Kathy Najimy Explains Mary Sanderson’s Crooked Smile
The Hocus Pocus 2 actress revealed why the Sanderson sister’s signature smile looks a little different than it did in the 1993 Disney classic.
It’s only been two days since Disney+ released Hocus Pocus 2, and fans are already talking about how the film has evolved since the 1993 original cult classic. But Kathy Najimy wants fans to know that a slight change in her character Mary Sanderson’s iconic crooked smile isn’t an Easter egg or character development, so much as it was a choice of ease.
Eagle-eyed fans noticed that Mary’s side smile — which the comedienne improvised during Hocus Pocus — is on the opposite side in Hocus Pocus 2. “It’s on the other side mainly because it’s so hard for me to do it on the side I did it on 30 years ago,” Najimy explained to Entertainment Weekly.
Najimy knows the fans are going wild trying to figure out why the switcharoo happened. “I’m sure the fans are going to go into deep detail about why it’s on the other side,” she said. “It’s just something I came up with the first week. This is a big comedy, so you don’t have to be subtle or have a 40-page Shakespearean backstory.”
But for fans who are sticklers for continuity, Najimy has a canonical explanation as to why her smirk has switched sides: “We can justify it because there’s a scene at the beginning where Winnie slaps me, and my mouth goes to the other side, and then she slaps me again and it goes to the other side, and sticks.” The scene features a younger Mary (played by Nina Kitchen) with her smile dipping on the right side. After a swift smack from a young Winifred (played by Taylor Paige), it switches to the left.
Najimy returned along with Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker for the highly anticipated sequel, which dropped on Disney+ Sept. 30. So far, it seems like fans have been satisfied with the sequel, which sees a trio of high schoolers light the infamous Black Candle, bringing the Sanderson sisters back to Salem once again.
And for those who are looking for tie-ins and Easter eggs in the sequel, director Anne Fletcher made sure to “weave in all of the people that the fans loved, and when you sat back with all the ingredients and story,” so there are bound to be more that pop up as fans inevitably watch Hocus Pocus 2 300 times or so.