Kiernan Shipka tapped into her witchy side for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and we’re ready to join her coven
If you came of age in the ‘90s, chances are you watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch religiously. Sabrina Spellman, played by Melissa Joan Hart, was our icon. She had a cute boyfriend, a sassy talking cat, and the ability to change her outfit with the point of a finger. What’s not to love? So when Netflix announced they were creating an all-new series about Sabrina Spellman, we were over the moon. And the moment we saw the trailer for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, we knew it was going to be a LOT different than the ‘90s show—in the best way possible.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is exactly that: chilling. It’s a much darker tale than the TGIF show we grew up watching. And Kiernan Shipka is the perfect actress to play Sabrina. We spoke with her about how she prepared for the role, how she got to know her character, and how she tapped into her witchy side for the series. For starters, she’s never watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
“It came out in ’96, I was born in ’99, and it ended in ’03. So I feel like I missed it. But I knew of it. I knew of its iconic-ness,” Shipka told HelloGiggles. She’s quick to reiterate that Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is not a remake of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. “It’s not a remake. They’re completely different shows. The source material is even different. This is based off a different comic than the other one. They have the same names of the characters and the same general foundation, but that’s about it.”
Even though Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is about a teenager who is half-witch, half-mortal, Shipka didn’t do too much research about witches for the role.
And her reason makes a lot of sense: Sabrina isn’t an expert, so she shouldn’t be, either. So what did she do instead?
“For me personally, it was really about just getting comfortable with Sabrina as a character and feeling like I was her from the start. I got about three months to prepare before we started filming, which is an eternity in acting time. I worked probably upwards of three times a week with my coach developing her character and working on the scripts. I did a lot of vocal work and I did a fair amount of research on witches, but not a crazy amount, because that wasn’t something that was applicable to Sabrina. I do research on that on my own just because I find it interesting, but as far as Sabrina, she’s pretty new to the witch side of herself. She’s quite green. I took a lot of time to get to know her and mess around with the character and figure things out. It was really fun.
Still, Shipka did get in touch with her witchy side for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
The show’s made everyone a little more inspired to go the witchy route. I bought some crystals, I cleansed them, I used them, I saw a medium. I love all that stuff.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premieres on Netflix on October 26th.