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Wednesday and Wednesday’s undeniable similitude 31 years apart

Wednesday and Wednesday’s undeniable similitude 31 years apart

Wednesday Addams is the only daughter of the Addams Family. She has been iconically portrayed by a lot of actresses since her first appearance in 1938. Lisa Loring became the first actress to give life to the character in 1973.

Then, Christina Ricci gave her such an iconic portrayal in the 1991 film, The Addams Family, and its 1993 sequel, Addams Family Values. Before 2022 even ended as a tricennial passed by, Wednesday Addams makes a comeback with a modernized look through Jenna Ortega

But, this time, Ricchi and Ortega team up in a heartwarming and eventually startling ensemble of their shared characters. With the former now playing a sage role to her fresh successor in Netflix’s take on the classic The Addams Family – limelight the titular character, Wednesday

Wednesday and Wednesday’s undeniable similitude 31 years apart

Wednesday Addams lived in diverse portrayals throughout its longevity, spanning over 84 years. While the 1991 installment rests as the iconic one to date, the Netflix adaptation is a nascent one, in truth already making waves and its own world of clouds.

The revival showcases the Addams unit’s only daughter as she navigates teenage life in the 21st century in the school of outcasts. It is as if witnessing what the fledgling 1991 Addams will become as she gradually leaves girlhood, except surrounded by mobile phones and social media.

And, through Christina and Jenna’s portrayal, we see a striking transition, not just similarities. They have a fair share of commonalities despite the large leaps in creative decisions and huge age gaps.

Their portrayal shares a nostalgic resemblance, one we now owe to Jenna Ortega for emulating the icon that is Ricci – beloved by fans for three decades now, being breathed with a new life and interesting growth.

Here are some note-worthy similarities between their portrayal – and looks!

The iconic braided-pigtail look

The simple coiffure, and twin pigtail braids, hang on the wickedly witty head of the gothic namesake. And, rests on the often swallow-tail-collared dress. But, no one can wear it any better than them. Although Christina Ricci dons hers in an arched fringe, and Jenna Ortega wears hers with full bangs. This does not get in the way of showcasing the subtle performance of their eyes, with their eyebrows slating the face into a Kubrick manner, as Jenna regards in one interview from Teen Vogue:

The thing about blinking is I didn’t realize that I was doing it. It just kind of happened. Because every time we started to take I would reset my face, I would drop all the muscles in my face, and Tim (Burton) really like the ‘Kubrick’ stare, where I stared through my eyebrows. It’s just a bit intimidating.

The iconic defining crown of the ghoulish girl remains to sit at the shoulder of the industry’s giants. A companion (aside from the sprightly little Thing) and an emblem of the powerful and quirky characters they are.

Snarky lines in effortless nonchalance

One will think of Wednesday as an embodiment of an antiquated novel. As sharp, dry, and olden vocabulary falls from their stern yet softly pursed lips. Her wit is not the type to be messed with. It could even leave their recipient stoned and frozen (better than Ajax’s snakes could pull). And that is all thanks to the steady and taunting speaking tone of Ricci and Ortega, executed in impeccable timing and rhythm.

Jenna Ortega tells Teen Vogue,

I also didn’t want to seem like I’m doing too much with my voice but I think there is something about her (Wednesday) that is formal. I mean she’s so intelligent. She has an incredible vocabulary. I kind of altered my pitch a little bit, I think at times. And also, the way I pronounced certain words.

A tranquil storm of obsidian-hued humor emanates from both their seemingly guileless countenance too. Taking into account, the actresses’ empathy towards the character. In spite of that sweet, affectionate words won’t ever fall from their lips, the warmth from the stone-cold character is palpable as both of them draw in very fine lines of minimal shaping in Wednesday’s sedentary face.

Curving the eyebrows, slivering a smirk, saccading eyes, drawing the emotions from the chest right to the often blank canvas. True artistry in action.

I know that they wanted to bring some sort of realistic aspect to her and make her more of a human being. So I tried maybe in more dramatic scenes or more intense scenes to kind of drop it a little bit.

The bulging pairs of eyes

Both Ricci’s and Ortega’s almond and wide moon eyes respectively pierce through effortlessly, and hauntingly. Christina gives off a feel of bottled chaos under innocence, while Jenna appears in with inquisitive dark full moon eyes widening larger in wonder, fascination, and in awe of the character’s own dark amusement. Albeit the difference in shape, these very orbs communicate effectively and similarly.

One interesting story Ortega shared is how her Wednesday has a definitive mannerism. After being witnessed by the genius director Tim Burton not blinking, she was seen with potential.

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At some point during he first couple of weeks of shooting, I did a take where I did not blink at all. And Tim said, “I don’t want you to blink anymore.

This very detail would soon make the modern Wednesday an owl of an advantageous vantage point, with a powerful signature secret move.

An enduring and lasting impact

Wednesday’s assured gait managed to march and transcend just as well into the 21st century. Both the stars’ respective performances are stellar in their own flair and time. An archetype of a character still reinventing and growing enduringly in the talented beings of new players.

Jenna understands the responsibility of taking the baton,

People tattoo this character on their bodies. She’s been a consistent Halloween costume for years. I’d still panic about her. I still lay awake at night staring at the ceiling thinking, ‘I should’ve done this.’ It’s been done flawlessly in the past. And that wasn’t a trait of Wednesday, that’s something that Christina started.

It’s scary, it’s a lot of pressure, and you want to do justice to someone like her and there’s a lot of anticipation and expectation, and what an incredible job. And I think I had to go to work every day and remember it’s a Netflix show, you know.

Christina, on the other hand, expresses her fascination for the revival with Extra on the red carpet premiere.

[And] this is very much Wednesday’s story (Netflix’s). And it’s so much fun to have a world that is totally about her. And Jenna is so fantastic. It is such a wonderful version of Wednesday. So relevant for today. You know I always say I think every generation should have their own Wednesday. Because honestly, it’s such a great…especially for women. What an amazing character to have that believes in themselves, has dignity and self-respect, won’t change for anyone and isn’t influenced by any of the crappy things that women have to be influenced by all the time. So I really do feel that every generation should have their own Wednesday.

The modern retelling of the classic is a culmination of eclectic results for the past three decades since its predecessor film. While we feel the nostalgia in the similarities we see on screen, the fresh creative juices throbbing in the young blood deserve commendation too. If there is any more striking commonality, it is that they are both the fitting Wednesdays of their respective generations.

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