Minor spoilers ahead for Hocus Pocus 2.
Spooky season is officially upon us, with the festivities ushered in by the long-awaited release of Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney+. The streaming sequel brought back the trio of legends as the Sanderson Sisters, was full of awesome easter eggs, and also featured a bunch of fresh talent. That includes three alums from RuPaul’s Drag Race, who dress up as the witches during one scene: Season 14’s Kornbread Jeté, Season 13’s Kahmora Hall, and three-time competitor Ginger Minj. And Ginger recently shared a sweet Bette Midler story from the set of Hocus Pocus 2.
Ginger Minj is a fan favorite from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and she’s having a busy month this October. On top of appearing in Hocus Pocus 2, she’s also one of the hosts of Huluween Dragstravaganza (opens in new tab), which is special coming to Hulu at the first of the month. As you can see in the video above, I had the privilege of speaking with Ginger and fellow Drag Race icon Manila Luzon about the streaming event, which is when I asked about her experience working with the legendary Bette Midler on the critically acclaimed sequel. She revealed a sweet story about Midler advocating for her on set, telling me:
My close up was the very last shot of the whole week that we filmed, my big close-up with Bette right in front of me. I will never forget it was 4 o’clock in the morning, it was freezing outside. And they go ‘Ok, we’re going to line up for the shot.’ And Bette Midler just goes ‘Stop! Bring us the monitor’ So they bring the monitor and she says ‘No. That light needs to be moved, the camera needs to be moved. This is not good for her.’ It looked fine to me girl, I don’t know any different.
What a class act. While Bette Midler was busy leading the cast of Hocus Pocus 2 decades after the original movie, she still took the time to make sure her drag counterpart Ginger Minj looked her best in the highly anticipated sequel. After all, drag makeup requires the right lighting and cinematography to properly read on camera. Luckily the Emmy, Grammy, and Tony winner has known a drag queen or two during her years treading the boards.
Film sets are notoriously grueling, and it sounds like Hocus Pocus 2 was no exception in that regard. Night shoots are known to be exhausting, especially while one is also dealing with cold temperatures. But that didn’t stop Bette Midler from bringing it as Winnifred Sanderson (including in the emotional finale), or making sure that her co-stars get the appropriate lighting.
Later in our conversation, Ginger Minj further went on to explain this once-in-a-lifetime interaction with Bette Midler. The two got to share an intimate moment while cameras were resetting, and the Drag Race legend was taught an important lesson in the process. As she put it,
So she said ‘We’ll be in the trailer.’ And she grabbed my hand and she led me off to the trailer with her. And an hour later they bring us back out, and she brings over the monitor and you can see it looks a lot better than it did. The angle, and the lighting and everything. And she told me, she was like ‘I’ll look out for you this time, but you have to learn how to look out for yourself in these things.’ And I learned so much in that moment from Bette Midler about performing for television and film.
Talk about a pinch me moment. Not only did Ginger Minj get to share the screen with Bette Midler, but she was clearly able to learn a great deal from the experience. And to top it all off, the First Wives Club star personally Ginger under her wing during their time together. It sounds like she’s going to take that lesson to future film sets.
As previously mentioned, Ginger Minj is also hosting the Huluween Dragstravaganza alongside RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Monét X Change. The special features musical numbers and sketches, with the cast including more drag legends like Lady Bunny, Manila Luzon, Jackie Beat, and Mo Heart.
Hocus Pocus 2 is streaming on Disney+ now, and Huluween Dragstravaganza will follow suit October 1st on Hulu. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release list to plan your next movie experience.