Jenna Ortega opens up about dark side of social media: 'It's very manipulative'

Jenna Ortega may be a darling of the streaming age, but the actress is getting candid on life as a digital celebrity.

During an interview for Variety’s Actors on Actors published Wednesday, Ortega, who stars as Wednesday Addams on Netflix’s hit dark comedy “Wednesday,” opened up to actress Elle Fanning about her relationship with social media, which she said can get “ugly.”

“Even after shooting ‘Wednesday,’ when I was auditioning for certain roles, they would come to my team: ‘We like her, but we just don’t know if she has enough of a platform or enough of a name,’” Ortega said. “And social media, what it does to anyone our age, it’s such a comparing game. It almost influences bandwagon mentality. … It’s very manipulative.”

Ortega said she’s become more guarded and anxious about how she expresses herself on social media.

“Because I naturally tend to be sarcastic or dry, it’s very easy for me to find myself in trouble,” Ortega said. “I want people to be able to get to know the people behind the camera and realize that people should never be put on a pedestal.”

The conversation became emotional for Ortega, who teared up as she discussed the difficulty of being misconstrued online. “The more I’ve been exposed to the world, people prey on that and take advantage of that,” she said. “They see your vulnerability and twist it in a way that you don’t always expect.”

She added: “It’s such a hard thing to balance because how do you be honest without jeopardizing your own health and safety? It’s very easy to feel almost out of control.”

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Ortega said her relationship with social media has improved in recent years and that she still maintains a desire to share her honest self as a public figure.

“I still have this really, really intense urge to be human and honest and authentic,” Ortega said. “Another thing about this industry is you get in front of a camera and people want you to be something else, where it’s ‘Have more energy’ or ‘Could you smile a bit more?’ and it just feels so gross. And I don’t want to feel gross. I would rather people see me cry and do whatever than be something that I’m not.”

Watch: Jenna Ortega and Aubrey Plaza try to out deadpan each other at the SAG Awards

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jenna Ortega, Elle Fanning talk 'manipulative' side of social media