Go Behind the Scenes of ‘Wednesday’ With Tim Burton, Jenna Ortega & More (VIDEO)
Tim Burton and the cast of Wednesday are taking fans behind the scenes of the upcoming Netflix Addams Family series, premiering this fall. In the all new featurette, above, Burton introduces viewers to their take on the iconic character, played by Jenna Ortega. The actress explains her approach to the character, who is a moody, plotting high schooler in this iteration — older than viewers have previously seen her portrayed.
Wednesday is a “sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy,” Netflix describes. “Wednesday’s attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago — all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore.”
“Wednesday is the classic outsider, obviously,” Burton says in the new video. “She sees things in black and white. Mainly black. But in the past incarnations it’s been very cartoony, so in this longer form, we’re just trying to give it a reality, which I love.”
“It was really important to me that I did something different, even though she’s been done so flawlessly in the past,” Ortega notes. “She’s a bit more socially awkward. There’s a confidence there, but it’s more concealed.”
Also appearing in the video are Catherine Zeta-Jones (Morticia Addams), series creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, and more.
“She inherently has a dry sense of humor as Jenna, so she has incorporated that into Wednesday,” Zeta-Jones says of her on-screen daughter. That dry humor is on full display throughout the video, featuring quippy Wednesday lines with a modern twist like, “When I look at you, the following emojis come to mind: rope, shovel, hole.”
While Ortega seems like a natural in the role, getting Wednesday just right was of paramount importance to her, in part because it marks the first time Wednesday is being portrayed as a Latina like she is in the original Addams Family comics. It’s also just a well known, beloved character.
“I honestly was so nervous to do this part, because I wanted to do it justice, so I went to fencing lessons twice a week, I went to cello lessons twice a week,” she shares. “A big part of it too was just physicality. I would walk around like Wednesday, and I think that people thought I might have been kind of crazy, because I wanted to be specific, and certain, and assertive.”
Burton compares Ortega’s version of the character to a silent movie actress, saying “She’s able to convey things without words. To see the inner life and the subtleties was very exciting. That’s why we’re very lucky to have Jenna, ’cause I can’t imagine any other Wednesday.”
Wednesday also stars Luis Guzmán (Gomez Addams), Isaac Ordonez (Pugsley Addams), Gwendoline Christie, Hunter Doohan, Percy Hynes White, Joy Sunday, Emma Myers, Riki Lindhome, Jamie McShane, Georgie Farmer, Naomi Ogawa, and Moosa Mostafa. Former Wednesday Christina Ricci will also appear in the eight-episode season.
Wednesday, Series Premiere, Fall 2022, Netflix