Wednesday’s Jenna Ortega criticizes writing on Netflix series

Image: Netflix

Jenna Ortega (Scream VI) sat down with Dax Shepherd for an episode of his podcast Armchair expertand revealed more than a few disappointing memories of working with Netflix’s Tim Burton-produced series Wednesday. Ortega said that she would often change lines, refused to act according to the script, and admitted that she “became unprofessional” because she believed the material she had been given was torturously bad.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down on a set the way I had to Wednesday” said the actor. “I grew very, very protective of (the Wednesday character), but you can’t lead a story and not have an emotional arc, because then it’s boring and nobody likes you.” Ortega didn’t have high hopes to the show’s reception, saying that modern viewers are “easy to please” due to the sheer volume of content being sent out so quickly. (If ever there was an interview with an actor that completely confirmed one of io9’s reviewsit’s this one.)

It turns out, Wednesday was a huge Netflix hit, and it is credited with greatly raising Ortega’s profile. Still, the actress doesn’t have much positive to say about her experience on set. “I can’t see my work, but I can go home from the set and say, ‘That scene we shot today felt good.’ On Wednesdaythere wasn’t a scene in that show where I went home and said, ‘OK, this should be fine.'” Ortega has said in previous interviews that the long hours and extensive training she did took a huge toll on her, and had her “hysterically crying,” according to Variety. (As was widely reported, she performed the show’s viral dance number while unknowingly sick with covid.)

Ortega took control of the writing above all else. She said on the podcast, “everything she does, everything I had to play, made no sense at all for her character.” As for Wednesday’s sarcastic humor, Ortega said, “When you’re little and you say morbid, offensive things, it’s funny and endearing and ‘Aww, you don’t know any better.’ But then you become a teenager, it’s: ‘Now you’re ugly and you know it.’ There is less excuse.”

Wednesday has been renewed for a season two, with Jenna Ortega on board as both producer and star.

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