Is This Really How Fairuza Balk Landed Her Role In The Craft?

Although "The Craft" is an ensemble piece — following four, fierce female characters as they discover their powers in a truly profound way — when most people think of the iconic teen movie, there's one person who immediately comes to mind. Actor Fairuza Balk's attention-grabbing performance as the tortured, but undeniably powerful, Nancy was so impactful that it led many viewers to assume, as Bloody Disgusting notes, she was a real-life witch. Likewise, the star has yet to reach the heights of that performance again.

"The Craft" inspired a whole generation of teenage sorceresses to tap into their spiritual sides, as Time confirms, and nobody exemplified that desire more than Balk. In fact, the actor was considered such an integral part of the film that, when reboot/sequel "The Craft: Legacy" rolled around, Balk popped up in a cameo as the birth mother of the lead character. Clearly, nobody could imagine continuing the story without Nancy, or rather Balk, involved. Unsurprisingly, the reason she was originally cast makes total sense.

Fairuza Balk cleared up those witchy rumors

As E! News notes, casting for "The Craft" was incredibly difficult, since striking the right balance was imperative to selling the more fantastical elements of the story. In fact, Robin Tunney had be talked into taking the starring role by producers. In a 2016 oral history of the movie, per HuffPost, the film's director, Andrew Fleming, recalled how it "took nine months" and testing around "85 girls" to find the right actors for "The Craft." Nowadays, of course, it's difficult to imagine anybody else playing the central four than Tunney, Neve Campbell, Rachel True, and Fairuza Balk. And, as it turns out, Balk in particular was a shoo-in for the complex role of antagonist/frenemy Nancy for one pretty amazing reason. 

As Fleming told E! News, "She was a practicing Pagan," at the time. He explained, "I just had coffee with her and thought, 'Who else in the world could possibly play that part?'" But although Fleming thought she was a witch, it's worth noting Balk has made it clear several times that, contrary to popular opinion, she was not a practicing witch back then. In fact, in a 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor clarified that she actually became interested in the occult through working on the film, rather than the other way around. However, Balk did something big to pay it forward once filming wrapped, which seemingly solidified her position as a witch. The reality, of course, is far less mystical.