Hocus Pocus Actress Who Played Little Emily Binx Is All Grown Up: See What the Child Star Looks Like Now!

Identity confusion is finally set straight, thanks to the girl who people thought played Emily Binx

By Peanut Alvarez-Mena Oct 24, 2015 12:11 AMTags
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Double double, toil and trouble! It's that time of year to start reminiscing about our favorite Halloween movies while we binge-eat candy because... Hey, it's Halloween and why not?

One of our all-time favorites, Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, is one of the most revisited Disney classics, what with talk of a sequel still brewing and all.

But while we love a good pre-Sex and the City SJP flashback, what many people don't know about the film is that there was some controversy surrounding the mistaken identity of the actress who played little Emily Binx in this holiday classic.

Since its 1993 release, several websites have written about the spooky movie checking up on actors in "Where Are They Now?" features. However, all of these articles had gotten it wrong until now, when the real actress who played Emily Binx was discovered.

IMDb has credited Jodie-Amy Rivera, a famous YouTuber who goes by the name of Venetian Princess, with the role of Colonial-cutie-turned-cat Thackery Binx's little sister. The vlogger was one of the first to take off on the video format and even worked with Google's ad revenue platform.

But during a radio interview a few years back, Rivera mentioned she was in Hocus Pocus, but only in a very small part. She played one of the sleepwalking children in the scary "Come Little Children" spell initiated by our favorite sassy witches. Before she explained her role, however, the radio DJ jumped to conclusions, assuming she was Emily Binx, and the assumption spiraled out of control.

"I remember people saying, 'Oh, you're Emily Binx', and I'd be like, 'No, I'm not!' It was funny, but not really, because I was on Facebook and I'd see these articles from like Buzzfeed and I'd see my face and it says, 'Where are they now?' but they'd got it all wrong."

It was all a classic mix-up that had never been resolved until recently, when the YouTube sensation tracked down the real Emily Binx to set the record straight.

"So I got a hold of her and talked to her on the phone the other day, because every Halloween, this becomes a thing again," Jodie-Amy tells Cosmopolitan. "I explained to her what happened, and she was so understanding and very kind. She said, 'Don't worry about it, it was so long ago, I really don't care.'"

So who is the real Emily Binx? Turns out the actress' name is Amanda Shepherd, a child star who had filmed hundreds of commercials and was almost cast as the little girl in Interview With the Vampire instead of Kirsten Dunst.

So where is she now, you ask? The former actress has retired from acting and is working as a real estate agent in Malibu.

"[The mix-up] never really bothered me, but it bothered all the people around me," Shepherd also told Cosmopolitan in an interview. "They'd say 'Amanda, this girl from YouTube is trying to steal your identity!' I would just laugh."

Glad we set that straight! Now that that's out of there way and there is no longer any mystery in this Halloween puzzle, we can go back to eating candy bars and watching our favorite sassy  witches wreak havoc on Salem.

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