Celebrities & Pop Culture

Bette Midler Watched ‘Hocus Pocus’ For First Time In 20 Years — And Here’s What She Thought

Her reaction is great!

Bette Midler may have starred in everyone’s favorite Halloween movie, but that doesn’t mean she’s got it queued up to watch every year. In fact, she’d gone 20 years without watching “Hocus Pocus” until recently, when she decided it was time to see the film with fresh eyes.

Upon seeing it again, she had the exact same reaction as pretty much anyone who’s ever seen the movie:

“I loved it! I thought it was so funny,” she told Us Weekly. “I do not watch it regularly. In fact, I had not seen it in at least 20 years. I watched it the other night, the night of the anniversary or the night before the anniversary, because I said, ‘You know what? I better look at this again.’ So I watched it, and I loved it!”

Of course she did!

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The longtime actress also noted the talented performances of her bewitching sisters in the film, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

“The first time I watched it, I was only watching myself, but this time I saw everybody, and I tell you, those girls in the back of me, they were going full blast!” she told Us Weekly. “They were giving me a run for my money and everybody was great.”

Shortly after the filming of “Hocus Pocus” in 1993, Parker told ET just how impressed she was with her fellow actresses, especially Midler:

“We’re sort of like the three stooges — Bette, me and Kathy,” she said. “I think Bette is nothing short of a genius. I really do.”

It’s hard for fans not to watch the beloved story of the three witch sisters who need to suck the life out of children to remain immortal, but Parker admitted in a recent taping of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that she, too, has not watched the film often. So much so, that she can hardly remember the plot line:

“I don’t have a lot of memories [of the film],” she admitted to Colbert. “I mean, I remember the filming of it — I just don’t remember what the movie’s about as much.”

As you can see in this video segment of the interview from “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” YouTube channel, the standout in her mind is the opportunity she had to fly in the film, using a good old-fashioned wire harness:

“I loved flying,” Parker said. “It was marvelous. They’d call ‘cut’ and maybe they’d go to lunch or change the lens, and I would just stay up there … I could fit an entire New York Times up the back [of the harness], and I found that the harness was comfortable, so I would just sit up there and read The Times.”

Najimy also remembers being completely in awe of Midler at the time of filming:

“Sarah and I were standing in the witches’ living room and Bette started humming [her hit 1972 single] ‘Do You Want to Dance?’ Sarah and I just grabbed each other’s hands and held our breath,” she told People magazine.

And when she got to sing along with her in the film, it was a dream come true!

“There I was, singing backup for Bette,” she said. “I was a Harlette!”

Besides getting to co-star alongside Midler, Najimy loved the film’s iconic costumes. She even played a role in shaping what her character looked like.

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“I loved my costume,” she told People. “I said, ‘I think her hair should be the top of a pumpkin stem.’ So that’s what her hair is, a pumpkin stem.”

These women all have their favorite parts of the film — as do their fans — but one thing’s for sure. The performances are memorable for anyone who watches it, and that’s probably why it’s so beloved now, 25 years later!