: "Well, excuse me, but I've spent a big chunk of my life being a monster and now that I'm not, I'm having a good time; I'm sorry that bothers you."
- — Bonnie
Bonnie Harper is a main character in The Craft. She is a practicing witch. Bonnie is presented as a shy, insecure, silent, reserved, solemn, melancholic, and very calm and collected teenager who suffers from burn scars along her back and shoulders as a result of a fire when she was a child. Once Sarah Bailey joins her coven, she is able to cast a spell which relieves her of both her physical and emotional scarring, causing her to become both beautiful and conceited.
She is portrayed by Neve Campbell.
Bonnie was born in 1980, presumably in Los Angeles, California. Sometime prior to the beginning of the film, Bonnie was involved in an accident involving fire, which left her back and shoulders severely scarred. This evidently had a significant impact on Bonnie's mentality that it is implied that she tried or at least thought of committing suicide by cutting her wrists.
Initially, Bonnie is presented as very underconfident, mostly as a result of her burn scars. She wears her hair over her face and dresses in dark, loosely cut clothing, covering most of her skin. She is best friends with Nancy Downs, an outcast with a gothic aesthetic, and Rochelle, the only African-American student in her school. Together, the girls practice witchcraft. According to Bonnie, they need to find a fourth member for their coven so that they can achieve full power.
Sarah Bailey, a new student, immediately attracts Bonnie's attention. Whilst in class, Sarah absent-mindedly focuses on a pencil, causing it to stay upright and rotate on her desk, until she is brought back to reality by Bonnie's gasp. Bonnie expresses her belief to the others after class that someone has arrived to be the fourth. Initially reluctant, Nancy and Rochelle slowly befriend Sarah and accept her into their coven.
They all cast spells as part of an initiation rite. Bonnie, who is undergoing experimental treatment for her scars, casts a spell to become beautiful, "outside as well as in", which is successful and results in her scars disappearing. Unfortunately, since her emotional scars as well as her physical scars are now gone, this results in Bonnie becoming gradually more conceited and self-absorbed, until she is a vain and shallow shell of her former self. Now at full power, the girls cast individual spells for personal gain.
Sarah believes that using magic inappropriately will invoke the Rule of Three, a Wiccan law which states that "what you send out, you get back threefold". After Nancy invokes the spirit of Manon, she becomes much more powerful as a result and starts to use her powers in a dark, murderous fashion. Both Bonnie and Rochelle are nonchalant towards Nancy's actions. Sarah tries to reason with them, citing the Rule of Three, but Bonnie and the other girls blow Sarah off and dismiss her warnings. As Sarah becomes more uncomfortable, she tries to leave the circle. Sarah tries to cast a binding spell on Nancy to prevent her causing harm, but it is unsuccessful. As a result, Nancy begins to use her powers to torment Sarah. In a final attack at Sarah's house, the girls use glamours to convince Sarah that her parents have been killed in an accident, and torment her with hallucinations of vast quantities of bugs attacking her. Eventually, Nancy slits Sarah's wrists with an athame, causing her to flee upstairs to her room. A fading Sarah invokes Manon herself. Nancy, meanwhile, has ordered Bonnie and Rochelle to retrieve Sarah. Sarah uses her newfound power to glamour a mirror, causing it to show Bonnie and Rochelle their reflections after the Rule of Three has come to pass, portraying Rochelle as bald as a result of her spell on Laura Lizzie, and Bonnie with her burn scars having returned - only this time, covering her face. Believing this to be the 'Rule of Three' at work, Bonnie ceases her attack on Sarah and flees with Rochelle. After successfully beating Nancy in a final magical battle, Sarah later binds Bonnie's powers, along with Nancy and Rochelle's powers.
Bonnie goes with Rochelle to see Sarah at the end of the film, apologizing for what happened earlier and offering to let Sarah hang out with them. She also greets Sarah's father, who is oblivious to what has been going on; Rochelle glibly apologises for the glamour showing the death of Sarah's parents, calling it "a practical joke". The girls let slip that they have lost their powers, which is the real reason that they want Sarah to hang out with them. Bonnie does not seem very sincere, which Sarah clearly picks up on, and she tells Bonnie and Rochelle to "hold [their] breath" until she calls. As Bonnie leaves with Rochelle, she snickers and says that Sarah "probably does not have any powers anymore anyway", prompting Sarah to prove her wrong by using magic to break a tree branch above their heads, which nearly falls on Bonnie and Rochelle. As a parting shot, Sarah tells Bonnie and Rochelle to be careful, as they do not want to end up like Nancy.
At the beginning of the film, Bonnie is shown to be kind and sweet-natured, though also very shy and weak-willed. This largely stemmed from her severe scarring, which Bonnie felt very self-conscious about, to the point where she even referred to herself as a "monster" and was willing to do just about anything to get rid of them. After seeing Sarah use magic in class, she was the first to believe Sarah should join their coven.
After using magic to heal her scars, Bonnie changes drastically, becoming far more confident and outspoken. She dresses in more revealing clothes, wears make-up, and carries herself with dignity. She also flirts with boys or states her opinion on things. Unfortunately, Bonnie also becomes increasingly self-absorbed and vain, with Sarah saying she has become "completely narcissistic". Bonnie dismisses this and turns on Sarah, using magic to attack and frighten her, demonstrating her darker and more malicious side.
However, Bonnie does express reluctance at actually causing serious harm to Sarah, feeling that Nancy has taken things too far. Despite this, she dismisses it as a joke and even asks Sarah if she wants to hang out some time, though Sarah clearly does not see the funny side and lets Bonnie know exactly what she thinks of her and her so-called 'pranks'.
Powers and abilities
Bonnie is a witch, thus possessing magical talents. She is capable of focusing on an intent and outcome and willing it to happen. Once her coven was at full quota and full magical power, she (along with the others) was able to manipulate a car and cause it to hit a vagrant who was harassing Sarah. She later cast a spell to make herself more beautiful, causing her severe burn scars to heal, although it is revealed in a deleted scene that this was more due to a spell Sarah cast. She is also capable of a wide variety of feats such as levitation, glamouring, telekinesis, etc. She embodies the element of fire, therefore she most likely is more adept in fire magic and pyrokinesis.
- "You know, every morning I wake up, and for a split second, I think I'm normal... then I remember."
- —Bonnie to Sarah about her scarring
- "Excuse me, but I've spent a big part of my life being a monster and now that I'm not; I'm having a good time, I'm sorry that bothers you."
- —Bonnie to Sarah after Sarah accuses her of being narcisstic
- "Nice ass!"
- —Bonnie catcalling a man after her spell is successful
- In a deleted scene, it is implied that Bonnie's scars were healed with the help of Sarah, who performed a healing ritual on Bonnie while she was at the hospital.
- Neve Campbell, who played Bonnie, became best friends with Rachel True (Rochelle) during filming.
- Bonnie was portrayed by Neve Campbell, who also portrayed Sidney Prescott, a character from the Scream franchise. The Craft came out the same year as the movie Scream. It also starred Skeet Ulrich, who portrays Chris Hooker.
- Producers spotted Neve Campbell from her TV show Party of Five. Prior to The Craft, Neve had never done movie work. She was asked to read and the producers eventually decided that she'd "make a good Bonnie".
- According to the filmmakers, Bonnie's classical element is fire.