swollen, swimming blister all day long.