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Kathy Najimy Reveals Why Her ‘Hocus Pocus’ Character’s Smile Changed in Disney+ Sequel: ‘We Can Justify It’

Kathy Najimy Reveals Why Her 'Hocus Pocus' Character's Smile Changed in Disney+ Sequel: ‘We Can Justify It'
Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson in ‘Hocus Pocus’ and ‘Hocus Pocus 2.’ Disney; Matt Kennedy/Disney+

While eagle-eyed fans may have noticed Kathy Najimy’s Hocus Pocus 2 smile looked different in the Disney+ sequel, the actress had a good reason for switching things up.

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“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. I’m sure the fans are going to go into deep detail about why it’s on the other side,” Najimy, 65, told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published on Friday, September 30.

Kathy Najimy Reveals Why Her 'Hocus Pocus' Character's Smile Changed in Disney+ Sequel: ‘We Can Justify It'
Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson in ‘Hocus Pocus 2.’ Matt Kennedy/Disney+

Najimy played Mary Sanderson in the 1993 original movie, Hocus Pocus, alongside Bette Midler (Winnifred Sanderson) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah Sanderson). The Descendants actress, for her part, notably had a lopsided smile.

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“It’s just something I came up with the first week,” the California native recalled to EW of filming the OG film. “This is a big comedy, so you don’t have to be subtle or have a 40-page Shakespearean backstory.”

While Mary’s smile drooped to one side in the first move, it was flipped while filming the new movie, which was released on Friday via Disney+.

“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,” Najimy said to the outlet.

The joke was continued by having the younger version of Mary, played by Nina Kitchen in the opening scenes of the sequel, curve her smile on the same side that Najimy did in the original.

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Nearly 30 years after the original Hocus Pocus aired, the three Sanderson witches return to Salem to run amuck and steal the souls of a new generation of children. In the flick, three teenagers — played by Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo and Lilia Buckingham — accidentally summon the witchy sisters to the modern-day town while dabbling with magic.

While Hocus Pocus 2 tells a new story, there are still plenty of nods and Easter eggs to the OG version.

“We wanted to weave in all of the people that the fans loved, and when you sat back with all the ingredients and story, you’re like, how do we make this work?” director Anne Fletcher previously told EW in August. “It was very difficult to try to have [the original kids: Omri Katz and Vinessa Shaw] be a part of it, because we did talk about it — painstakingly.”

She added at the time: “You’re trying to stay on track with story, even if they came in as a cameo. People would say, ‘They could be in the background!’ and I’m like, ‘Really? You’re going to put the leads of the first movie in the background and be satisfied? You’re not going to be satisfied, you’re going to be angry.’”

Hocus Pocus 2 is currently streaming on Disney+.

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