Actor Jenna Ortega has earned tremendous praise for her performance in the Addams Family spinoff Wednesday, but the performer confirmed that she initially passed on the project entirely, largely due to her lack of interest in taking part in a TV series when her interests were geared towards film. Despite that initial apprehension, when she discovered the project was being developed by Tim Burton, her interest was piqued, but even after his involvement was confirmed, she was still dubious about signing on before ultimately joining the project. Wednesday is confirmed to be getting a Season 2 on Netflix though it doesn’t yet have a release date.
“No, I didn’t. I got the email, passed on it.” Ortega revealed to The Times when asked if she had passion for the role before securing it. “I had done so much TV in my life, all I’ve ever wanted to do is film. When I first started acting, I don’t want to say nobody believed in me, but at the same time nobody believed in me. You have to prove yourself. It’s only in the last three or four years that I’ve been able to start going up for film. I was scared that by signing on to another television show it could prevent me from doing other jobs I really wanted and cared about. The only reason I went back is because Tim [Burton, director and executive producer of Wednesday] is such a legend, and we just happened to get along very well. But even then I said, ‘Ah, no — I think I’m OK,’ a couple [more] times.”
Once she took on the role, however, her interests grew, to the point that she felt there were changes that needed to be made to the series to more accurately reflect her creative decisions.
“Everything that she does, everything that I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all,” Ortega revealed on the Armchair Expert podcast. “Her being in a love triangle made no sense. There was a line about this dress that she has to wear for a school dance and she says, ‘Oh, my God, I love it! I can’t believe I said that. I literally hate myself.’ And I had to go, ‘No, there’s no way.’”
She continued, “I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down on a set in the way that I had to on Wednesday … There were times on that set where I even became unprofessional in a sense where I just started changing lines … The script supervisor thought I was going with something, and then I would have to sit down with the writers and they’d be like, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’ And I would have to go through and explain why I couldn’t do certain things.”
Netflix has yet to reveal when Season 2 of Wednesday could head into production.
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