Jenna Ortega Explains Why She Wanted to Play Wednesday Addams in Netflix Series – MovieWeb

Wednesday star Jenna Ortega opened up on her casting in Tim Burton’s new take on The Addams Family.
The Addams Family is getting rebooted at Netflix with director Tim Burton, and the new series will center on Wednesday Addams with Jenna Ortega in the lead role. Production on the series, dubbed Wednesday, is currently underway and it's expected to debut on Netflix sometime this year. The live-action series is unrelated to the recent animated films and will follow Wednesday as an older teenager as she attends Nevermore Academy, where she will utilize her psychic ability to help solve a supernatural mystery involving her kooky family.
Ortega shed some new light on her portrayal of Wednesday in a recent interview with Empire. The Scream star explained how the big challenge with playing Wednesday is that the character has already been played so flawlessly in the past, which notably includes the iconic portrayal by Christina Ricci in the original Addam Family films. Ortega's goal was to do something different while still remaining faithful to the character, and with there's a certain added pressure that comes with making Wednesday the lead this time.
“Wednesday has been done so perfectly. Like there's nothing that you could do to make it – it can't get any better. There's that pressure. I knew that I could not be ripping anybody off. She’s a deadpan character. She's sarcastic and she's tough. I think there are several different paths that I or anyone could have taken to this part. It's been really incredible because our director, Tim Burton, is very collaborative. We've never seen her on screen so often. She's always been the one-liner. How do we keep that kick, that fire, while also giving us enough of an emotional range to carry a story without losing the emotionless character she is at her core?”
Related: Scream Star Jenna Ortega Opens Up on Paying Homage to Drew Barrymore
The cast of the new family in Wednesday includes Luis Guzmán as Gomez, Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley, and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia. On why she joined the cast, Ortega revealed how she saw the importance in having a Latina actress playing this iconic character and the positive impact it would have on others. What helped seal the deal was just how much Ortega had always related to Wednesday Addams anyway, which was a character she'd grown up getting compared to because of her real-life personality.
“A big part of the reason I signed on is because she’s technically a Latina character and that’s never been shown or represented. As someone who struggled, and still struggles to this day, with some sort of feeling of representation or relatability in mainstream media and film and television, I recognized this was an opportunity for me to… give that relatability to other girls like myself. Looking the way I do and having the cultural background I have, there aren’t many iconic characters out there. So when an opportunity like this comes up – she’s someone I’ve been compared to my whole life, just because of my humor and dry nature, so it just seemed fitting. I thought that would be a nice way to flex my muscles in a different way.”
Tim Burton directs Wednesday with series creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar serving as showrunners. The series also stars Riki Lindhome, Jamie McShane, Hunter Doohan, Georgie Farmer, Moosa Mostafa, Emma Myers, Naomi J. Ogawa, Joy Sunday, Percy Hynes White, Gwendoline Christie, and Victor Dorobantu.
Wednesday doesn't yet have a release date but is expected to debut sometime in 2022 on Netflix.
Jeremy Dick has been a writer and editor since 2014. He is a self-professed horror expert, pop culture enthusiast, and Bob Saget fanatic.

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