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As Warner Bros.’ The Curse of La Llorona works its way to theaters this weekend, fans of The Conjuring universe will be scouring the backgrounds of scene looking for references and Easter Eggs to the larger story at hand. (And they are there, trust us.) But while paying attention to the background details in director Michael Chaves’ horror-thriller, we spotted a different reference that made us laugh, and we had to ask the cast about it.
The Curse of La Llorona takes place in the 1970s, where a social worker (Linda Cardellini) who is concerned about the welfare of some small children begins to investigate the mother’s claims that they are haunted by La Llorona. More on that myth in a moment, but in the background of a scene, kids are watching Scooby-Doo on a TV set. Makes sense. The animated show was huge in the 1970s. But there’s also a subtle gag there in that Linda Cardellini also played Velma in two live-action Scooby-Doo movies, and she told us it was her idea to get that animated reference in. She tells CinemaBlend:
Actually, it was a discussion too, when we were talking about it. And I was like… because it was a different Hanna-Barbera cartoon that we had in one version, and I was like, ‘What if they’re watching Scooby-Doo?’ And we just had a laugh about it. It was sort of like a little Easter Egg, I think.
These self-aware nods are hilarious to film lovers. Going into the movie, it’s fun to know that Linda Cardellini established her range on a popular family comedy like Scooby-Doo before switching gears, time and again, to show exactly what she is capable of as an actress. Sure she played Velma. But since then, Cardellini has impressed critics and crowds with roles in Brokeback Mountain, E.R., Mad Men, the Avengers movies, and most recently on the Netflix drama Bloodline.
As she elaborated in the Scooby-Doo nod, she explained how that movie helped her switch gears and challenger herself as an actress. Cardellini told us:
That was, to me, I had just come off of Freaks and Geeks, and so doing something like Scooby-Doo seemed like a crazy departure, playing Velma. And [this] was like, I had just come off of Daddy’s Home and then I decided to do this film. I just love that about acting, so it was fun for me.
Audiences will see a new side of Linda Cardellini in The Curse of La Llorona, as she plays a caring social worker who gets pulled into a terrifying mystery. She also, as a result, has to protect her own children from the threat of La Llorona, and Cardellini displays a ferocious Mama Bear side that we hadn’t seen from her before. Here she is discussing the movie, and Scooby-Doo:
Check out The Curse of La Llorona when it hits theater screens starting this Thursday.