Aubrey Plaza loves a good witch.

Her faves? Everyone from Angelica Huston’s terrifying turn as the Grand High Witch in The Witches to the most classic screen sorceress of all, Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West from the The Wizard of Oz. But she has a more recent witchy pick. “I’m a really big Hocus Pocus fan so I’m really pumped for the Hocus Pocus sequel,” says Plaza, 38. “Bette Midler as a witch? It’s hard to get better than that.”

Plaza’s affinity for spell-casters crossed over to the page with 2021’s bestselling picture book, The Legend of the Christmas Witch, written with her best friend and creative partner, Dan Murphy. It told the origin tale of Kristtörn and her twin brother Kristoffer, who get separated as children and wind up on very different paths, with Kristoffer eventually becoming Santa Claus and Kristtörn becoming the Christmas Witch. The book ended on a cliffhanger of sorts as Kristtörn fell beneath the ice of the South Pole and lapsed into a deep slumber.

Centuries have passed by the time Kristtörn wakes up in the sequel,The Return of the Christmas Witch (out October 11) but she’s found that her beloved Yuletide has been corrupted by the ghastly Kringle Corporation. Set partially in Plaza and Murphy’s home state of Delaware, Kristtörn eventually reunites with her long-lost brother, who explains how one of his elves betrayed him and sucked all the meaning out of Christmas. The siblings —spoiler alert! — save the holiday, but dangers lie ahead in what Plaza hopes will be the upcoming third book in the series.

Though Return is a sequel, Plaza and Murphy actually had come up with the tale before realizing they needed to write an origin story of Kristtorn and her more famous brother. “We needed to tell the story of how these characters came to be before we launch into what they’re up to in modern times,” says Plaza, who says she and Murphy “very inspired by older Nordic tales, Scandinavian folklore, all the troll stories from Norwegian folk tales and children’s literature.”

Below, the star takes EW’s Pop Culture of My Life quiz and reveals her affinity for Nora Ephron classics, who would attend her dream dinner party, and why co-starring with Michael Imperioli finally got her to binge watch The Sopranos.

My favorite book as a child
I loved The Giving Tree. I loved this book that was more of a chapter book called The Switching Well, which I don’t think a lot of people have heard of. Christmas-wise, I love The Polar Express. I read a lot of scary stuff, like Goosebumps and Scary Stories, which I loved.

The movie I’ve watched over and over again
When Harry Met Sally. Watched that movie over and over again. Groundhog Day, which is kind of a meta way to watch that movie, if you just watch it over and over again. And Thelma and Louise.

The last book that made you laugh
Revenge of the Lawn by Richard Brautigan.

My last TV binge
Well, this is so lame, but I’m almost finished watching The Sopranos for the very first time ever. I’ve waited to watch The Sopranos, because it’s such a big show, there’s seven seasons. When I was shooting White Lotus, Michael Imperioli is in the cast with us. And I realized, “Oh my God. This is the time that I should watch The Sopranos because I’ve got Michael Imperioli in front of me.” I can ask him all the questions that I want to ask him. So I started watching it in Italy. I got COVID while we were shooting and I started watching it and I’m almost done. I’m in the very last season right now. And man, it’s been such a treat.

The song that always makes me feel better
Probably Harry Nilsson songs. Maybe The Moonbeam Song. I love that song. It’s the best song ever.

The movie that people might be surprised to learn I love
I don’t know what people would expect that I wouldn’t love. You’ve Got Mail? But I love that movie. I feel like people would be surprised because they’d be like “Really?” And I’d be like, “Yeah, really.”

The comedic voice that doesn’t get its due
Lauren Weedman. She’s been in a bunch of my husband’s movies with me and she is, hands down, one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my entire life. She makes me laugh more than anybody. Just even just having any conversation with her. She’s a brilliant comedian and everybody should know who she is.

A classic TV show that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never watched
Oh my God. There’s so many of those. I’m gonna assume it’s that I’ve never watched all of the episodes, but Friends. I’ve seen some episodes, but I’ve never like watched it, watched it. I was more of a Seinfeld girl.

The music you listen to while I write
I really usually listen to music that has something to do with what I’m writing. Recently, I’ve been working on something and I’ve been listening to Portishead a lot. I kind of do a thing where I repeat listen. I will lock onto an album and I will just listen to it over and over again and not do shuffle playlists. I’ll literally just listen to one album almost like I’ve put a record on or something and just listen to it on repeat. Portishead is the most recent thing I’ve been listening to a lot while I’ve been writing. But it always changes.

A movie or show I consider grossly underrated
I would say Irma Vep on HBO. Me and my husband were obsessed with it. Man, I still think about it and I don’t have a sense of what people are watching, but it didn’t, it doesn’t seem like that many people have been talking about it. But I thought it was pretty much like the best TV show I’ve seen in years.

The three people I’d invite to my dream dinner party
Judy Garland, gotta put Judy in there. Jean Smart because she’s great at a dinner party. Her and Judy would get along. And maybe they’ll just throw in Nicolas Cage. I just feel like he’d be funny and all the four of us would have a great time.

Source: Entertainment Weekly