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Supernatural Actress Dishes On Her Scary New Movie Role - Exclusive

Loretta Devine kicked off the spooky part of her career with her captivating portrayal of psychic Missouri Moseley just nine episodes into the long-running CW series Supernatural. While she's usually known for her sweet characters (with some sass on the side), the actress has stepped into the shoes of a villain for Mark Tonderai's new film, Spell. Devine gives a chilling performance as Eloise — a witch with more than just broomsticks hiding in her attic. Looper spoke to Devine in an exclusive interview in which she dished on what it was like playing a villain, filming in South Africa, and a possible sequel. 

When asked what it was like playing such a twisted character, Devine notes, "It was so much fun being a villain. I think everyone should be... I did a lot of studying, and it was fun to be a villain." She goes on to joke, "I usually play the sweet, sweet, sweet [character], but I'm going to be reaching for the villain from now on! That was so much fun. I just think everybody's going to be scared of me now. So, that'd be fun too." 

Goading the goat

Devine had no problem getting her villain on, but the role wasn't without its challenges. "Eloise had a lot of monologues — a lot of, lot of, lot of, lot of monologues," Devine laughs. Monologues are pretty par for the course during villainous shenanigans, but Devine's character takes it ten steps further. "That was challenging. We did the movie in Cape Town, South Africa. It was my second time going there, but it was still a little scary. You had to get accustomed... They were doing the shedding with turning the lights on and off. [There] was a lot of travel involved."

Given the nature of the filming location, a slew of safety warnings were issued to Devine and her co-stars. As she explains, "[There are] just a few creepy things like, 'Don't go to the marketplace by yourself because you may be kidnapped.' There were those kinds of things that were going on that were also scary at that time."

But along with the more daunting aspects of the location came the beauty. "We were like an [hour's] drive to the location. You may see 3,000 giraffes just running across the field. It was a lot to take in on top of the movie. So, that part of it was exciting," Devine reveals. "I enjoyed the food. I enjoyed the people. They had beautiful people there. We went on a lot of tours. We saw the flat-topped mountain [Table Mountain] and all of that, so all of that added to it to make it an exciting experience."

The particular brand of spell work used in the film isn't without sacrifice, and even the animals on-set seemed to be creeped out by the movie. "We had to go meet the animals that we were going to use in the show, whew! The goat tried to kill me while we were doing the show." Devine jokes. "The tamer couldn't catch him, and I think the goat saw what we did to the cat and was trying to get away. But it was exciting, so that kind of stuff was happening." Of course, animals weren't harmed for the film, but that didn't creep out the goat any less.

Kids, don't try this at home

When asked if she met with anyone who practices the cultural Rootwork shown in the film, Devine says, "No, I didn't meet with anyone. But the director sent me a Bible of information about what Voodoo really [is] and how it's used in the Appalachian Mountains by the community of Black people that [lives there]." She adds, "I didn't know [there] was such a place and that these kinds of things are going on now — but it explained to me what Rootwork really is, and how it's American magic, and not Voodoo, Haitian magic. So, I learned those things."

Given that the film is rooted in real cultural practices, Devine notes, "I think the movie teaches a lot of stuff because the speeches that Eloise has throughout the movie are actual truths that people can observe and learn about — if they want to learn more about it on the internet. They don't need to learn more about it because they don't need to be practicing no roots or nothing on nobody," Devine laughs. "But they could if they really wanted to. [The information] does exist."

On whether or not there's room for Devine to return in a sequel, she explains, "What people don't realize when they watch the movie is that Eloise is 187 years old in the movie. I'm glad they told me that after I did the movie," she laughs. "No, they told me before.  She's old already, but I think she could come back. I think that would be fun." Of course, a sequel can only happen if people watch the film.

Devine says it best: "I just think everybody should watch it [on] Halloween and really enjoy themselves. But too young of kids [shouldn't] see it, I think. It's gonna be on all of the media outlets, VOD, and everybody can see it. They can watch it twice if they want to. I think that would be great.


Spell releases on October 30 in select theaters, VOD, and digital purchase.