Jenna Ortega Confirms ‘Beetlejuice 2’ Role Is Lydia’s Daughter, Says Hollywood Needs More ‘Strange’ and ‘Off-Putting Stories’ Like Tim Burton’s Sequel

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Jenna Ortega told Vanity Fair that “I just became very confused emotionally” amid the record-breaking success of Netflix’s “Wednesday,” which turned Ortega into an overnight global superstar during the end of 2022. “I didn’t know what to say or do.” It wasn’t until the SAG-AFTRA strike brought Hollywood to a halt while Ortega was in the midst of filming Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” sequel that she was able to take a breather and gain some much-needed perspective.

“To still enjoy the job just as much 12 years later — having seen all of the ugly and wonderful and extreme — is pretty cool,” Ortega said.

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It was “Beetlejuice 2” (which Warner Bros. is releasing under the title “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice”) that seemed to reignite Ortega’s passion for acting. She’s a newcomer to the franchise and joining returning players Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara.

“I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say, but I am Lydia Deetz’s daughter, so I’ll give that away,” she told Vanity Fair. “She’s weird, but in a different way and not in the way you’d assume, I would say. The relationship between Lydia (Ryder) and Astrid, my character, is very important. And it’s also really strange because it’s a lot of catching up and putting the pieces together of what’s gone on in Lydia’s life since, which is nice, I think, for anybody who loves the character and is excited to see her again.”

Ortega added that bringing the gothic aesthetics of the “Beetlejuice” franchise to younger audiences in 2024 is part of the reason she “was excited that they were bringing it back.”

“I feel like studios nowadays, of course they want people in seats and you’ve got to do reboots or sequels or things like that to get people entwined, but to bring ‘Beetlejuice’ back — of all of the stories –is so good because people need to revisit weird, strange, off-putting stories again,” Ortega said. “We need to introduce the younger generation that’s always on the phone to new artistic and creative ideas. The weirder you get with it, the more people you can get to see it, I think will probably do a lot for film in general.”

Ortega might be on to something given that “Wednesday” remains one of Netflix’s most-watched series of all time. Clearly the “weird” and “strange” can be marketed to a mass audience. She’ll be back filming “Wednesday” Season 2 later this year. Ortega said last month that each episode of the new season feels like an entire movie.

“I mean, in the first season we had episodes that really stood out visually, like the dance episode was a really big one for people, and that setting was very particular and it felt like ‘Prom Night,’ a little bit, or ‘Carrie,'” Ortega elaborated to Vanity Fair. “Every episode [of Season 2] that I’ve read so far is like that. It just stands out on its own as a very memorable scene or bit or setting, which I think is what I’m most excited for, because to pull that off for eight episodes is, I think, really incredible and really lucky.”

“Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” opens in theaters Sept. 6 from Warner Bros.

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