Practical Magic: how Nicole Kidman got everyone drunk, and the cast of the movie were cursed by a real witch

Practical Magic has become a cult Halloween classic – and we’ve got some great facts about the film

Practical Magic starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock has become a cult classic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Witch, witch, you’re a witch.”

In 1998, the world was introduced to a family of witches who face scorn and scrutiny from their charming, quaint small town.

Made up of two sets of magical sisters, the aunts – Stocking Channard and Dianne Wiest – and the Owens girls – Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman – the women in the family face a curse of their own. Every man who falls in love with them will meet a tragic end.

Throw in some abusive boyfriends, a murder (and reincarnation gone bad), midnight margaritas and a bonding film about the power of sisterhood and you’ve got the makings of an enchanting cult classic.

A flop in the box office but a bona fide autumnal classic now, here’s some fun tidbits about the making of Practical Magic.

Did a witch curse Practical Magic?

There’s long been a legend that a witch cursed the cast of the film – and it turns out it’s true.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, director Griffin Dunne explains, “It’s something I will talk about now, but at the time I would sort of deny it… As the line from the movie [goes], ‘I didn’t want to give the curse any strength.’”

“I hired a witch consultant to get the details of the ceremony. We got along great; she was very, very helpful. Sandy and Nicole kept asking about her, ‘Oh, what did the witch say? What did the witch say about this?’ before we started shooting.”

Nicole Kidman starred as the sexy witch who chooses very bad men in Practical Magic

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“She was paid very handsomely by Warner Brothers for her consulting. I thought it would be fun to bring her out to Los Angeles, put her in a nice hotel and meet Sandy and Nicole, who were dying to meet her. When the producer called, she was greatly offended… She wanted to publish a Practical Magic cookbook and said, ‘You can’t buy me off with a hotel.’”

“She left a curse in some sort of tongue on my voicemail—that was quite chilling, actually—and threatened to sue.”

So scared were some, they actually had an exorcist come on set afterwards.

Sandra Bullock plays the other witch sister, who loses her husband to the sad curse

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A famous icon loved the house so much, she wanted it

Griffin Dunne also revealed that none other than Barbra Streisand was so enamoured with the rustic house from the film she contacted him to say, “I want the kitchen.”

Unfortunately for the Funny Girl legend – and everyone else who has come to love the charming home over the years – it didn't actually exist.

The builders created what's called an “architectural shell” in San Juan Island, Washington, to serve as exterior set-pieces and the interior sets were built on sound stages in Los Angeles, California.

Nicole Kidman in 1998

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nicole Kidman got everyone drunk

One of the highlights of the film is the four women drinking midnight margaritas in the kitchen.

And, well, turns out, there wasn’t much acting involved.

Sandra Bullock previously confirmed on the DVD commentary that they weren’t drinking a prop – Nicole brought actual tequila to the scene.

And in his Vanity Fair interview, the director added, “So we did the dancing. Yes, I definitely joined in on the tequila. I was quite sh*t-faced by the time we finished shooting, as was everyone.”

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.