Friday , June 14 2024

Fan Expo Philadelphia: Holly Marie Combs and Rose McGowan on ‘Charmed’

Holly Marie Combs and Rose McGowan agree that they weren’t like their Charmed characters at all. The actors met fans recently at Fan Expo Philadelphia and shared memories about the fantasy drama series.

“We kind of melded together in the end, but in the beginning, [my character] Piper was very hyper. And [she] walked very fast, and talked very fast. She was a lot! She needed to mellow out,” said Combs.

To portray younger sister Paige, McGowan changed her voice and mannerisms entirely. The role required a different mindset, too. “It was interesting because in my family, I was the oldest girl. I was running the show. In [Charmed], I was the youngest. It was very strange.”

Before filming a scene, McGowan also thought positively about the show’s fanbase. It was almost as if she wanted to send a message to viewers in her performances, which she summed up as, “Whomever is watching this, I want you to know that you’re magical. You have powers. You are awesome and you’re gonna be okay.”

On Pregnancy and Series Storylines

Combs became pregnant during one of the show’s eight seasons. “I carried a lot of laundry baskets. I carried a lot of shopping bags until there was no point in hiding it.”

When she told show runner Brad Kern the news, he said, “Well, you’re late,” because Piper already had a baby the previous year. Combs answered, “No, you’re early,” and the show wrote in another baby for Piper.

Combs and McGowan both appreciate the moments in the series where Piper and Paige grew and developed as characters. One memorable aspect was when Piper started her own business and eventually paid back Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) and Paige. “That’s a big deal for anyone, especially ladies in that day and age. I sort of forgot that she borrowed some money from her sisters to do that,” Combs said.

On Ocean’s Eleven and Other Projects

Since Charmed ended, Combs and McGowan have worked on other projects. McGowan released her debut album Planet 9 in 2019, performing music from the album at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that summer.

Combs appeared in Ocean’s Eleven briefly. She remembers that day on set felt weird. It started out with Brad Pitt and the other actors. “The boys I was with were very good actors, and very good at improv. They were very chatty that day, so I kinda just sat there.”

And then suddenly, George Clooney walked in. Combs said, “I never got it before I saw him in person, but when I saw him [there], I was like, oh, he has this distinct star quality. He does. Now I get it!” 

In 2022, Combs started co-hosting the The House of Halliwell podcast, which took a break in late 2023. She confirmed that the podcast will return soon. An initial meeting went well earlier this month with everyone involved. “Going with a big company is a little nerve-wracking for me, because I want it to remain the same for the people that liked it. But at the same time, it’s a big company that knows what they’re doing in this realm.”

'Charmed' actors Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs sharing a laugh

Visit the Fan Expo Philadelphia website and our coverage for more fan culture news.

About Pat Cuadros

Pat Cuadros is Pop Culture Editor for Blogcritics Magazine. She frequently covers TV, film and theater. Her portfolio includes interviews with Ndaba Mandela and actors Juliette Binoche, Fran Drescher, Derek Jacobi and Brent Spiner. She's also spoken with notable voice actors Petrea Burchard, Garry Chalk, Peter Cullen and Brian Drummond.

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