Jenna Ortega
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Jenna Ortega Turned Down Wednesday Multiple Times Before Taking the Part

Since its premiere in late 2022, Wednesday has become one of the most successful shows in Netflix history, partly thanks to its sardonic leading lady, portrayed by Jenna Ortega. Jenna plays the character with so much temperament that it’s now hard to imagine anyone else playing the iconic role of Wednesday Addams in this adaption — but that was almost the case. 

In a new interview, Jenna Ortega revealed that when she first got the email for the role, she actually passed on it immediately. “I had done so much TV in my life, all I’ve ever wanted to do is film,” Jenna recently told The Times. “When I first started acting, I don’t want to say nobody believed in me, but at the same time, nobody believed in me. You have to prove yourself. It’s only in the last three or four years that I’ve been able to start going up for film.”

Jenna Ortega as Tara Carpenter in Scream VI

Philippe Bossé

“I was scared that signing on to another television show could prevent me from doing other jobs I really wanted and cared about,” the Scream 6 actor added. So how did she end up taking the role? Well, because of Tim Burton alone. 

“[He] is such a legend, and we just happened to get along very well,” Jenna continued. “But even then I said, ‘Ah, no — I think I’m OK,’ a couple [more] times.” (In the interview, Jenna also admitted she thought the series “wasn’t going to be watched,” but, to her surprise, that could not be further from the truth.)

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in Wednesday season 1

Courtesy of Netflix

Jenna has been relatively open about some of her initial reservations with Wednesday, even after having accepted the role. During a recent appearance on the Armchair Expert podcast, Jenna admitted she made various changes to the scripts to ensure the character felt as authentic to her as possible, which she confessed was borderline “unprofessional.”

Related: Jenna Ortega Shared How Wednesday Influenced Her Own Style

“Everything that she does, everything that I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all,” Jenna said. “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.” Jenna also added, “I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down on a set in the way that I had to on Wednesday.

Going into Wednesday season 2, Jenna has more than a couple of suggestions for her onscreen counterpart, and this time around, we have a feeling the changes will be more than substantial.