The popular TV series Charmed, about a trio of sisters who were good witches that used their powers to protect the innocent from evil, ran for eight seasons. It starred Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano.
The CW has rebooted the series, which is set in the fictional college town of Hilltowne, Michigan. It stars Madeleine Mantock as Macy, Melonie Diaz playing Mel and Sarah Jeffery portraying Maggie, three sisters who, after their mother’s death, discover they are powerful witches, ‘The Charmed Ones.’ Macy’s power is telekinesis; Mel’s is stopping time and Maggie can read minds. They combine their gifts to vanquish demon and evil in the world.
The three actresses came to the TV Critics tour to discuss their new roles and the new concept for the series, which premieres on October 14th 2018.
What is your familiarity with the original series?
Madeleine Mantock: I grew up in the UK, and I think it used to rerun on Channel 5. So I was definitely aware of it. And before we started shooting, I made sure to watch the pilot. I wanted to see the little Easter eggs that we had laid in our script to pay homage to them. So, yeah, I was definitely aware of it. I hadn’t seen the whole eight seasons, but I knew who the characters were, because it was such a pop-culture moment. I don’t think there’s anybody who doesn’t know who those girls are and what Charmed is.
Sarah: It’s such a huge entity. It was hard to miss. So even though I wasn’t religiously watching it, I did do some research and watched a couple episodes to get a feel for it.
But this is also a new rendition, and we have some new themes, and I’m excited to bring those to the forefront.
In Melonie’s storyline, are we going to explore the supernatural aspect of how Latin people are connected to it?
Madeleine: I’ve heard lots of people say it’s very rooted in what 2018 is, which I think is a really positive thing. I feel really grateful to work with people who want to talk about the issues that I talk about in my kitchen.
Speaking about the original series’ stars, Holly Marie Combs has been very vocal on social media about how she is not a fan of this revival. Can you speak to that and how seeing her comments made you feel?
Melonie Diaz: I think that there’s also a lot of positive stuff coming out too. And I think that we’ve collectively made a decision to focus on that, because this is such a great place to be and to create this show with people who I love. And so I just want to focus mainly on that.
Sarah: Yeah. I feel really lucky to be telling this story at this time. And we understand that it’s such a sacred thing to so many people, not only the cast, but the fans. So we’re very gracious and grateful.
Melonie: We’re empathetic towards that. This was a big part of one’s life.
Sarah: We do get it.
Madeleine: Of course, you can’t help but be a little disappointed, because I think the script is fantastic and there’s something for everyone.
I hope that maybe (Holly Marie) would see it and like it. But, on the other hand, I get it. It was part of her life. It is still a part of her life. And I think she’s entitled to feel however she wants.
We have new sisters that I hope people will fall in love with.
For the three of you, what do you like about the power you got? Do you wish you had another power?
Madeleine: I really like my power (telekinesis). It’s kind of difficult to film, though, because, obviously, it’s not happening in real life. So you have to trust that they’re going to make it look cool.
Melonie: I usually want her power, which is telekinesis, but I’m slowly learning to love my power because she is a control freak. So she stops time and has conversations with people. I was like, ‘Wow, what a great way to express yourself.’ So I’m starting to really love it.
Sarah: At first, I was like, ‘Mind reading, hmm. I’d rather be able to fly things around.’ But oddly enough, I feel very close to Maggie in my personal life. I think there are a lot of parallels there. She’s an empath, and I’m an empath. If I had a power, I feel like it would be mind reading. So it’s kind of perfect.
While the character of Barry Allen doesn’t freeze time exactly on the Flash, he’s moving so fast that things freeze around him. So since that’s a CW show, have you talked to them about the effect of having her move through the stopped time?
Sarah: I do feel like it’s interesting. There are the supernatural shows, and then there are the superhero shows. And I’m like, ‘Do those exist in the same universe? Who knows?’