Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has many characters who are familiar to fans of the horror series from Archie Comics, as well as Melissa Joan Hart’s ‘90s TV show. There’s Sabrina (of course), the aunts, Harvey Kinkle, Ambrose and beloved black cat Salem.
However, there’s a new addition to Sabrina’s circle, and they’re weird as hell.
During a visit to the Vancouver set of Sabrina, I got a chance to get to know the three actresses playing the Weird Sisters, a trio of young witches created just for the TV show: Agatha (Adeline Rudolph), Dorcas (Abigail Cowen) and group leader Prudence (Tati Gabrielle).
Advertised as a sort of Mean Girls-meets-The Craft group of bad witch teens, the Weird Sisters actually end up feeling a bit more like The Gifted’s Stepford Cuckoos. Much of what they say and do is in unison, reflecting their strange, otherworldly bond.
According to Cowen, the three of them practised speaking and moving together, adding a few personal touches to make their actions look a bit more “witchy”. She told us, “We came up with the idea [of] instead of just walking through the hallways, we would hold pinkies. Just so it’s a little off, it’s a little weird.”
A lot of their group dynamic came down to their bond, something the actresses say was established right away. They described to me what happened during the audition:
“Tati, who plays Prudence, was already cast, so we had to basically kind of mingle with other girls to see who had chemistry,” Cowen said.
“They were like, ‘OK we’re gonna test the other sisters against you.’ They kept switching us out,” Gabrielle noted. “The three of us were the last three that they had put together. And I remember thinking while I was in it — because they never asked me after the test who I felt like I bonded the most with — I remember thinking, ‘These two, these two I like a lot.’”
“Adeline and I, we found out the same day that we got the role, which is also the same day that they flew us out for the next nine months. They were like, ‘Pack your bags, you have three hours, you’re leaving,’” Cowen said. “In the airport we saw each other — and we hadn’t connected yet — so that was the first time. We sprinted to each other and hugged.”
“I didn’t find out until they actually got here who they had chosen. So I was like, ‘Oh my god, yes! Yeah! You two were my choices — they didn’t ask me but you two were my choices!’” Gabrielle added.
Even though the Weird Sisters are designed to be this creepy collective, going so far as to wear nearly identical Wednesday Addams dresses, they do have traits that set them apart from each other. After all, they’ve had time to establish their personalities, since they aren’t technically teenagers. According to Gabrielle, witches who’ve signed their souls over to Satan age much slower than mortals, so they’ve had time to mature more than the average 16 year old.
Prudence is the de facto leader of the group, on a mission to destroy Sabrina while dealing with her own internal conflicts. Dorcas is a bit more “dreamy”, lost in her own world. And Agatha is the truly devilish one.
“Agatha, in my opinion, is probably the most purely evil of the three,” said Rudolph. “She genuinely just enjoys torturing Sabrina and mortal boys, and a lot of her actions don’t necessarily have a certain — she just likes to torture, there’s not necessarily a reason for it.”
Agatha might be an experienced pro — at least in dishing out evil — but Sabrina was the first television series Rudolph ever filmed. She joked about how she had to quickly learn what terms such as “blocking” meant, but also noted how she was thrown into the deep end when making the series. For example, on her first day, she (along with Sabrina and the other sisters) had to strip down to her underwear and make out with another actor.
“I literally thought my parents were gonna disown me,” Rudolph said. “I didn’t have the heart to tell them. They kind of know now, but they’ll see.”
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina arrives on October 26.