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Jenna Ortega fights to keep Wednesday Addams true to character in new role as producer

WEDNESDAY 101 Unit 00881RC
Jenna Ortega stars as Wednesday Addams in the new Netflix series "Wednesday"
NOTE: This article is 7 months old and may not include the most recent information.

Jenna Ortega is not one to shy away from a challenge, especially when it comes to portraying the iconic character of Wednesday Addams. In recent interviews, the actress has shared the battles she had to fight to ensure that her rendition of Wednesday was not just a static continuation of the character, but rather someone with depth and complexity.

Ortega’s struggles paid off as she is now serving as an executive producer for Season 2 of the show. In a recent interview with Elle Magazine, she expressed her hope that this new role would allow her to maintain her vision for the goth teen.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down more on a set in a way that I had to on Wednesday,” Ortega said on a recent episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast. “Everything that Wednesday does, everything I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all. Her being in a love triangle? It made no sense.”

Ortega has been vocal about her opposition to Wednesday being in a love triangle. She stated in an interview with W Magazine, “Nobody wants to see her in the middle of a love triangle. They want to see her torturing people.” Despite the initial assurances from the writers that there wouldn’t be a love triangle, it came up during filming. Ortega did her best to infuse her interpretation of how the character would handle it best, reasoning that “people are obsessed with Wednesday, and she humors them if they don’t annoy her too much.”

While the love triangle may have been a losing battle, Ortega fought much harder to ensure that Wednesday would be a three-dimensional character. She stated, “You can’t lead a story and have no emotional arc because then it’s boring and nobody likes you.” During a conversation with co-star Christina Ricci for Interview Magazine, Ortega revealed that she would receive contrasting notes about what direction they wanted Wednesday to go in. “I remember Tim [Burton] did not want me to have any expression of emotion at all,” she said. “There were a lot of battles like that because I felt like people didn’t always trust me when I was creating my path in terms of, ‘Okay, this is her arc. This is where she gets emotional.’”

At times, Ortega took matters into her own hands without consulting the writers. “There were times on that set where I even became almost unprofessional in a sense where I just started changing lines,” Ortega elaborated on the podcast. “The script supervisor thought I was going with something and then I had to sit down with the writers, and they’d be like, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’ And I’d have to go and explain why I couldn’t go do certain things.”

Ortega’s commitment to portraying Wednesday Addams with depth and complexity has not come without its challenges. She has spoken openly about the stress and pressure she faced on set, crying on the phone with her parents every night. Despite these difficulties, Ortega’s perseverance has paid off, and she has created a memorable and beloved version of the iconic character.

Trevor Decker




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