TMZ uncovered some startling new information about former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and actor/writer/director Zach Braff that could explain both the 2012 presidential election and the 2004 film Garden State: they’re both related to the same witch. Or, accused witch.
In a video uploaded to the site early Tuesday morning, a TMZ reporter approaches Braff as he’s leaving what appears to be a swanky Los Angeles restaurant. After his question about a Scrubs reunion goes unanswered, he switches gears.
“Hey, I actually read that you’re related to a witch from the Salem witch trial,” he says, apparently presuming that there was just one of them. Before responding, Braff makes the face of someone whose darkest secret has been found out:
“Yes,” he says calmly, like anyone who doesn’t fear returning to the dark lord after death. “Mitt Romney and I are both related to her. To the same witch.”
“Have you ever been to Salem?” the reporter asks.
“No, but I sat next to Mitt Romney on a plane once. And later we discovered we were related to the same witch.”
The (accused) witch in question is Rebecca Nurse, one of 14 women “executed for witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts.” My coworker Ellie Shechet, who is better versed in the Salem witch trials than I, had this to say of her:
“Nurse’s accusation is the one that really started to freak people out, because she was extremely pious and respected, so people started to be like, ‘Uh, wait hold up what are we doing?’”
Braff continued that tradition some 300 years later, when audiences everywhere reacted similarly to that scene in Garden State when he listens to The Shins for the first time.