Kathy Najimy Reveals the Simple Reason Why Her Character’s Crooked Smile Switched Sides in ‘Hocus Pocus 2’

Hocus Pocus 2 finally dropped on Disney+, offering all the same whimsy and witchy musical performances as the first installment (and the return of the three leading ladies—Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker).

However, while the sequel continued many elements from the first film, a few eagle-eyed fans noticed that something had changed with Mary Sanderson (Najimy)—her crooked smile.

From the viewer's perspective, Mary's smile angled to the left in the ’93 classic. But in the new movie, it suddenly switched to the right. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Najimy revealed that there was a simple explanation for this. “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,” she said.

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Disney Enterprises/Disney+

The character trait was improvised by Najimy right before she began filming the original Hocus Pocus, and she wanted to keep it for the new film, even if it had to be adjusted. “I'm sure the fans are going to go into deep detail about why it's on the other side,” the 65-year-old star joked. “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.”

Najimy explained that the switcheroo was addressed in the beginning of Hocus Pocus 2.

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The scene featured Najimy and her co-star, Midler (AKA Winnie Sanderson). Najimy said, “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.”

So, any detail-oriented fans who were worried about the change can rest easy knowing that the sequel comically explains it.

Hocus Pocus 2 premiered this past weekend, nearly 30 years after the original came out. Najimy, Midler and Parker reprised their roles, while a few famous faces joined the cast, including Arrested Development's Tony Hale and Ted Lasso's Hannah Waddingham. Meanwhile, former director Kenny Ortega (High School Musical, Newsies) passed the reins onto Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses, The Proposal), who directed the highly-anticipated follow-up.

In PureWow's 4-star review of the film, we said, “While [Hocus Pocus 2] may tread the same ground as the first installment, it provides enough laughs to keep viewers entertained, thanks to its winning leading ladies and a few surprises along the way.”

The Sanderson sisters in 'Hocus Pocus 2.'
Matt Kennedy/Disney+

Thank you, Kathy, for clearing this up for us.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...