Vinessa Shaw is glad that for many families, it still wouldn’t be Halloween without a little “Hocus Pocus.”
About to be seen as Michael Chiklis‘ mob wife on the CBS drama “Vegas” starting Tuesday, Oct. 30, the actress had one of her first big roles in the 1993 Disney comedy-fantasy about several youths trying to prevent a new reign of terror by three sibling witches. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy play the Salem sorceresses in the movie, which ABC Family shows Tuesday (Oct. 23).
“I grew up watching Disney films,” Shaw tells Zap2it. “I watched Hayley Mills movies, Julie Andrews in ‘Mary Poppins’ … so being able at 16 years old to be in a Disney movie, it was incredible, and it is incredible that it still has ‘legs’ to this day. So many people come up to me and say, ‘That’s one of my favorite movies,’ and it makes me smile. I know that if I saw Hayley Mills or Julie Andrews, I would flip out.”
Shaw trained herself not to do that in front of her “Hocus Pocus” co-stars. “These were people I admired,” she says. “I loved Bette Midler in ‘Beaches,’ and I think the first time I saw Sarah Jessica Parker was on that show ‘Square Pegs.’ They embraced me and really showed a lot of respect to the kids in the film.
“I felt so bad for them, though, because they had to work the opposite hours of when we worked. When we were done, they were just starting, which was probably 9 at night. And I don’t know how late they went, so it was a definite battle for the whole production, but they were always so great and cheery and very sisterly to me. It was cool.”
The daughter of Susan Damante — an actress known for her own classic family movie, 1975’s “The Adventures of the Wilderness Family” — Shaw would go on to work with such iconic filmmakers as Woody Allen in “Melinda and Melinda” and Stanley Kubrick in “Eyes Wide Shut.” She’s still surprised and pleased, though, by the “when” and “why” of mentions of “Hocus Pocus.”
“I remember being in Massachusetts doing a film recently, and we were renting a house. The woman who owned the house shared with me that it’s a yearly ritual for her and her daughter to watch ”Hocus Pocus’ on Halloween, and then she got teary-eyed. She said, ‘Now it’s going to come to an end, because my daughter’s going off to college. But thank you for all those years.'”