It’s no secret that Netflix’s Wednesday is a hit, from the viral dance number to the excellent dark humor. Despite turning down the role numerous times, Jenna Ortega was born to play the famed Addams daughter.
While appearing on actor Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast on March 6, Ortega admitted that she had to put her “foot down” on set quite a bit to do what she felt was right for the character.
“There were times on that set where I even became almost unprofessional in a sense where I just started changing lines,” Ortega stated during the podcast episode.
“The script supervisor thought I was going with something, and then I had to sit down with the writers, and they’d be like, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’ And I’d have to go and explain why I couldn’t go do certain things.”
Ortega brought up how the love triangle between Wednesday, Xavier, and Tyler didn’t make sense to her (I was here for it actually).
Our cover star also recalled a line regarding her dress for the Rave’N Dance: “There was a line about a dress she has to wear for a school dance, and she says, ‘Oh, my God, I love it. Ugh — I can’t believe I said that. I literally hate myself.’ I had to go, ‘No.'”
Ortega discussed this dress moment earlier this year during an interview. And honestly, many (I included) agree: thank God she didn’t say the original line.
Ortega is right. The line isn’t Wednesday at all. Even if she delivered it in that unemotional tone, it still would’ve been weird hearing that from the dark character.
Instead, the episode (“Woe, What a Night”) sees Wednesday’s eyes briefly light up as she gazes at the dress, which was an Alaïa, by the way.
No words. Just an eensy, weensy pinch of emotion, but not too much because it’s Wednesday we’re talking about here (she only cracks smiles for loved ones and utter chaos). In short, Ortega’s reaction was perfect and very on-brand.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped Ortega from catching strays from Twitter fingers, including Pacific Rim: Uprising director Steven DeKnight who called the actress “toxic” and “unprofessional” in a tweet.
“She’s young, so maybe she doesn’t know any better (but she should). She should also ask herself how she would feel if the showrunners gave an interview and talked about how difficult she was and refused to perform the material,” DeKnight stated.
After catching some heat, DeKnight deleted the original tweet to turn around and type, “She’s an amazing talent. It was just an unfortunate situation to expose creative differences publicly, and also, I’ll admit that writers are on edge because of the impending strike, myself included. A perfect storm.”
Actors switching lines up on the fly is nothing new, if not arguably one of the indicators of talent in the entertainment field.
Occasionally, I come across a split-screen clip of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Wolf of Wall Street performance. As the script rolls below, the actor speaks as he feel his character would. Rather than following the lines, it’s seemingly used as a guide.
Those videos constantly resurface on the internet, bestowing DiCaprio with the same “legendary” praise each time. Meanwhile, some actresses are labeled as “divas” and “unprofessional” for doing such a thing (Ortega in this case).
Don’t you love the double standard in gender? I’m being sarcastic, of course.
As I said, Ortega was born to play Wednesday — or, as Tim Burton puts it, the character is “in her soul.” She nails the role so effortlessly.
“Rude,” “entitled,” “disrespectful?” Nah, Ortega did what felt natural for the character. As a result, the world fell even more in love with the Addams daughter, and Wednesday became the second most-watched series on Netflix.
As for the folks attempting to cancel her, see you next season as Ortega reprises her role.