30th September 2022
Interview & Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent
Photography: Bruce Smith
Cover Design: Emily Curtis
Back in 1993 Hocus Pocus hit our screens and became one of the most popular Halloween films in history. For years there have always been rumours of a sequel and finally twenty-nine years later today it has arrived on Disney+. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy and Doug Jones are back to reprise their iconic characters.
We got to chat to the original Billy Butcherson played by Doug Jones about the sequel, behind the scenes gossip and working with the iconic Sanderson sisters.
Hello Doug! Thanks for talking to ReVamp Magazine and being our latest cover star! How have you been?
Even being a little overwhelmed by a very full life, all is happy and well. And thank you for finding me a worthy subject today!
Congratulations on the premiere of Hocus Pocus 2! How weird is it for you that there is a sequel twenty-nine years later after the first?
It feels surreal, indeed, much like a dream come true. The rumors of a sequel started about ten years ago, so now that it's a reality and being released for this Halloween, I keep pinching myself that it's all real. Very exciting.
When Disney reached out to you and asked if you wanted to reprise your role as Billy Butcherson. How did you react?
I may have said to producer Ralph Winter over the phone something like, "It's about time." And I followed that comment with a resounding "Yes," even before seeing a script. I have been asked in many interviews over many years which of my characters would I like to re-visit again, and Billy from Hocus Pocus is the one I wanted to know again, and know better.
What was it like being back on set with Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy?
All three ladies were in such good form, and it was a treat for all of us to be back in our iconic costumes and wigs. I remember being so starstruck with them during the first film shoot thirty years ago, and this time I was still starstruck, but felt like more of a peer at the same time, as so much life has happened since we were all together so long ago.
Can you describe in three words what people would get from the sequel?
Spooky. Laughs. Music.
Would we be seeing more of a backstory of Billy? We knew he was poisoned by Winifred Sanderson for cheating on her with her sister, Sarah but would we find out anything else?
Yes, I'm happy to report that the truth of what actually went on between Billy and Winifred does come out, and Billy is on a mission to make sure his story is told correctly from this point forward!
Out of the roles that you've played is there any role or character that really resonated with you the most and why?
They all stick with me for one reason or another, as I have to invest so much of myself as they all bring out different parts of me, even the bad guys. For instance, the Amphibian Man from The Shape Of Water touched the romantic in me, while Billy from Hocus Pocus draws out the funny in me while also making me nostalgic for my favorite movie character when I was a child -- Scarecrow from The Wizard Of Oz.
What's a genre that you have been dying to be part of?
I've made it no secret that I'm a Hallmark Christmas movie junkie. So if I could play a dad of a grown child, giving them sage advice while wearing a sweater with reindeer on it and swirling a mug of hot cocoa, my life would be totally complete.
Have you got any plans for the rest of 2022?
The rest of this year still has me finishing filming for season five of Star Trek Discovery in my role of Captain Saru, along with another episode for season five of What We Do In The Shadows as the goofy Baron Afanas.
You can catch Doug Jones as Billy in Hocus Pocus 2 streaming on Disney+.