Hocus Pocus 2’s Big Mary Change Explained By Actor

Hocus Pocus 2 star Kathy Najimy explains one big sequel change in her character, Mary Sanderson. Released in 1993, the original Hocus Pocus brought the Sanderson sisters, three witches who drain the life force out of the children of Salem, Massachusetts, to life when a group of modern kids light the magical Black Flame Candle, resurrecting the sisters. Winnie (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Najimy), who were executed for their crimes in 1693, return on Halloween night to wreak havoc. Almost 30 since the original’s release, Disney has finally come out with a sequel, which was released on September 30 this year.


Hocus Pocus 2 also brought back Doug Jones, reprising his role as the zombie Billy Butcherson, along with the original trio of witches. The sequel did not feature the return of the original kids, however, which included Omri Katz, Thora Birch, and Vinessa Shaw, instead focusing on a new group of youngsters who light the candle and release the witches. Since Hocus Pocus 2‘s release, viewers may have noticed a change in the trio’s most underappreciated sister, Mary. The most gentle of the three, Mary is known for her support of her sisters and her signature crooked smile, which goes the opposite way from the original in the sequel.

Related: Hocus Pocus 2: Every Original Movie Easter Egg & Reference

While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Najimy explained why the change in her character’s mouth was necessary. She also offered a funny in-character reason for the switch, which fits the goofy tone of the films. See what the actor had to say below:

“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. 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. 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.”

Does Hocus Pocus 2 Live Up To The Original?

While Hocus Pocus 2 was careful to honor what came before it, reviews have been mixed, with some reporting that the film relies too heavily on nostalgia to the detriment of the script and the younger cast members. However, the film also has supporters, many of whom praise Midler’s performance in particular. Hocus Pocus 2 stands at a 61% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes as of the time of this writing, much higher than the original Hocus Pocus‘ 39%. Though Hocus Pocus 2 may not be able to fully recreate the magic of the original, which has benefited from decades of appreciation thanks to home video and basic cable, it’s a fun treat for those who miss the Sanderson sisters and their mischief.

With a Hocus Pocus 2 end credits scene that seemed to set up the possibility for another sequel, it’s possible that the Sanderson sisters will be back sooner than audiences might expect. Despite mixed reviews, the franchise has proven itself as a Halloween hit and the demand for nostalgic fare continues to grow, so it’s likely that Disney will act accordingly. In terms of the Hocus Pocus 2 stars, Midler as well as the other sisters have all stated that they would return for a third installment.

Next: Hocus Pocus 2 End-Credits Scene Explained

Source: EW

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