Robin Tunney Wanted to Turn Down Her Lead Role in ‘The Craft’ Because It Was ‘Boring’

Nineties cult classic The Craft is getting a sequel. The first trailer for The Craft: Legacy was released Sept. 29, and it introduces a new coven of teenage witches experimenting with their powers. While the characters and story are new, there are several call-outs to the 1996 film, including a repeat of the classic line, “We are are the weirdos, mister,” and a brief appearance from original witch-gone-bad Nancy (Fairuza Balk) in a vintage Polaroid.

In the new film, Cailee Speny plays Hannah, the new girl in town who becomes friends with a trio of friends interested in the occult. The role is similar to the one played by Robin Tunney in the original movie. These days, it’s hard to imagine The Craft without Tunney as Sarah, the witch who has to take down her friends when they become too powerful. But as Tunney revealed to Entertainment Weekly in 2017, she was initially reluctant to take the part. 

Robin Tunney didn’t think she’d get cast in ‘The Craft’ 

Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Rachel True and Neve Campbell in a scene from the film 'The Craft',
Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Rachel True, and Neve Campbell in a scene from The Craft | Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

When Tunney auditioned for The Craft, she didn’t think she stood a chance of getting cast. The actor had just completed work on Empire Records, which features a famous scene where Tunney shaves her head on camera. She was still nearly bald when she tested for the supernatural teen movie.

“I think my hair had grown out, like, an inch and my agents were like, ‘They’re never going to hire you looking this way,’” she recalled. 

Tunney almost turned down the part of Sarah 

Tunney was up for the role of Bonnie, but producers settled on Neve Campbell. Instead, Tunney was offered the lead role of Sarah. But she was hesitant to say yes, she told EW. 

“When they asked me to play the lead instead of Bonnie, I was like, ‘That is the most boring part. That’s the girl you want to stuff in a locker and tell her to shut the f*ck up because she’s no fun.’” 

But Tunney’s agents weren’t about to let her turn down such a big part.

“My agents called me and said, ‘You can’t say no. It’s a lead in a studio movie,’” Tunney said. “I was afraid. I’d never been the lead in anything. I didn’t feel like I was good enough.”

She says this popular TV show ripped off ‘The Craft’ 

Charmed cast
Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Shannen Doherty on Charmed | Paramount Pictures/Deliverd by: Online Usa, Inc.

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The Craft went on to earn $55 million at the worldwide box office. Co-writer Andrew Fleming even wrote a pilot for a show based on the movie for Fox. The network turned it down. The WB was interested, but Fox wouldn’t let them have the show. Soon after, the WB unveiled another show about witches: Charmed. 

“Charmed is a rip-off of The Craft,” Tunney alleged. “It was completely obvious to the point that people would think I was on Charmed for years after.”

Tunney’s co-star Rachel True, who played Rochelle, has also noted the similarities between Charmed and The Craft, with one notable difference. 

“They used the same font, they used the same song, and Aaron Spelling — bless his heart — but he’s not the most ‘let’s put black people in my stuff,’ so he made them sisters, so they didn’t have to put a black girl on, that’s my theory,” True told Too Fab in 2017. “[Charmed] really sprang up out of The Craft.”