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Every casting story has its interesting twists and turns: Sometimes it’s a seemingly never-ending string of auditions and other times it’s being called in at the last minute to fill a role someone has left. For Caroline Rhea, who portrayed zany aunt Hilda on Sabrina the Teenage Witch from 1996-2003, it was about living out a revenge fantasy.
When we reunited the cast at Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con, Rhea told EW that she initially passed on the part, but ultimately took the role because of how it aligned with a bad break-up she had just experienced. She went on to stay with the show for all seven of its seasons, four in the TGIF line-up on ABC and three more on the WB.
“I had just gotten back from this horrible trip to Hawaii with the boyfriend and the trip was so bad that we broke up before the pictures were developed. And we had a polaroid — it was before phones,” she explained. With this on her mind, Rhea immediately warmed to creator (and friend) Nell Scovell’s description of the character.
“She said, ‘She’s a witch and she’s recently imprisoned the man that didn’t love her in her ring.'” Rhea remembers. “And I was like, ‘I’ll do it!'”
For more from Rhea on Aunt Hilda, watch the video above.