Disney Channel’s Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge — the successful sequel to 1998’s Halloweentown — introduced us to the World’s Most Charming Villain: Kal, son of Kalabar. Kids hardcore crushed on him growing up, even though he was Marnie Cromwell’s evil adversary. But underneath all the magic, cloaks, and creepy protruding vines, Kal was just an angsty teen with serious daddy issues.
While Kal, a gifted warlock, was able to flawlessly spout off complicated spells, actor Daniel Kountz had a little more trouble doing so on set. The Creature Spell Kal cast during the climax of the film was written into the script, but the first spell we hear Kal chant — when he conjures the portal to Halloweentown — was completely improvised.
For that scene, the script just stated, “Kal says spell and walks through the portal,” Kountz told MTV News. Admittedly, Kountz assumed they’d give him a spell to say, so he never prepared one ahead of time. Unfortunately, Kountz was in for a rude awakening when director Mary Lambert asked him 15 minutes prior to shooting if he had his spell ready. Playing it cool, Kountz told her he did, but then spent the next few minutes panicking in his trailer, trying to come up with something that’d pass for a legit spell. For a warlock as powerful as Kal, a phrase like “open sesame” just wasn’t going to cut it.
Thankfully, Kountz took choir in high school and had learned a German song. He recalled a random phrase from the tune and decided to use that as his spell. “I just pulled that out of nowhere, and they ended up using [it in the movie], and I think it actually worked out pretty well,” Kountz confessed. “Little did they know I was freaking out because I didn’t have my spell prepared.” Even warlocks thrive under pressure.