Jenna Ortega Wednesday Knows What Addams Wants

Jenna Ortega Wednesday star is of one of Netflix’s greatest TV shows of the year, Wednesday, premiering on Nov. 23.

In the role, Ortega masterfully suspends Wednesday Addams’ well-famous menacing personality with a hint of integrity we haven’t noticed from the elder daughter of the famous Addams family. The iconic role which is perhaps the most overdone last-minute Halloween outfit of all time is not an easy part to tackle, mainly since she is now in the middle of the story, unlike in earlier Addams family movies and shows. Christina Ricci, who also seems on the new Netflix show as a teacher, recreated Wednesday in 1991’s The Addams Family and 1993’s Addams Family Values. Her portrayal cemented the role as a pop culture tack, so producing the role her own without estranging diehard fans was Ortega’s most significant challenge.

“You want to do something different. You don’t want to be ripping off anybody else’s interpretation,” Ortega tells Complex in a virtual discussion. “We’ve never spent so broad period with Wednesday on screen earlier, there has to be more measurement in order to push that story forward.” In the trailer, we get a glimpse of what this version of Wednesday is capable of when anyone messes with her loved ones. She might arrive off as dark, cold, aloof, and heartless at first, but when she notices a group of boys worrying her little brother she voices piranhas on them while they’re in a collection. But that’s only a fraction of what she’s willing to do to rescue those around her. Wednesday also shows a new, more inspirational, and tender side in the Netflix series that lovers haven’t noticed before.

Jenna Ortega Wednesday Star

Once she reaches sent away to Nevermore Academy for her bad manners, she befriends a lovable outcast quoted Eugene Ottinger (Moosa Mostafa), her lovely roommate Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers), and includes a not-so-platonic fellowship with a boy called Tyler Galpin (Hunter Doohan). Jointly, they try to decrypt a mystery that haunted her parents 25 years ago. It might carry some obtaining used to seeing Wednesday in her softer instants or directing interest in boys but it’s sort of stimulating. Even more so when Ortega doesn’t permit the role to veer too far away from what viewers anticipate from Wednesday. “I was very defensive and I never desired to give too extensively or too little,” she adds.

The mystical secret is directed by Tim Burton, creating it his first-ever TV task. Burton existed the only one with a lengthy list of horror movies on his résumé, though. Ortega has starred in two of this year’s most thrilling horror movies including A24’s X and Scream, which already has a sequel coming in March 2023. She recreates these qualities in sinister circumstances extremely well and states she likes having blood on her face and shouting all day on stage.

“Something that I admire about horror is that its the type of supporting theater alive. I sense like people truly go out to the theaters nowadays for superhero movies or horror films,” she says. “You’re just showing people a good spell. It’s adrenaline, it’s a roller coaster. I feel like horror is a large, just this conglomerate of genres in terms of, you have your horror and your action and then there’s comedy and then there’s drama and then there’s romance. I think that horror films are kind of everything at once, and that’s a really wonderful experience as an actor.”

The show’s younger cast is made up of mostly upcoming actors but the adults include names like Game of Thrones’s Gwendoline Christie, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzman, and Fred Armisen. It’s a secret why Netflix chose to drop this performance nearly a month after Halloween, but currently, lovers will get the possibility to binge-watch the sequel during the Thanksgiving holiday and it’s absolutely worth a watch. Review our conversation with Ortega below, where she concerns with adding new layers to Wednesday, performing with Tim Burton and Christina Ricci, and more.

You actually took this character to the next level. I told to Gwendolyn and she said that you displayed it effortlessly. How were you capable to perform such an iconic role so spot on from the one we learn, but also in such an amazing way?
Yeah, it was actually impressive doing this one because you desire to do something extra. You don’t desire to be tearing off anybody else’s performance. But actually, the ‘90s movies made such an effect on the role of Wednesday, the one that we understand and value today. So I think that there was a part of my arrangement that I had to twist in bits and parts that were reminiscent of the ‘90s performance and iteration and that appeal, I don’t learn, this group was also authored very reminiscent of the ‘90s.

I believe for the older generations that understand and adore her, I had those bits and parts, but for the more recent generation and also the refined truth that we’ve never expended so much time with Wednesday on-screen back, there have to be more proportions in order to drive that story onwards. So that’s when I had to skate in different undertones of sensation and response and maybe insecurities at some moment. Just something to create her more relatable and level her and kind of just display a further side to a feeling that we’d never noticed before.

She displays more of a delicate side to her that maybe we haven’t actually been aware of. How were you able to showcase that and not lose the power that we know from Wednesday?
Oh, we had a bunch of discussions and debates about this because I was always very secure and I never wanted to give too much or too little. And I’ve never seen Wednesday as a person to be into boys or is into this. But I suppose it’s easy when you have a more youthful figure like Eugene because there’s something about small I think Wednesday values helpless people and he was little and fragile, but also a little strange and wasn’t scared of that. So I think that she felt very defensive of him.

And then as distant as Tyler runs, I think that that was just a type of enjoyable work for her. While she was busy gathering out this nightmare condition, I think it was just kind of for fun. I don’t think she actually, she suggested anything too deep about it, which is also why being more delicate with someone when you’re getting to know someone on maybe a just less platonic level, you got to show flanks of yourself because that drives it more attractive.

Working with Christina Ricci on this—I’m so happy that she bound the project. What was it like working with the person who created this role so iconic?

Christina was actually cool. We got ahead really well. She’s a truly generous actress and I was certainly anxious to work with her just because of who she is and what she stood for and how much everyone notices her as Wednesday. But also she offered me space and chamber to do what I was required to do and I wish I had done the same for her. And I would value working with her similarly. She truly is. I think we get on all good.

For sure. Tim Burton has been connected to an Addams Family task of some type since the ‘90s, and now is finally able to do this with you as the lead. What was it like working with him and helping him bring this to life?
Yeah, I feel so lucky. He’s honestly such a sweet person and an incredible collaborator. He’s an actor’s director. He knows the way to communicate with people and I think I felt this overwhelming sense of trust and just partnership with him. And it’s not an easy combination or I don’t know. I think there are very few directors who know how to form communication to that level with an actor and he’s somebody who’s very good at that.

And it was with someone with a background like his, for him to be so kind and so incredible, but then also just to be a part of his world and vision and see him drawing sketches and doing things like that for a project that I was involved in was just kind of surreal. And I think it’s an experience I’ll always cherish. I think that it was just really great.

We’ve seen you on X and in Scream, you’re really keeping the horror genre alive. What is it about these projects that drive you drawn to them? 
Well, something that I admire about horror is that it’s kind of keeping theaters alive. I feel like people really go out to the theaters nowadays for superhero films or horror films that you’re just giving people a good time. It’s adrenaline, it’s a roller coaster. I feel like horror is a large, just this conglomerate of genres in terms of, you have your horror and your action and then there’s comedy and then there’s drama and then there’s romance.

I think that horror films are kind of everything at once, and I think that that’s a really wonderful experience as an actor. But then also, yeah, I like having blood on my face and I like running and crying and screaming all day. It gives me a kick.

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