Tag Archives: cast of hocus pocus

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Yes, We’re Still Celebrating The Damn Anniversary!: KATHY NAJIMY SHARES THE SECRETS OF HOCUS POCUS TO CELEBRATE ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

Mister D: Ya’ll know I love Bette Midler. I’m ecstatic that one of her movies is a cultural phenomenon. And I do love Hocus Pocus! But I have articles out the ass of every aspect of this movie. What more can they tell us? OMG! And there are still articles to come! LOL My only wish is that we had this much information and more on all her movies. There are things I’m dying to know about each. Maybe we’ll have to be our own reporters. But everybody’s dying off, to put things bluntly, so I wish I could figure a way out to get some first-hand accounts. Maybe if we all put our heads together we could create a list of people to contact. Think about it. Leave comments, Now enjoy this fine Hocus Pocus article. Thank you! SYFI Wire KATHY NAJIMY SHARES THE SECRETS OF HOCUS POCUS TO CELEBRATE ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY Contributed by Kristy Puchko Jul 23, 2018
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch

I tried to play it cool as my fingers drummed the index cards that contained too many questions about a cult-adored ’90s kids movie. I’d over-prepared as a means of trying to tame the butterflies in my stomach, which were doing an intense FANGRRL flutter. It’d been 25 years since Hocus Pocus hit theaters in the thick of a summer ruled by Jurassic Park and Free Willy. But I’d been in awe of comedienne Kathy Najimy for far longer. The special guest for an anniversary screening at Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse Theater, Najimy entered the theater to the delight of star-struck fans and sat down with one of them (me!) to answer questions about the witchiest comedy ever made. 1993’s Hocus Pocus was a live-action Disney movie that starred Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson Sisters, the terrors of 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts. Though they’d been hanged for sucking the lives out of the town’s children, this tricky trio vowed to return when a virgin dared to light the Black Flame candle on Halloween. 300 years later, a skeptical virgin named Max (Omri Katz) does just that, bringing Winifred, Mary, and Sarah back to life for one wild night of high-flying thrills and running amok amok amok! Singing nun by day, feminist comic by night The year before Hocus Pocus hit theaters, Najimy broke through with her scene-stealing role as the contagiously joyful nun in the Whoopi Goldberg smash-hit Sister Act. She regaled the Alamo audience with her journey from a San Fran stage to mainstream movie stardom. “I did a two-woman feminist comedy called Kathy and Mo Show for many years,” she began. “We did it in San Francisco. And I heard that they were doing a musical called Sister Act about singing nuns. So I would do Kathy and Mo in San Francisco’s Theater on the Square at night, wake up, and fly to LA and audition (the next day). And I had to audition five times for Sister Act. Then, right as we wrapped Sister Act, I got a call that was crazy.” fangrrl’s dream come true “My whole life, I had been a really sycophantic fan of Bette Midler’s,” Najimy said, continuing her tale. “I had broken in backstage on Broadway, in Los Angeles, into the theater. I had done a singing telegram to her from somebody else that was really from me. I had gotten into the gate in her New York apartment building and left a message for her housekeeper. I had done crazy things. I have a one-woman show, and the first 30 minutes of it is my relationship with Bette before she knew that she had a relationship with me.” “So then, I get the call from Jeffery Katzenberg, who ran Disney at the time, ” Najimy explained. “And he said, ‘Hey, listen, I don’t know if you’re available, but do you want to star in a movie called Hocus Pocus, playing Bette Midler’s sister?’ So they picked me up off the ground and mailed me to Los Angeles.” Najimy’s singing telegram stunt may have inspired Midler’s Beaches role. “Here’s the best part to that story,” Najjimy said, leaning in conspiratorially, “When I was in San Diego, I was a singing telegram person. And I (dressed as) a big furry bunny, because my boyfriend had designed Alice in Wonderland at some college…I had barged in backstage at some theater to get to see Bette, saying, ‘Singing telegram! Live wire singing telegrams. I have a singing telegram for Bette Midler.’ But it was really just from me.” “So anyway, I had done this singing telegram to her. (Years later), we go to see Beaches,” she said, “And in it, Bette plays an actress who makes a living as this big, white, furry singing telegram bunny. And that was me! She like inadvertently stole that from me. But that was before we really had met. That was really crazy.” When they met on Hocus Pocus, Midler didn’t recognize Najimy as the eager fan or the singing telegram bunny. “She didn’t know any of that,” Najimy said. “When I arrived, I was just an actress.” But she couldn’t contain her inner fangrrl. (Who among us?) “Slowly on the set, I’d say things like, ‘Oh my god, those boots. You wore those boots in 1979 in Chicago when you did the concert at the something.’ She was like, ‘Oh, OK, great.’ I’d go into her trailer—we’d go back and forth, Sarah and Bette and I, into each other’s trailers—and I’d be like, ‘Oh my god, that’s your little dog Pepe that you had backstage once in Canada in 1942. And slowly she started realizing that her co-star sister was her stalker.” But over the course of the six months it took to make Hocus Pocus, Midler, Najimy, and Parker grew to become friends. Mary’s crooked mouth and signature hairdo were Najimy’s ideas. Lovable and loony, Mary Sanderson’s look is a red dress complete with slanted smile and a hairstyle that looks like a witch’s hat, minus the brim. Najimy corrected the latter misconception, telling us, “The costume designer (Mary E. Vogt) was brilliant but then we were talking about wigs and we couldn’t really decide. And I said how about if her wig is the top of a pumpkin? Like the stem.” So, Mary’s style inspiration for her twisted ‘do is a Jack-o-lantern. As for that quirky smirk, that was something Najimy discovered in rehearsals. “The characters (in my previous films) came kind of easy, and I was struggling with Hocus Pocus. Then one day in rehearsal I just sort of went to the side,” she said demonstrating, “And we decided she was a like bloodhound, so this sort of sniffy thing sort of happened (as she hunts down the children).” The film’s choreographer helped the Sanderson Sisters to fly their own way. Najimy noted that director Kenny Ortega had a background as a choreographer, so the physicality of their performance was given a lot of attention. “You usually don’t rehearse much for a film,” Najimy explained. “You just rehearse that day. But we rehearsed for a month because there was flying and dancing and singing.” Hocus Pocus‘s choreographer Peggy Holmes didn’t just deal in the famous “I Put A Spell On You” dance number, she also instructed the witches on how to fly. “(Peggy went) driving with Bette and Sarah and I, and from our driving she developed how we flew. So Sarah was like very front forward so she would hold it. [She demonstrates miming a broom held closely to her chest] I was like very 10-and-2 while I was driving, so she was like. ‘That’s how you’ll fly.'” From there, stunt coordinator Terry Frazee instructed the stars on how to handle the wire rigs and teeter rig that’d allow to swoop in on Max and his pesky sister Dani (Thora Birch).

Najimy worried the film might harm the reputation of witches. ...  Read More

Posted in Hocus Pocus | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bette Midler – The Cast of Hocus Pocus on the Today Show (1993)

[fbvideo link=”https://www.facebook.com/bootlegbetty/videos/900646143359119/” width=”480″ height=”400″ onlyvideo=”1″]
Posted in Videos | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment