Kathy Najimy shares why her ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ character’s crooked mouth switched sides (2024)

Kathy Najimy’s Mary Sanderson had a new look in “Hocus Pocus 2.”

The actor, along with Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker, reprised their famous witchy characters in the long awaited “Hocus Pocus” sequel. Twenty-nine years after its initial release, the Sanderson sisters returned to the screen and this time, fans noticed that Mary’s crooked smile had switched sides.

Najimy said there’s a simple explanation for the change.

“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,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m sure the fans are going to go into deep detail about why it’s on the other side. 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.”

Kathy Najimy shares why her ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ character’s crooked mouth switched sides (1)

The actor said that the crooked smile was something she improvised while preparing to shoot the 1993 movie. This time around, she and the film’s director Anne Fletcher worked the change in one scene.

“We can justify it because there’s a scene at the beginning where Winnie (Midler) slaps me, and my mouth goes to the other side,” Majimy said. “And then she slaps me again and it goes to the other side, and sticks.”

Kathy Najimy shares why her ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ character’s crooked mouth switched sides (2)

“Hocus Pocus” 2 was released on Sept. 30. The sequel is set 30 years after the first film and sees the Sanderson sisters return after two friends light the black flame candle. As the witches run amok in the modern world, the friends attempt to stop them from taking over.

The sequel also shares some backstory on the Sanderson sisters, showing them as young girls in 1600s New England acquiring their magic.

With the nostalgia running high, Midler recently settled the debate on one of her famous "Hocus Pocus" lines. The actor clarified that her character, Winifred, says “Hello, Salem” not “Hello, sailors” to the crowd when singing “I Put A Spell On You.”

“Salem, not sailors!” she toldE! Newson the red carpet. “Why would I say ‘Hello, sailors?’ No, no, it’s Salem — ‘Hello, Salem.’”

Fans can celebrate spooky season by watching "Hocus Pocus 2" on Disney+ now.

They can also compete to stay in a recreation of the three witches' Salem home on Oct. 12. The winner will have an exclusive stay on Oct. 20 for two guests at the cottage located in Salem, Massachusetts.

CORRECTION (Oct. 4, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Carvel has "Hocus Pocus"-themed shakes available for the Halloween season. However, the shakes were only available last fall and are not being sold this year. The story has been updated to remove that sentence.

Liz Calvario

Liz Calvario is a Los Angeles-based reporter and editor for TODAY.com who covers entertainment, pop culture and trending news.

Kathy Najimy shares why her ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ character’s crooked mouth switched sides (2024)


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