Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy Gush Over Reviving ‘Hocus Pocus’ 30 Years Later (Exclusive)

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Fans have been waiting decades for a second Hocus Pocus film -- but so have the film's stars, Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy. ET's Rachel Smith caught up with Midler and Najimy at the New York City premiere where the two spoke about reviving their roles 30 years later. 

While the film was a joy to make, Midler -- who plays Winifred Sanderson -- said dealing with COVID was the hardest part. "It was really rough," she said. "Really, really rough for everybody because we were shut down a couple of times and we had to get tested every other day. So that part was a little bit confusing and rough on everybody."

"But you know, everybody was so strong, and everyone was so anxious to make this work and I think it does," Midler added. "I'm very proud of it."

As for what it was like slipping back into character three decades after the first film, Najimy -- who plays Mary Sanderson -- says it was a piece of cake. "I wanna say that there were challenges but the thing is the challenge was more like environmental," she explained. "Like, our set was like dirt and rocks, but finding Mary again I didn’t even think about it. She’s just in there."

Of course, the film wouldn't be complete without the third Sanderson sister, Sarah, played by none other than Sarah Jessica Parker, who sung Midler and Najimy's praises at the premiere on Tuesday, telling ET, "The easiest part was being on the set with Bette and Kathy every day singing and flying, trying to recall and remember what we did and why. I think the hardest part was just masks in film making, you know, COVID restrictions and guidelines that you really want to honor."

"It just separates you from people," she added. "I think one of the best parts of making a movie is the human exchange that happens on a set, you're with your crew all the time. They're a family away from your other family, and so, the hardest part is just feeling separate from people that you typically -- you're all over each other all day long, but if that was what was required for us to get together and make the movie, we were willing to do it."

However, COVID couldn't stop the trio from having a blast together. "The easy part is just being back among this group, and getting to tell another chapter in the story, and working with Anne [Fletcher] and the great musical department, and getting to sing again and flying -- flying, flying, flying, flying," Parker gushed before sharing how the film differs from the original. "This movie -- the flying, the technology has changed, the engineering and the way they fly people now. I'm on a Swiffer, and Kathy's on a Roomba, and Bette got the broom -- naturally."

Hocus Pocus hits Disney+ on Sept. 30.


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