Belissa Escobedo is the definition of a rising star.
Some might recognize this Latine actor as Natalie Garcia from The Baker and the Beauty while others might know her as Shanti from American Horror Stories. But for us, and for many fans of all things spooky this Halloween season, might recognize her as Izzy from Hocus Pocus 2. In the sequel to the iconic movie starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, Escobedo’s character sets off on a new adventure that will become a mainstay and Halloween tradition for many.
In an interview, Remezcla got to talk to Escobedo about what it means to her being part of a world that is near and dear to many. Her answer came easy because Hocus Pocus has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. “My mom and I watched it every single year. It’s like one of our favorite Halloween movies. So many memories of watching it and definitely it’s one of those Halloween traditions.”
So when she got the call that she got the part, she was blown away and ready to hit the ground running. According to Escobedo, “We were all on a Zoom together. Me, Lily and Whitney; the three other girls. And we found out and my mom was in the room. And you know, she kind of asked, “Can we scream now?” And then we just started screaming.”
The significance of her role in Hocus Pocus 2 also isn’t lost on Escobedo.
When she was a kid, she wanted to see someone like her, a Latina, on screen. And now, she’s become that person and someone who will be part of other people’s Halloween traditions. Escobedo said, “Growing up, I always wanted to see someone like me in those movies. Not just Halloween movies, but just any movie. So to be in a series that is held so close to home for so many families, it feels really special to be representing our community in those movies.”
Hocus Pocus 2 isn’t the only project that Belissa Escobedo is taking on. There’s also Blue Beetle.
Slated as the first superhero film with a Latine lead, it’s chock-full of Latine talent. Escobedo plays Milagros Reyes, the sister of the title lead and superhero Jamie Reyes aka Blue Beetle, who is played by Xolo Maridueña. When asked about how it was working with him, best known for Cobra Kai, Escobedo only had good things to say. “Yeah, Blue Beetle’s awesome. Xolo Maridueña’s such a great kid.”
From George Lopez to Harvey Guillén and Adriana Barraza, Escobedo loved working with the Latine heavy cast. “It’s got such a stellar cast. We have legends there in our community. […] It’s just an honor and I’m so excited for our community to have our first superhero movie that’s gonna be awesome. We’re witches and we’re superheroes.”
As for what’s next for Escobedo and who she hopes to work with next, the answer was clear. If given the opportunity to work with a dream actor, she’d want to work with America Ferrera. In her own words, “America Ferrera, I love her. She was the first time I ever saw myself on screen in Real Women Have Curves by Josefina López, who I love. And I’ve followed her career ever since The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It would be a total full circle moment for me to be able to work with her.”
With the way that Belissa Escobedo’s star is rising, we have no doubt this particular dream will come true.
Hocus Pocus 2 is now streaming.