Bette Midler has joined the 21st century, having just watched Hocus Pocus for the first time since the 90’s!
“I do not watch it regularly. In fact, I had not seen it in at least 20 years,” Midler, 72, told PEOPLE at her annual Hulaween charity event on Monday. “I watched it the other night, the night before the [25th] anniversary, because I said, ‘You know what, I better look at this again.’ So I watched it, and I loved it! I loved it!”
“I thought it was so funny!” Midler added. “The first time I watched it I was only watching myself. But this time I saw everybody. And I tell ya, those girls in the back — they were going full blast! They were giving me a run for my money. The kids were great, everybody was great!”
Midler, who stars in the Halloween classic alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, portrays Winifred Sanderson, the oldest of three sister-witches who attempt to steal the ‘life force’ from children.
At Freeform’s Hocus Pocus 25th anniversary special, Parker expressed shock at how dark the storyline was for a Disney film.
“I guess what I remember most is how awful we were as characters,” Parker, 53, said. “I was surprised that the goal was to get a child and basically destroy them, but because it was done in a really heightened, ridiculous way, it was a lot of fun.”
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At the same event, Midler recalled that the project “intrigued” her because, “it was an opportunity to do things that I really loved to do, which is play physical comedy and be more than a little broad.”
Midler has been getting into the Hocus Pocus spirit, having posted 25 images from the film to her Instagram this month.
Midler’s evil Hocus Pocus persona plays in sharp contrast to her off-screen self, where she tries to do good in her community. In 1995, she founded the New York Restoration Project, a non-profit that strives to renovate gardens and parks within New York’s five boroughs.
“In our gardens and our parks, we provide programming for people to come together and meet each other, so they’re not afraid of each other,” said Midler, who was born in Hawaii and adapted that upbringing for her Hulaween event. “So they get to like each other. So they network. I think it’s a fantastic project and I’m so glad that we have the opportunity.”