The Craft star Rachel True is opening up about her experiences with the cult classic 1996, revealing that not only was her now-iconic role in the film hard-won, but that she experienced racism during the making of the film. According to True, while she didn't experience overt hostility from the film's cast, the studio and those behind the camera were a completely different story -- one that extended to the film's promotion as well.
Speaking with Yahoo!, True says that she wasn't even supposed to be in The Craft to start with, noting that she was told by her agents that she was probably "too old" for the role that was also written for a white actress, something that prompted a change in how the character Rochelle Zimmerman's story played out.
"When I was cast in it I remember seeing the new script and thinking -- Rochelle was bulimic to begin with, that was my original audition, then they turned it into racism and I remember thinking ... do they see blackness as a problem? But once I really thought about it when I got older I thought no it's really good they had it in there."
But despite the shift in the character's story, True said that she dealt with issues while filming and was even told by her own team to stay away from co-star Fairuza Balk because, as a Black woman, she'd be fired for things that Balk might get away with.
"When we were shooting the movie, I had literally been told by my team to stay away from Fairuza," True said. "[They said] she can get away with stuff, and you will get fired for it. I was literally told, 'You're Black, so don't say, 'F**k you, mommy,' like the white girls."
This is far from the first time True's spoken about the issues she faced making The Craft. Even at the time of the film's release she was vocal about how she was excluded from much of the film's publicity.
"They put up a poster of the four of us, mentioned the three girls and then skipped down the call sheet, I think, 'This is how Black actors get underpaid, this is how they get forgotten, and it’s part of why I mouthed off about the publicity back in the day that I was excluded from. At the time, I don’t think my castmates understood; they were like, 'You’re not as famous as us.' What they didn't get is that in the early to mid-1990s, [the studios] excluded the Black person, which meant they were never going to be as famous as you because they didn't get the press."
That lack of press representation is something that has changed a great deal in terms of how the sequel, The Craft: Legacy is being promoted. Lovie Simone, who plays the witch Tabby in the film, has been very visible and active in the film's promotion. Simone even got to have her character utter the iconic "we're the weirdos, mister" line uttered by Balk's Nancy in the original film.
"Well, we were shooting the scenes in the final sequence where I say that line, and I guess it was just written for me," Simone told The Hollywood Reporter. "We did have to do extra promo shots towards the end of filming, and that happened because we looked like we were positioned or lined up in that famous The Craft way. So, we just took that opportunity to let Cailee (Spaeny) say the line because it’s Lily. (Laughs.) But yeah, that’s how it happened."0comments
The sequel to The Craft, The Craft: Legacy is now available on Video On Demand.
What do you think about True's comments? Have you seen The Craft: Legacy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.