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Jenna Ortega on portraying Wednesday Addams: 'She was someone I was compared to'

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Aug 25, 2022 10:40 am

It seems that the role of the emotionless, sadistic, and iconic Wednesday Addams was just made for rising star Jenna Ortega.

As the horror-comedy series based on the Addams Family character looms closer, Netflix dropped a special inside look exploring the character of Wednesday through insights from the show's cast and crew.

Ortega said that she had watched The Addams Family films when she was younger and that Wednesday was "somebody she always was compared to her entire life".

"Wednesday is technically a Latina character and that's never been represented. So for me, any time that I have an opportunity to represent my community, I want that to be seen," Ortega said. 

The 19-year-old actress of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent stressed that it was important for her to add a new dimension the beloved character.

"It was really important for me that I did something different, even though she's been done so flawlessly in the past. She's a bit more socially awkward. There's a confidence there, but it's more concealed," she said.

Ortega admitted that she was initially nervous to portray the character of Wednesday, so she prepared a lot to give justice to the role.

"I went to fencing lessons twice a week. I went to cello lessons twice a week. A big part of it too was just physicality, I would walk like Wednesday, and I think people thought I might have been crazy because I wanted her to be specific and certain and assertive," she said.

Director Tim Burton highlighted how Ortega perfectly embodied Wednesday's bleak personality.

"She's like a silent movie actress in the sense where she's able to convey things without words and to see the inner life and the subtleties was very exciting. And that's why we're very lucky to have Jenna because I can't imagine any other Wednesday," Burton said.

Set for a 2022 release, Wednesday will serve as Burton's first time working with the streaming platform on a series. The show follows the titular character as she navigates high school at Nevermore Academy, all the while dealing with a serious investigation involving serial killers, murders, and monsters all tying to her family.