The dark reimagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch is coming soon, but with a spellbinding twist: This series is much darker and much creepier than its predecessor. Though even with the change of tone, you'll still get more Salem, more stern Aunt Zelda, and more zany Aunt Hilda. In Netflix's 2018 version, the aunts you know and love may be slightly more sinister than their '90s selves. So who plays Aunt Hilda on Sabrina?
If you remember the '90s version of Aunt Hilda, you probably think of comedian, Caroline Rhea, in this iconic role. Brace yourselves because the new auntie may not be exactly how you remember her. Now, Aunt Hilda's played by English actress, Lucy Davis, who you may recognize from Shaun of the Dead or Wonder Woman opposite Gal Gadot. Hardcore Michael Scott fans will see Davis and instantly think of the BBC version of The Office where she played receptionist Dawn Tinsley at Wernham Hogg — the equivalent to America's Pam Beesley (aka TV royalty). Screenrant said Davis's Hilda is more closely related to the Archie comics Hilda (from which the shows are based) and not so much Sabrina the Teenage Witch. So what does that mean if you aren't familiar with the comic from the '60s?
In the new 10-episode series, Sabrina Spellman's on the path as a sorceress while balancing a somewhat "normal" life as a typical 16-year-old sophomore in high school. The brave young witch is the protector, fighting off forces of evil. Her aunts help her navigate her powers while showing her the ways of sorcery. While Zelda is intent on serving the Dark Lord as a member of the Church of Night, Hilda is at the other end of that.
Davis recently spoke with KTLA about taking on the role. She said her Hilda won't be quite as dark as the general tone of the new show itself, which has some horror elements (even comparing itself to the likes of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist). This Hilda will still be as protective of her niece as ever, as well as being the funnier and more complex sister (while Zelda leans toward domineering and strict). Still, Hilda will bring the creep-factor. I mean, she is a witch. "You’ll see different sides of both of them," Davis told Entertainment Weekly. "Hilda can’t be forever cheerful. Then we’ll just see her one day on the news, you know what I mean? She just snapped."
In terms of how different the witchy sisters are from each other, Davis added, "I find it such a fascinating dynamic between the two sisters, this co-dependent relationship that they have. I hadn’t met or worked with Miranda Otto before and it was super easy straight away. Miranda and I were delighted with the differences between Zelda and Hilda, so we play off of them and find areas where that can be shown more because we find it quite funny. Hilda’s definitely the more nurturing one."
Sure, Hilda may be the more motherly of the two, but Netflix promises she'll still have a wicked streak. She might concoct a spite jar if you wrong her, Zelda, or Sabrina. Or maybe she will whip up a love potion and infect everyone at Baxter High. The unpredictability and parallel humor speak volumes as to Hilda's many layers.
I can't speak for Sabrina but I'm sure it's not easy being half-witch. She needs her aunts, no matter how different they are from each other, to find herself. And don't forget the human-turned cat, Salem. Because, cats.