Hocus Pocus star Omri Katz reveals he was high while filming certain key scenes in the Halloween classic. The original Hocus Pocuswhich was supervised by High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, hit theaters on July 16, 1993. It followed three witch sisters — Winnie (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) — who are resurrected in modern-day Salem, Massachusetts after the Black Flame Candle is lit.
While those stars and their iconic makeup and costumes are the main sources of nostalgia for the film, which had a Disney+ sequel earlier this year, the main story of the film belonged to the young actors who played the residents of Salem. Specifically, the film follows Katz as Max Dennison, a young teenager whose family has just moved to town. Other key characters in the film include his little sister Dani, played by Thora Birch, and his classmate and potential love interest Allison Watts (Vinessa Shaw).
Recently, EW sat down for a roundtable with the cast of the original Hocus Pocus. During the conversation, Katz revealed that he was 16 during the production of the film and “at an age where [he] started experimenting with cannabisDirector Kenny Ortega Confronted Him With “underperforming and not hitting my keys or characterswhich was a wake-up call for the young actor to start acting more professionally on set. Read his full quote below:
That was at an age when I started experimenting with cannabis. Let’s just say, some of those scenes, I had the good old days.
I’ll tell you what I do remember: I performed poorly and didn’t hit my keys or numbers. Kenny comes up to me and practically grabs my shirt, and he said, “Are you high?” and I was like, “No,” and of course I was. We made it happen, but that was kind of a wake-up call, like, Omri, you need to be a little more professional and make sure you hit your cues!
Hocus Pocus is a modern Halloween classic
This reveal may come as a surprise to some fans of the original Hocus Pocus. But when you consider how many teens populate the sets of these kinds of Disney projects, there are probably plenty of stories of adolescent misconduct that stars just don’t want to share with the general public. However, this does not alter the fact that: Hocus Pocus is a beaten classic.
although Hocus Pocus had a lukewarm box office pull (possibly because it was released in the summer instead of the fall) and received a critical thrashing at the time, over the years it became a must-have video rental for families during the Halloween season. The generations of kids who watched the film on VHS at the time have grown up showing their own children, slowly growing the film’s reputation over the intervening decades. Now the movie’s popularity is to the point that it has a full themed section in Spirit Halloween stores and its late sequel Hocus pocus 2 was released to much more general fanfare than it originally received.
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