The young OG cast of Hocus Pocus is all grown up now in their forties! As the sequel to the iconic Halloween movie just hit Disney+, this brings so much more attention to the '90s throwback movie's behind-the-scenes secrets. An OG Hocus Pocus actor revealed that he got high during the filming of the movie, with that moment serving as a “wake-up call” for him.
During the early ’90s when Hocus Pocus was being filmed, Max Dennison’s Omri Katz was experimenting with marijuana. During a roundtable interview with EW, Katz admitted that he got high during the filming of Hocus Pocus, and how this moment was considered a “wake-up call” for him. As he explained:
Omri Katz’s co-star Vinessa Shaw was able to confirm that his claims were not a bunch of hocus pocus. While the retired actor may not remember which scene he got high in, Shaw laughed believing she had an idea. She remembered it as the part when Winifred Sanderson first zapped Max when they were in the witch’s cottage. Looking back, Katz would agree that he did, indeed, look high in that scene. Now we won't be able to watch that part the same way again!
Unfortunately for Hocus Pocus 2, many of the OG stars from the original did not return. Director Anne Fletcher’s reasoning for not including the original three, non-witch leads was she didn’t know where to place them. She knew it wouldn’t make sense to have them be small cameos or in the background. Katz previously told EW that he would have loved to have been involved in the sequel for fans to have the chance to see him reprise his role. If it was up to me, I would have had the original leads still living in Salem, with Max and Allison’s kid being the one to vanquish the Sanderson Sisters as their parents did. After all, Thora Birch was originally going to come back as a teacher still in Salem, but at the least the direction that Hocus Pocus 2 ended up with had us focus on the new characters brought to the story.
As you can see in photos of the original cast of Hocus Pocus 29 years later, Omri Katz is not 16 years old anymore, but he still looks like he’s got a good head on his shoulders. After Hocus Pocus came out, his acting career slowed down and he eventually retired in 2002. However, it looks like cannabis still plays a role in his life, as he and his partner, Michele Watters, live in Los Angeles and he now runs The Mary Danksters, a cannabis company. But he still shows his love for Hocus Pocus whenever he can, like when he made an appearance at Freeform’s Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash. We’ll always remember him as Max Dennison, the virgin responsible for lighting the black flame candle.
Omri Katz being high during the filming of Hocus Pocus really was a good “wake-up call” to him and many actors in the industry to always keep it professional on set and stay away from substances while at work. You can watch both Hocus Pocus movies on your Disney+ subscription.
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Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.