The Craft Star Fairuza Balk Is Completely Unrecognizable Today
Nov 21 2020
Just months before a young girl and her aunts first started casting their spell on audiences on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and long before Hermione Granger honed her wand-waving skills in the Harry Potter films, a group of friends flexed their occult-fueled powers in 1996's The Craft. Along with Robin Tunney, Rachel True, and Neve Campbell, actress Fairuza Balk captivated fans. According to Vulture,
"[The character Nancy Downs was] played with equal parts blistering anger and touching vulnerability by Fairuza Balk."
And then there was the way she looked. The ultimate example of a '90s goth girl, she embraced everything from a studded collar and crucifix earring to dark crimson lips and smoky black eyeliner. In fact, Balk's unforgettable look in the movie is why you may be surprised by what she looks like today.
If you've ever wondered if Fairuza Balk's convincing portrayal of a witch in The Craft was inspired by her real life interests, you're not alone. According to Entertainment Weekly,
"[T]he actress found herself as the focal point of many stories about whether she practiced witchcraft in her personal life. The rumors surrounding Balk’s personal relationship with witchcraft spiked when she bought an occult shop in Los Angeles while filming The Craft."
However, 20 years after the fact, Balk opened up about the witchy situation and told Entertainment Weekly,
"The true story is I found this occult shop in L.A. and I used to go there to ask them questions and do my research […] [The woman who owned it] wanted to retire. She couldn’t put the kind of money into it that it needed […] So I bought it and put some work into it and helped it survive. But people of course were like, ‘She bought an occult shop and she’s fully into this and it’s all real.’"
Balk is no longer involved with the shop, and following The Craft, she went on to make another eye-catching appearance in an incredibly stylish film. Fairuza Balk appeared in 2000's Almost Famous as an experienced groupie named Sapphire. According to Bustle,
"According to Penny [Lane, who was played by Kate Hudson], the distinction between Band-Aids and groupies is that groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous [...] Band Aids, however, are there because of the music. They['re] there [to] facilitate the creative process."
While the nature of Balk's character and her friends was one thing, fans of the movie have remained obsessed with the style in the film. For Balk, specifically, her slightly hippie-ish vibe was shockingly different from how she'd appeared in The Craft. The actress has gone on to appear in plenty of movies and TV shows over the years, including 1998's The Waterboy, alongside Adam Sandler, and the 2018 movie Trespassers. More recently, in 2020, she took on the role of Lizzie Thomas on Paradise City, a show that surely brings her back to her Almost Famous days with its music scene storyline. The series is a spin-off of 2017's American Satan and focuses on a seemingly successful rock star and a young amateur. According to Loud Wire,
"Paradise City [...] is on its way to becoming rock fans' next favorite television show. [...] The show features a rock star-studded cast [...] Quite a few musicians appear in the series, such as Slipknot's Sid Wilson, Lamb of God's Randy Blythe, Asking Alexandria's Ben Bruce and James Cassells."
On top of that, viewers can also spot Bella Thorne, Mark Boone Junior, Perrey Reeves, and Drea de Matteo. However, if you don't recognize Balk at first, we wouldn't blame you. Instead of the vintage look that she showed off in Almost Famous, her Paradise City character looks more like her character in The Craft, thanks to the dark red lipstick and black eye makeup. Honestly, if we found out Lizzie was a witch, we wouldn't be surprised.
When she's not acting, Balk performs music under the name Armed Love Militia. In 2020, Balk revealed on her official website that she'd been busy creating new work during the pandemic. She wrote,
"On the upside of being tucked away, far away, I’m having some time for creativity which is a blessing. For the longest time that light was just switched off."
It sounds as though fans of Balk have a lot to look forward to.