EXCLUSIVE! Lilia Buckingham spills on Hocus Pocus 2 and all things spooky szn

The Hocus Pocus 2 star is ready to cast her spell on us all.

Lilia Buckingham most definitely believes in magic. And why wouldn't she? The actress and writer, 19, basically spoke her most major goal into existence when, after three months of auditioning, she landed the role of Cassie in Hocus Pocus 2.

"It's one of those things that I can't even accept is real," she shares with serious excitement. "It's such an iconic movie—like, there's no way I'm not in a dream." (In case you've been living under a pumpkin, the OG '90s cult classic Hocus Pocus is about a trio of scary, yet hilarious witches who come back to life after 300 years.)

Now, with the much-anticipated sequel on the horizon (catch it on Disney+ Sept. 30), Lilia's feeling that beyond-happy energy all over, ofc, the nerves of stepping into a beloved franchise that she herself loved to watch every year.

"I just had to be like, 'OK, you're all actors, you're here for a reason,'" Lilia explains of how she fought the urge to instantly fangirl over the iconic Sanderson sisters (played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker). "But, of course, when we finished filming, I'd call my best friend and be like, 'Ahh, I can't believe this is happening.'"

For someone who hearts Halloween ("The second September hits, I bring out my cozy blankets/orange string lights/fall scented candles/stack of books to binge," she confesses), Lilia felt more than ready to face her fears on set.

"We were filming late at night at a place that was totally haunted—I swear I'd hear whispering!" she recalls. "Tbh, it could've been the crew in the background...but I still believe it was a ghost out there."

Even more daunting than being surrounded by a spooky spirit? Keeping up her confidence while working on her first "big, big" project.

"One of our first days of filming, I kept missing my mark and I was freaking out," she spills. That's when her Hocus Pocus 2 co-stars Belissa Escobedo and Whitney Peak came to the rescue, rebuilding her focus with words of support. Not only did Lilia feel the love, but the trio instantly formed an instant bestie bond: "It was my first time living in a new place by myself, so they really felt like family."

And despite all its supernatural scares, that's what Hocus Pocus 2 is really about. "It really sticks to the original with the camp and craziness and the spooky vibe," Lilia reveals, "but it also really focuses on female friendship."

Because besties who will stand by your side when you're terrified? Pretty magical if you ask us.

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Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our October/November 2022 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Photo credit: Ethan Sigmon. GIF via Giphy.


by Katherine Hammer | 9/30/2022