The actress talked about her decision to turn down the role and director Tim Burton not once but “a few times.”
Jenna Ortega revealed that she almost chose not to play Wednesday Addams in the Netflix hit, and her decision had nothing to do with blood, gore or having to tap into her dark side for the part.
That said the 20-year-old actress The Times UK that she turned down the role not once, not twice, but “a few” times.
“I got the email, passed it on. I had done so much TV in my life, all I ever wanted to do is film,” she explained, “I was afraid that by signing on to another television show, it could keep me from doing other jobs that I really wanted and care about.”
So what caused her sudden change of heart? It may have to do with her enjoyment of the creepy and paranormal aspects of horror and her respect for the series’ director, Tim Burton.
“I used to be a very scared cat. Then I became a teenager. And I’ve always been very interested in blood,” she confessed. “I don’t know why, it’s just this thing I can’t turn away from.”
Related: Christina Ricci Reveals If She Gave Advice to Jenna Ortega About Playing Wednesday Addams
Lucky for her, her passion for the genre has worked. “For some reason people see my face and want to throw blood on it… I don’t know what it is. I had a horror director tell me once that my eyes looked like they could be very innocent. It was never intentionally, but it’s really fun.”
The actress also admitted that her ultimate attraction to the project had a lot to do with her respect for Burton. , “Ah, no – I think I’m fine,” a few [more] time.”
And while fans of the record-breaking series can’t imagine anyone else in his titular role, Ortega was no doubt surprised by the show’s acclaim.
“I did not expect the reaction. The [Wednesday] cast and I remember we used to talk about it in Romania [where the show was filmed], we were like, ‘Hey, what do you think is going to happen with the show?’ That was it, that was the most we’ve ever really had into it. So I thought it wouldn’t be looked at. That it will be a nice gem someone finds, but [most people don’t].”
Contrary to the cast’s anticipation of the show’s reception, Wednesday took off quickly, with one scene in particular going viral on TikTok: Ortega’s own choreography in Episode 4.
“When they told me [it was going viral], I tried to seem elated about it, like, ‘Oh, wow!’ But mentally, in my head, I hoped people wouldn’t pay so much attention to that part. It’s disorienting. I don’t think humans are naturally designed to have so many eyes on them.”
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The actress has slowly gotten used to the fame that comes with starring in a popular Netflix show. Her first encounter with a Disney Channel child star Stuck in the middleshe has since expanded her career with a worldwide TV hit, a Saturday Night Live hosting a performance and some film credits, playing Tara Carpenter in Scream VI.
As for the future, she said she wants to find a balance between time with friends and time at work — a feeling many of us can relate to. “To specify, I’m not all alone. I have my core people that I’ve known since I was four or five years old, and they’re beautiful and wonderful and wonderful. I’m all good.”
To keep up with all of Ortega’s recent roles, you can stream Wednesday exclusively on Netflix or go to the cinema to see Scream VI; the new slasher movie will make its streaming debut on Paramount+ later this year.
Next one, ‘Wednesday’ on Netflix! Everything we know about Season 2 so far, including renewal news.