Why Jenna Ortega “Had to Put Her Foot Down” on the “Wednesday” Set

Jenna Ortega: actress, viral dance choreographer, and… quasi-scriptwriter?

During the March 6 episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, Jenna opened up about portraying the famously moody titular character on Netflix’s Wednesday and revealed that while filming, she actually changed many of the pigtail-braided teen’s lines.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down on a set in a way that I had to on Wednesday,” Jenna told Dax and Armchair Expert co-host Monica Padman. Some of Wednesday Addams’ original lines and mannerisms didn’t align with her perception of the Nevermore Academy student, the actress explained.

wednesday jenna ortega as wednesday addams in episode 108 of wednesday cr courtesy of netflix © 2022
Netflix

“Everything that [Wednesday] does, everything that I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all,” Jenna said. “Her being in a love triangle? Made no sense. There was a line about this dress she has to wear for a school dance 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. There’s no way.’”

“There were times on that set where I even became almost unprofessional in the sense where I just started changing lines,” she continued. “The script supervisor thought that I was going with something and then I would have to sit down with the writers and they would be like, ‘Wait, what happened to this scene?’ And I would have to go through and explain why I couldn’t do certain things. I grew very, very protective of her.”

wednesday l to r moosa mostafa as eugene otinger, jenna ortega as wednesday addams, naomi j ogawa as yoko tanaka, joy sunday as bianca barclay in episode 103 of wednesday cr © 2022
Netflix

Although Jenna disagreed with certain elements of the script, she knew that Wednesday needed to eventually move beyond her droll, sarcastic demeanor to build likability and move the plot along.

“You can’t lead a story and have no emotional arc because then it’s boring and nobody likes you,” Jenna said. “When you are little and say very morbid, offensive stuff, it’s funny and endearing. But then you become a teenager and it’s nasty and you know it. There’s less of an excuse.”

Wednesday has been renewed for season 2, and although we’ve rewatched the first season an umpteenth number of times, Netflix, pls, drop the release date soon.

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