When 13-year-old Natasha Calis was 9, she was at a slumber party where they were about to show "The Exorcist." She made a quick call to her parents to make sure it was OK to watch the 1973 film starring Linda Blair as a young girl possessed by demons.
"I was scarred for life," the young actress says of seeing the movie after her parents gave the OK to watch.
Now she gets to do some scaring of her own. In the new creepy feature "The Possession," Natasha plays a young girl possessed by a demon that lives in a mysterious box. She doesn't get to spit pea soup like Blair, but Natasha had to put up with some very creepy moments in making the movie.
In one scene, her character, Em, sits in a room filled with wicked-looking moths. The flying extras were actually in the room with Natasha and a cameraman -- not added later by computer special effects.
"They just kept putting buckets of moths on me. And it was dark, so I really couldn't see what was crawling on me. It was really one of the most physically and mentally challenging scenes in the movie," Natasha says. "At the moment it was not fun, but I can now look back at it and know I took a lot away from that experience."
She's barely a teenager, but Natasha has already had more acting opportunities than most adults. She landed her first acting role at age 7 and has appeared in numerous film and TV projects. She had a role on the NBC series "The Firm" while making "The Possession."
The leap into acting at such a young age was Natasha's idea. She says that she's always had "a huge imagination" and after seeing a movie or play would come home and re-create the character. Now she gets paid to use her imagination.
Natasha came away from filming "The Possession" with a bond formed with co-stars Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
She also came away with some extra courage. Natasha watched "The Exorcist" after finishing work on "The Possession." This time she loved the movie.
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, email@example.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.