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Original Candyman Star Vanessa Estelle Williams Explains How Nia DaCosta Helped Her Prepare For The Sequel

Vanessa Estelle Williams in Candyman

Spoilers ahead for the new Candyman! Check out the new horror movie if you don’t want some plot points revealed.

The horror genre has been thriving for a number of years, with some beloved properties returning to theaters as a result. The latest example of this is Nia DaCosta’s Candyman movie, which arrives in theaters this weekend. Original star Vanessa Estelle Williams is reprising her role in this new installment, and recently explained how DaCosta helped her prepare for the sequel.

For horror fans, actress Vanessa Estelle Williams is synonymous with her iconic role as Anne-Marie McCoy in the original 1992 Candyman. The first trailer for Nia DaCosta’s movie revealed she’d be back, with the theatrical cut featuring a brief but pivotal role. I had the privilege of speaking with Williams ahead of Candyman’s release, where she explained how she was able to embody Anne-Marie after all these years. As she mentions in the video above,

What was wonderful was [to] be able to see that Nia [DaCosta] and I were both on the same page about Anne-Marie’s history. So I got there and we started talking about what her life was like. From the costume to, you know, what she’s doing now. We were in sync. And it was funny because we hadn’t talked about it at all. She was able to like move up socioeconomically ever so slightly, but beyond what she was doing before. Able to protect her child. And so it was very collaborative in terms of creating that.

Well, there you have it. While stepping back into a role decades later is certainly a unique acting experience, it seems that Vanessa Estelle Williams felt supported and connected with director Nia DaCosta. And just like that, Anne-Marie McCoy came back to life-- to the joy of those hardcore Candyman fans out there.

Vanessa Estelle Williams’ comments about Candyman show how much her most iconic role truly means to the actress. That heart was definitely brought to her performance in both films, despite not being the leading character in either project. And her inclusion in the new chapter was definitely a selling point for any naysayers.

In her comments, Vanessa Estelle Williams spoke about how she was able to collaborate with Nia DaCosta about the decades between her character’s two appearances. She specifically referenced Anne-Marie’s ability to move up in the world and protect her son Anthony. Her baby’s fate was a major plot point for the original movie, and that connection to Nia DaCosta’s sequel helps to tie the stories together.

Candyman is in theaters now, complete with the performance by Vanessa Estelle Williams. Be sure to check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.