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Nostalgic Yet Fresh: Jenna Ortega on Her Portrayal of Wednesday Addams

Nostalgic Yet Fresh: Jenna Ortega on Her Portrayal of Wednesday Addams

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams
Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams on Netflix's 2022 Adaptation, Wednesday.

Nevermore’s deadpan and vicious goth girl quickly stole the hearts of many when Wednesday premiered on Netflix last November 23. Jenna Ortega expressed her love for the character by sharing the goal she had in mind: pull bits of nostalgia and at the same time, bring something fresh to the table.

Here are 5 moments Jenna Ortega discussed her portrayal of Wednesday:

1. Playing 2022 Wednesday Addams

Jenna Ortega spoke about playing Wednesday Addams for a 2022 adaptation (0:33-0:55) | WIRED

Jenna Ortega started acting at a young age but her recent portrayal of Wednesday Addams for Netflix‘s 2022 adaptation definitely racked up her follower count. With so much anticipation from fans of different spin-offs of The Addams Family, she admitted that she felt the pressure.

“I’ve never played someone that has been portrayed before. Especially so flawlessly. It’s weird that people have already created expectations and ideas and still try to do something different that doesn’t stray away from the character but also puts her in a different world and atmosphere.”

2. Jenna Ortega’s Personal Flavor

Jenna Ortega shared how she added her personal flavor when getting into the role (1:16-2:02) | WhenInManila

The star couldn’t help but compare the time and age when the different spin-offs were produced. When approaching the character, one has to keep in mind that there will be two kinds of viewers: those who have never spent time with Wednesday and those who grew up with her.

I wanted to make her my own. I didn’t want to rip anybody off but you also can’t go too far from the original plot because she’s so nostalgic and so well-loved.

3. A good challenge

Jenna Ortega considered the role as “a good challenge” (2:37-2:52) | Good Morning America

From almost never smiling on set, having to take lots of additional lessons, and stunts she had to pull off, playing Wednesday was a tall order.

“I’ve never gotten the opportunity to play someone so deadpan and so vicious before. That was really exciting for me because I had to push myself in new ways and take more risks. There are some days on set when you don’t know if what you’re doing is right but you got to do it anyway. I love a good challenge.”

4. Working with 1991/1993 Wednesday

Jenna Ortega shared her experience working with Christina Ricci who played the 1991 and 1993 Wednesday in The Addams Family (0:50-1:16) | Access Hollywood

Despite the close proximity, Jenna admitted that she had never talked about Wednesday with co-actor Christina Ricci. No advice and comments were given on both ends, yet, mutual respect remains. It allowed Jenna to portray her own Wednesday while keeping inspiration from Christina’s.

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“Christina Ricci is just such a talented actor. I’ve always been a fan of her work and obviously, it all started with Wednesday. I think it was a little intimidating definitely trying to be Wednesday in front of Wednesday.”

5. Respect for Wednesday

Jenna Ortega’s dedication when playing the role on the 2022 spin-off stemmed from her respect for Wednesday as a character (1:56-2:18) | MTV News

It took a lot of time and effort before Jenna could perfectly portray a character that lots of people already adore. But more than that, her respect for Wednesday pushed her to present the portrayal that we quickly learned to adore.

“We’ve never spent this much time with Wednesday on camera before. I think there’s gonna be more depth or some more emotional range that we haven’t seen from her before.”

Jenna Ortega is a joy to watch — both when playing a deadpan Wednesday and when watching her enthusiasm during interviews. The spin-off definitely aligned with her goals to introduce the audience to a new yet nostalgic series that both old and new fans can enjoy.

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