'Good Witch': Kathy Najimy on How Old Friends Cassie & Willow Help Each Other
Sometimes you just need help from an old friend.
And that's what Willow (guest star Kathy Najimy) is going to get when Cassie (Catherine Bell) returns to her alma mater with her daughter Grace (Bailee Madison) in Sunday's episode of Good Witch. Just like Cassie always does, she shows up at just the right time to help her old friend make a decision about her future.
These women are fierce, ambitious, and they aren’t willing to settle.
TV Insider spoke with Kathy Najimy about Willow, her character's friendship with Cassie, and guest starring on the Hallmark Channel series.
Who is Willow and what does she bring to Good Witch?
Kathy Najimy: Willow is a university professor of holistic medicine. She is trying to find alternatives to medicine. She's working with the students about finding ways to heal that are healthier. She is a real dyed-in-the-wool used-to-be hippie turned professor.
The program at the college that she really, really loves and is devoted to, especially her students, is going to be altered. She's not getting the support she needs. She's thinking of going to another institution, and that's when her best friend shows up. She's at a crossroads of where she belongs and and is what she's doing relevant?
Can you talk about what Willow & Cassie's friendship was like in the past and what it's like now?
She was really inspired. Cassie used to be a part of the program but then of course moved on, and she's there in her magical way that no one can ever really put their finger on, so I can't really say too much. She has a knack for showing up where she's most needed, heart and soul, and she's also bringing her kid there to see if her daughter's interested in there.
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She encounters [my character], who used to be her best friend, and we talk about all the crazy things we used to do and how committed to the cause we were, to health and looking for medical alternatives. When she's there, whether she intuitively knows or by her special sort of humanitarian powers knows that my character needs some support and guidance, together, we tackle what the problem is.
Are they weekly phone call or keep in touch when they can friends?
I think they keep in touch when they can because Willow really gets Cassie up to date when she arrives. She doesn't know the turmoil and the lack of support she's getting from the college and that she is considering moving to another place.
We know that Cassie has a way of helping people around her, but how do you think Willow can help Cassie?
I think Willow has stayed true to what their beliefs were when they were classmates and has blossomed it in this department, this program, at the college, and so I think Willow is a reminder of where Cassie came from. The magic of Cassie started with Willow and Cassie together in their dream for a healthier way to treat illness.
But the new job hasn't kept him out of the action.
Do you think we might see Willow again visiting Cassie this time?
I hope so. Willow had so much fun. I had so much fun on that set. You never quite know what you're walking into, what the tone is, what the expectations are, and if you can really play a little and add. I was really quite happily surprised at how supportive they were and how willing they were to okay changes, if I brought in a different kind of point of view or some suggestions for some lines or just some more fabric of the relationship between Cassie and Willow. They were so open.
I really had the best week, and I'm a complainer. The director was crazy wild, really an interesting guy, and a great director. The cast was just fantastic, I really bonded with them. It was a lot of down time. Usually people just go off to their separate trailers, and we ended up spending almost all the free time together, which was really great.
And I liked the character a lot, and I loved the story. I love anything where they're women-run, and by that I mean, the lead characters are not just ancillary to the lead male characters. She and her daughter drive the show, and that's really satisfying to me. I hope to come back.
You mentioned making suggestions. Are there any specifics you can talk about?
No, just when you're on set and you say, "Hey, what if this happens?" or "What if we add this line?" or "What if we grab each other's arm here?" It was just a very creatively open atmosphere. You don't get a yes for everything, but you certainly feel comfortable suggesting.
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And you also talked about how much you liked the character. What was there specifically about her? Was there something you discovered while you were filming that you really liked?
When I read the script, I related to it because I grew up in the '70s and '80s, so alternative medicine was really interesting to me. We tried to get away from anything that was too medical, if there was some other option, and so I really liked that she dabbles in that. I love the clothes that she wears. They're the clothes that I wear. I call it hippie but it's more like child of the universe, spinning around in the '70s, going to peace marches, and going for organic, whole medicines and foods, so that's a big part of who I am so I really related to that.
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Good Witch, Sundays, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel