Bette Midler wasn’t concerned with the negative reviews Hocus Pocus initially received.
“I never read the critics,” Midler, 72, told PEOPLE and other reporters on Monday at her annual Hulaween charity event, benefitting the New York Restoration project.
In the 25 years since its release, Hocus Pocus has become a cult classic, and no one is happier than Midler.
“It was like an ugly duckling,” Midler said. “A little creature that nobody thought could do anything and now it’s a swan. It’s found its wings and it’s just flown away. I think it’s fantastic.”
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Midler, who stars in the film alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, has been getting in the Hocus Pocus spirit, posting 25 images from the film to her Instagram, and recently attending Freeform’s Hocus Pocus 25th anniversary special.
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A post shared by Bette Midler (@bettemidler) on Oct 16, 2018 at 4:37pm PDT
During the special, Midler explained that the project ‘intrigued’ her because it allowed her to “play physical comedy and be more than a little broad.”
She also revealed that due to the film’s practical effects, she actually got to fly while making the film, which she likened to choreography and described as “one of the greatest joys I’ve ever experienced as an actor.”
Midler explained, “It’s joyful, it’s also a dance, and there’s a lot of trying to be graceful while not being sure you weren’t going to be turned upside down.”
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In the past, Midler has been skeptical of attempts to remake Hocus Pocus. When it was reported that a TV reboot was being developed by Disney, Midler told PEOPLE it was “going to be cheap.”
“I’m not sure what they’re going to do with my character,” she said. “My character is very, very broad and I don’t know who they’re going to find to play that.”
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