Witch Hunt Star On Working Through The Physical Aspects Of The Film

Gideon Adlon staring straight ahead looking ominous in Witch Hunt
(Image credit: Momentum Pictures)

Releasing just in time for spooky season, Witch Hunt takes place in a modern America where magic is real and witches are persecuted by US authorities. A teenager prides herself on being a good, law-abiding citizen until she realizes she may have powers of her own that she can’t control. Playing a witch is no cakewalk, and Witch Hunt star Gideon Adlon has shared what it was like to work through the physical aspects of filming.

This isn’t your average witch movie. Teenager Claire (Gideon Adlon) and her family are part of an intricate network that helps witches escape across the border to seek asylum in Mexico. Claire is angry about this until she bonds with one of the witches who stays with her family and starts to experience magic of her own. I sat down with Gideon Adlon for an interview with CinemaBlend, and she said the physical aspects were the most challenging to film. In her own words:

It was more like physical aspects. There was one scene when my mom tells me that my dad is a witch or a warlock and my grandmother's a witch and she's been hiding these letters from me. I think emotional scenes are always very hard because you gotta get there and you gotta keep getting there. But besides that, like, it was mostly like physical aspects for me of this project. Like, I have to make the door crack or make something move, and like just physical and the heavy breathing, like the shaking, it makes you feel like you're going to pass out. So that was difficult because I would often have to do it more than once, but it's fun. It's still fun. Just gotta drink a lot of water and hope to not pass out.

Sounds like filming Witch Hunt was intense! Gideon Adlon mentions heavy breathing and shaking, which was a visual device the writers and filmmakers gave her character, Claire, to hint that she’s special. Claire isn’t the most popular girl in school, but she does have a close group of friends that she doesn’t quite fit in with. Claire has younger brothers that are twins and always together, and doesn’t see eye-to-eye with her mom on hiding witches in their home, so she’s positioned from the get-go as an outsider. When she gets emotional, her body starts to shake and she has a hard time breathing.

These physical attributes become more and more pronounced until it is confirmed that Claire herself is a witch, although she’s seen doing some magic in the trailer, so that’s far from the biggest reveal of the film. Witch Hunt is also a journey of self-discovery, unraveling family secrets, and choosing the right friendships. Witch Hunt is now available in theaters, On Demand, and digital.

Samantha LaBat

Obsessed with Hamilton and most things Disney. Gets too attached to TV show characters. Loves a good thriller, but will only tolerate so much blood.