Re-post in case you missed it!
Hocus Pocus turns 25 this year, and as we reported recently, a reunion special was planned. The “kids” from the film got together Tuesday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and Entertainment Weekly has the scoop! Let’s get right to it!
Dani (Thora Birch)
Before playing disaffected teens in American Beauty and Ghost World, Thora Birch charmed audiences as young Dani — the kid sister Max (Omri Katz) has to take trick-or-treating and eventually rescue from the witchy Sanderson sisters. Director Kenny Ortega told EW it made him smile to see families attend the bash dressed with their kids in costume as Dani and Max.
The anniversary marked a rare chance for Ortega to catch up with his young cast. “Thora Birch and her fiancé, we had dinner,” he tells EW. “They were telling me I remember everything and they were telling stories with each other.”
Jay and Ernie “Ice”
Max’s haunted Halloween kicked off with some torture from the town bullies Jay (Tobias Jelenik) and Ernie “Ice” (Larry Bagby).
Larry Bagby and Tobias Jelinek both got a big career boost from Hocus Pocus — in fact, it was Jelinek’s film debut. The two are still acting regularly, frequently making guest star appearances on television series including 9-1-1, Stranger Things, and Arrow.
Max (Omri Katz)
As Max, the virgin who brings the Sanderson sisters back to life, Omri Katz gave the film its beating heart. Last year, Ortega told EW about Leonardo DiCaprio’s audition for the film, but noted, “When Omri Katz came around, I fell in love again and he was our Max.”
Katz has since relocated to Israel, but he remains an essential part of what makes the film a beloved Halloween classic. “It’s a fun movie that just takes you away and there’s just magic there,” Ortega says of the film’s enduring appeal. “We had a good time making it, and I feel that energy of what was present when we were making it is evident in the movie. You can see everyone’s having a good time. It’s there. It lives underneath the dialogue and underneath the music.”
Allison (Vinessa Shaw)
As Allison, Max’s “dream girl,” Vinessa Shaw was an indelible part of the Hocus Pocus magic. A magic so indelible many have tattooed it on their body — something Ortega says he witnessed for the first time on Tuesday. “Last night was the first time that I saw the tattoos,” he says. “I was so drunken with the love that I just went walking through the crowd. They were hugging and high fiving and they were rolling up their sleeves and their pant legs and they had Billy and Winifred and Binx, and they tattooed their bodies with the characters.”
Shaw was joined by Amanda Shepherd, who portrayed the ghost of young Emily, a child murdered by the Sanderson sisters in the days of the Salem witch trials. The now-grown-up child actors had fun boogie’ing to the range of witchy tunes during the concert segment of the evening.
Kenny Ortega welcomed fans (“They had to turn people away,” he says of the turnout) for an evening of magical performances, including appearances by Jordan Fisher and Vanessa Hudgens. “Jordan Fisher is just an extraordinarily talented young man,” Ortega tells EW. “He did [Frank] Sinatra’s ‘Witchcraft’ and brought the house down.” Indeed, it was such a hit, no one wanted to leave. “They had to push people out of the cemetery,” says Ortega.
This is just a peek at the reunion special! More stars were on hand for the filming, but I don’t want to give too much away! The special will be on Freeform later this month. A big thank you to Entertainment Weekly and Freeform for the photos and information. I can’t wait to watch the reunion…. how about you?
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