Latest ‘Wednesday’ News Proves the Show Lives and Dies With Jenna Ortega

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in

Despite some shaky reviews and a now-fired cast member, there’s no denying that Netflix is Wednesday was one of the biggest breakout shows of 2022. Not only is it an entertaining crime thriller, but it’s also a star vehicle that cements Jenna Ortega’s status as a Hollywood powerhouse. The latest news from the series confirms what we already suspected: that the true magic of Wednesday always came from Ortega.

Ortega made waves this week when clips from a recent episode of Dax Shepard’s surfaced armchair expert Podcast she was a guest on. For those who want to listen for themselves, the crux of the story begins around the 36-minute mark, where Ortega details how surprised she was at the show’s tone after assuming an Addams TV show on Wednesday aimed at an older audience. “As I read the entire series, I was like, ‘Oh, this is for a younger audience,'” Ortega explained. “When I first signed on to the show, I didn’t have all the scripts. I thought it would get a lot darker. I didn’t know what the tone was, I didn’t know how the score would sound or how it would be edited.”

Ortega went on to say that she grew accustomed to the character during filming and worried that Wednesday might be unsympathetic or uninteresting to fans. “I’ve become very, very protective of her. You can’t have a story and an emotional arc because then it’s boring and nobody likes you,” she said. Ortega’s frustrations seem to depend specifically on handling the character now that she’s aged into a teenager, as opposed to most previous iterations where Wednesday was just six years old.

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Apparently, Ortega worried that an older version of the character delivering such apathetic lines might alienate viewers instead of endearing them as much as the younger version of the character did. “When you’re little and you say very morbid, offensive things, it’s funny and endearing,” Ortega explained. “But then you become a teenager and it’s bad and you know it. There are fewer excuses.”

But that’s where the real bombshell comes in: Not only did Ortega simmer her frustration with the show’s handling of the character: she voiced it on set, leading to frequent dialogue changes. According to Ortega, “There were times on that set where I even got kind of unprofessional in a way, where I just started switching lines. The script supervisor thought I was up to something, and then I had to sit down with the writers and they said, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’ And I would have to go and explain why I couldn’t do certain things.”

In terms of the specific lines and moments in which she changed, Ortega’s primary frustrations with writing seemed to stem from the character’s love triangle (for which I’ve previously expressed my own disdain) and Wednesday’s response to finding a dress to have for the school dance.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had to push as hard on a set as I did on set Wednesday‘ Ortega said. “Everything she does, everything I had to play, didn’t make any sense to her character at all. That she’s in a love triangle? It made no sense. There was a line about a dress she has to wear to a prom and she said, ‘Oh my god I love it. Ugh, I can’t believe I said that. I literally hate myself.” And I had to go, ‘No.'”

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While Ortega may have viewed her behavior as unprofessional, I can’t help but thank my lucky stars for making the changes she did. From the sound of it, all the changes Ortega insisted on were made in the end Wednesday far more faithful to the character. Thankfully, Ortega was recently announced that she has taken on the role of executive producer for Season 2, meaning she will have even more (official) creative control over the direction of the series and Wednesday as a character.

As for what Ortega’s increased creative control over the series will look like, she hinted in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that we’ll see less romance and more bloodshed. “I think we want to ramp up the horror aspect a little bit and then take Wednesday out of the romantic situation and just let her be her own person and fight her own crime,” Ortega said. Although Wednesday Season 2 doesn’t have a release date yet, fans eager for more Ortega can catch up scream VIwhich is now in cinemas.

(Selected image: Netflix)

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