Kathy Najimy on stalking Bette Midler, “Hocus Pocus,” “Sister Act 2,” and more

Kathy Najimy on stalking Bette Midler, “Hocus Pocus,” “Sister Act 2,” and more on “At Home With The Creative Coalition”

New York, New York (March 9, 2021) – Kathy Najimy sat down with The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk in the latest episode of “At Home With The Creative Coalition,” a podcast featuring unplugged and uncensored conversations with today’s biggest stars. In the newest episode, Najimy opens up about her crazy obsession with Bette Midler, landing the role as Midler’s sister in “Hocus Pocus,” how Jeff Bridges helped her decide to stay in film forever, her favorite part of “Sister Act 2,” and more. Highlights below.

“At Home With The Creative Coalition,” sponsored by the Pioneering Collective, is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and more.

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Highlights from “At Home With The Creative Coalition” featuring Kathy Najimy–

On her obsession with Bette Midler and how she met Bette for the first time long before they worked together on “Hocus Pocus”:
“When I got [Bette Midler’s] album, I just became obsessed. I would get magazines and tear out the pictures of her and put them all over. Her head was the top of my Christmas tree for about 10 years of my life. I would do crazy things. I went to her concert called ‘The Concert for Freedom’ or whatever… at The Hollywood Bowl. It’s the one where Richard Pryor had a little meltdown thing. It’s very famous. And it was over, and because there was that kink in the concert, Bette came out and just did like three or four songs instead of all the songs… So I think, ‘Oh no, it can’t be over.’ So I run out of the bleachers at the Bowl and onto a pile of dirt above [the] piano. And I jumped from the little mountain onto the piano, onto the stage and started running backstage because I wanted to meet Bette Midler… I’m opening all the doors, and then finally there she is. And I open it and she was upset because of what had happened. She was smoking a cigarette and I said, ‘Hi!’ And she said, ‘Hello.’ And I said, ‘I love you.’ And she said, ‘Thanks.’ And so then I started to go and she said, ‘Wait!’ And I said, ‘What?’ And she said, ‘What’s your name?’ And I said, ‘Kathy.’ And she said, ‘Thanks, Kathy.’ And I said, ‘You’re welcome, Bette.’ And then the guards grabbed me and took me off to theater jail. I went to the jail in the theater.”

On her second meeting with Bette Midler, who stole her look in “Beaches,” and getting the offer to star in “Hocus Pocus” alongside her idol:
“Another time, I dressed up like a bunny at the Greek Bowl. I pretended to have a singing telegram for her because I worked for a singing telegram company. So I pretended to have one from somebody else and I went backstage and I sang her this thing and I handed her the telegram that said, ‘Bette, I love you. Love, Kathy.’ And she said, ‘Who’s Kathy?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know who Kathy is but I love you, too. I love you, too.’ And I hugged her and I hopped out to where the chauffeurs were waiting with the limos and I passed out cold on the lawn… Years later, we went to see ‘Beaches.’ We’re all in line to see, I couldn’t, I was so beside myself with joy. It starts out and she plays an actress who makes a living as a big, white, furry singing telegram bunny. So that was me. That was my bunny. She stole my bunny… And then a couple years later, I get the call from Jeffrey Katzenberg, who says, ‘Here’s an offer,’ which is rare. ‘Here’s an offer — do you want to star in a movie called “Hocus Pocus” playing Bette Midler’s sister?’ And then I died.”

On her favorite part of filming “Sister Act 2”:
“I liked ‘Sister Act 2’ because I loved working with the kids. I would hang out with the kids. I would have them to my apartment — because I didn’t live in L.A. at the time so I had this great apartment with a pool. So they would all come over and — in my head I am probably like 25 — I like hanging out because I play games and I’m immature, so I liked hanging out with those kids a lot.”

On how Jeff Bridges helped her decide she wanted to do film for the rest of her life:
“I had a very small, one-scene debut with Jeff Bridges and Mercedes Ruehl. And I remember I played a woman in a video store. And Jeff Bridges was in it. It was my first scene, first day, first film. And he turned around and he took off his tee-shirt and he handed it to me and he said, ‘Will you hold this?’ I think he was going to change. And I thought, ‘Well, I’m never leaving film again. This is where I want to be for the rest of my freaking life.’”


More about “At Home With The Creative Coalition”
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “At Home With The Creative Coalition” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. “At Home With The Creative Coalition” is sponsored by the Pioneering Collective. Listen now at http://thecreativecoalition.org/podcast.

Upcoming guests include David Alan Basche (“The Exes,” “United 93”), Asante Blackk (“When They See Us,” “This Is Us”), Carly Chaikin (“Mr. Robot”), Griffin Dunne (“This Is Us,” “Dallas Buyers Club”), Willie Garson (“Hawaii Five-0,” “White Collar”), Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “The Avengers”), New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Isaacs (“Compromising Positions,” “Takes One to Know One”), Richard Kind (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Big Mouth,” “Gotham”), Chad Lowe (“Supergirl,” “Life in Pieces,” “Pretty Little Liars”), Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace,” “Travelers”), Rob Morrow (“Billions,” “The Fosters”), Haley Joel Osment (“Future Man,” “Entourage”), Jessica Queller (“Supergirl,” “Gossip Girl”), Alysia Reiner (“Better Things,” “Orange Is the New Black”), Yolonda Ross (“The Chi,” “How to Get Away with Murder”), Reid Scott (“Why Women Kill,” “Veep”), Matt Walsh (“Veep,” “UCB Comedy Originals”), Alfre Woodard (“Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), and Constance Zimmer (“Condor,” “UnREAL”).

Previous guests include Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Harley Quinn,” “Saturday Night Seder”), Wilson Cruz (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “My So-Called Life”), Alan Cumming (“Briarpatch,” “Instinct,” “The Good Wife”), The Creative Coalition President and actor Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”); Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is the New Black”), Jim Gaffigan (“Tesla,” “The Jim Gaffigan Show”), Judy Gold (“The Other F Word,” “Nightcap”), Jason Isaacs (“The OA,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Harry Potter”), AnnaLynne McCord (“Nip/Tuck,” “90210”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs,” “Reno 911!”), Katherine McNamara (“Shadowhunters,” “Arrow”), Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon,” “The Muppets”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “Rent”), and Julie Taymor (“The Lion King,” “Frida,” “The Glorias”).

More about The Creative Coalition
The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of public importance. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns including #RightToBearArts to promote the efficacy of the arts. The Creative Coalition harnesses the unique platforms of the arts community and entertainment industry to make positive impacts on social welfare issues. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.