One of the big draws for fans at Wizard World Chicago this year was a Charmed reunion with Holly Marie Combs (Piper Halliwell) and Brian Krause (Leo Wyatt) appearing as guests. Friday afternoon, they had a panel in which they reminisced about the show, shared some of the favorites parts, and poked fun at each other plenty.
Before the panel started and the stars come on stage, we were encouraged not to mention the CW show Charmed that will be premiering this fall. While Brian Krause has voiced his support of the show, and is all about trying to get on the show, Holly Marie Combs has made her very strong feelings against the reboot clear.
Charmed creator Constance Burge was on the set a lot in the beginning of the show, as the characters were based on people she knew. Combs said that the Halliwell sisters were based off Burge’s sisters. While Combs does believe in Wicca to some extent, she doesn’t practice it. She doesn’t see a lot of Piper in herself, except in the fact that they are both a bit sarcastic. Krause said that he likes to bring a bit of himself to each role he plays, as it helps him bring an honesty to the character. Leo was a lot like himself in that they are both good listeners.
The funniest person on set was Julian McMahon (Cole Turner/Balthazor). They would always have to tell him to be on set earlier than he was needed because he always had to greet everyone and make jokes. Even while they were rehearsing, he would continue to make jokes.
Both actors do items have from the set that they kept as mementos. Combs has teacups, and a lot of clothing from Piper’s wardrobe. Krause has the Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil monkeys from the episode Sense and Sense Ability (Season 5, Episode 20) and the leather pants from when Leo was evil. He clearly enjoyed playing evil Leo, as this was referenced throughout the panel when they were asked their favorite things from the show. Combs wishes she could have had the grandfather clock (that was perpetually being destroyed) and Krause wishes he could have the couch.
About current projects, Combs is keeping busy raising her two children. Krause is between projects now, though he did just finish something which he is not able to talk about presently. At this point, Combs poked fun by saying she would kill him if he is in the “new show”.
When asked if they still watch the show now and again, Combs said that she does not. Because of when the show will air on TV, it is usually on at a time when she’s at the gym, and that isn’t a time when she wants to be reminded what she looked like in her 20’s.
Reminiscing about Charmed would not be complete without hearing some of the things both actors loved the most from their time on the show. Their favorite episodes include Saving Private Leo (Season 4 Episode 17, and one of my favorites), Coyote Piper (Season 3 Episode 9), and Sense and Sense Ability. Balthazor was hands-down their favorite villain. Pat Benitar and Nancy O’Dell were among their favorite celebrity guests. As far as favorite costumes, Krause liked when Piper wore the Glinda dress (All Halliwell’s Eve, Season 3 Episode 4), though Combs said that it was very itchy and scratchy. She liked that clothes worn by cranky future Piper (Morality Bites, Season 2 Episode 2).
Combs’ favorite Halliwell sister moment was when Piper, Phoebe, and Paige killed Cole (Long Live the Queen, Season 4 Episode 20). How the scene ended up is not how it was scripted – they were originally supposed to say lots of silly things, but the three actresses discussed it and put their foot down. When asked if they had a favorite Piper and Leo moment, Combs joked that it was when Leo was frozen (Vaya Con Leos, Season 8 Episode 10). Krause said that it was Piper and Leo’s wedding (Just Harried, Season 3 Episode 15), and when they were in therapy (A House Divided, Season 6 Episode 9).
With a show that ran for eight seasons, the cast was bound to end up with some favorite lines – as well as some that they grew tired of saying. Combs said that she, Rose McGowan, and Alyssa Milano grew so tired of saying “The Power of Three” that they started to refuse to do it anymore, adding, “This family needs a shrink.” Krause imitated the multitude of ways Piper would say, “Leo!” One of Krause’s favorite lines was “Your powers are tied to your emotions.”
All in all, it was a very fun panel to witness, and a great way to get a behind-the-scenes look a show that still has such a large fanbase.
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