On Wednesdays we wear black and watch the latest behind the scenes featurette for Tim Burton’s Netflix series centering on Wednesday Addams. In it, the master of cinematic oddities like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands discusses Wednesday star Jenna Ortega’s take on the classic Charles Addams character.
“Wednesday is the classic outsider, obviously. She sees things very black and white, mainly black,” Burton says in the video, which you can watch below. “In the past incarnations it’s been very cartoony. So in this longer form we just tried to give it a reality, which I loved.”
Ortega, who is currently on the rise as a scream queen in films like Ti West’s X and the most recent Scream, knew she wanted to stand apart from previous versions. “It was really important to me that I did something different, even though she’s been done so flawlessly in the past,” she shares. (Christina Ricci—the actor most people associate with the part—also has a role in Wednesday as “an exciting new character.”)
“She’s a bit more socially awkward. There’s a confidence there but it’s more concealed,” Ortega continues. “Wednesday is technically a Latina character and that’s never been represented. So for me, any time that I have an opportunity to represent my community, I want that to be seen. Wednesday’s somebody that I always was compared to my entire life.” (A win for underepresented goth girls and their families!) Luis Guzmán also stars as Gomez Addams with Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams. Puglsey is played by newcomer Isaac Ordonez.
Combining what makes Wednesday the most sardonic, grimly loyal member of the Addams family with some Gen Z realness is really exciting and Ortega has what it takes, as Burton explains. “She’s like a silent movie actress in the sense where she’s able to convey things without words. And to see that inner life and the subtleties was exciting. I can’t imagine any other Wednesday.”
Wednesday arrives this fall on Netflix.
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