We hate to further pile on to the nonstop parade of sorrow and disappointment that has been 2017 so far, but a common bit of ‘90s goth-girl folk wisdom was disproven today. Namely: We regret to inform you that Fairuza Balk was not a practicing pagan when she took on the role of head-witch-in-charge Nancy Downs in The Craft.
In a new interview with EW, Balk says that yes, she did buy an occult shop during the filming of the movie, and she understands why that might lead an outside observer to believe that she had more than a passing interest in the subject. But that doesn’t mean that she was a devoted pagan at the time, or at all. Balk says that she only became interested in witchcraft when she began researching the role of Nancy, turning to the “encyclopedic knowledge” of a clerk at an occult store in Hollywood—then on the verge of closing and being converted into a Chinese restaurant— for help.
“He was a sort of a teacher to me during [The Craft],” Balk says. “I thought, what a shame this is going to be turned into a Chinese restaurant. So I bought it and put some work into it and helped it survive.” Balk sold the store in 2001 to current owners Vicky Adams and Jymie Darling; “it was a very long time ago,” she says. Regardless of whether she actually invoked the elements there, thanks to Balk’s efforts, the store—now called Panpipe’s Magickal Marketplace—remains open to this day.