- Jenna Ortega said she had to put her “foot down” several times on the set of “Wednesday.”
- She told the “Armchair Expert” podcast that she was “unprofessional” and changed lines during filming.
- Ortega also said her viral dance scene was supposed to be a flash mob, but she vetoed it.
“Wednesday” star Jenna Ortega said she changed several lines while filming the hit Netflix series because she was “very protective” of her character.
Ortega received critical acclaim for playing Wednesday Addams in the teen mystery series last year. In the past, she has spoken about how she disagreed with certain parts of the script, particularly the love triangle between Wednesday, Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hynes White) and Tyler Galpin (Hunter Doohan).
In a new interview on the “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard” podcast Monday, the Netflix star detailed his disagreements with the script.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had to set foot on a set the way I had to on ‘Wednesday’ because it’s so easy to fall into that category, especially with this type of (teen) show ,” Ortega told Shepard and his co-host Monica Padman.
“Everything she does, everything I had to play, made no sense at all for her character. It made no sense to be in a love triangle. There was a line about this dress that she has to wear to a school dance and she saying, “Oh my god, I love it! I can’t believe I said that. I literally hate myself.” And I had to say, ‘No, there’s no way.'”
Ortega continued, “There were times on that set where I even became unprofessional in a way where I just started changing lines. The script supervisor thought I was up to something and then I would sit down with the writers and they would be like, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’ And I had to go through and explain why I couldn’t do certain things.”
Ortega said she had to accept certain story elements she disagreed with in order for the show to have an “emotional arc.”
“I grew very, very protective of her, but you can’t lead a story and have no emotional arc because then it’s boring and nobody likes you,” Ortega said. “And Wednesday is a teenager. When you’re little and you say morbid, offensive things, it’s funny and endearing and, ‘Aw, 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.”
Ortega also discussed the dance scene in episode four, which has since gone viral and has been replicated by Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and her daughter North West, and Elon Musk’s mother Maye Musk.
The actress said she asked executive producer and director Tim Burton not to hire a choreographer because she was “so overwhelmed,” adding that she asked to come up with the dance herself because she “stopped relying on statements from the outside” about his character.
“Originally it was going to be a flash mob and she was going to start dancing and everyone was going to pick up on it and start dancing with her. And I vetoed that, because why would she be okay with that?” said the “Scream” star. “I said, ‘Either you cut it or get Wednesday to strike someone out and it’s done’.”
Despite the success of “Wednesday,” Ortega said the show is not the “proudest moment” of her acting career so far.
“I can’t see my work, but I can go home from the set and say, ‘That scene we shot today felt good.’ On ‘Wednesday,’ there wasn’t a scene in that show where I went home and said : ‘Okay, that should be fine,’ Ortega said.
“Now a lot of people know me from that. It’s not my proudest moment internally, which I think also adds an extra level of insecurity and stress. Because it’s like, no, I’m finally getting these offers to these places. I want to, but I don’t want to be known specifically for that,” Ortega added.
Speaking about receiving Screen Actors Guild Awards and Golden Globe nominations for the role, Ortega said: “My brain completely ignores that, ‘Oh, the general public must be so easy to please.’ People put out content so quickly and the fact that we actually sat down and spent a lot of time on it, I think would obviously elevate or maybe make a show more appealing to an audience.”
The “X” actress also said she has “watched a lot” of the show “against my will” because she had to complete about “200 lines of ADR,” where actors record lines in the studio to replace what was originally filmed.
“Wednesday” can be streamed on Netflix.
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