Jenna Ortega said that 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 amid filming.
Ortega also said that 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 mystery teen series last year. In the past, she has spoken about how she disagreed with certain parts of the script, especially 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 spoke in more detail about her disagreements with the script.
“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,’ because it’s so easy to fall into that category, especially with this type of [teen] show,” Ortega told Shepard and his cohost Monica Padman.
“Everything that she does, everything that I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all. Her being in a love triangle made no sense. There was a line about this dress that she has to wear for a school dance and she says, ‘Oh my god, I love it! I can’t believe I said that. I literally hate myself.’ And I had to go, ‘No, there’s no way.'”
Ortega continued: “There were times on that set where I even became unprofessional in a sense where I just started changing lines. The script supervisor thought I was going with something, and then I would have to sit down with the writers and they’d be like, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’ And I would have to go through and explain why I couldn’t do certain things.”
Ortega said that she had to accept certain story elements she disagreed with in order for the show to have an “emotional arc.”
“I grew up 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 stuff, it’s funny and endearing and, ‘Aww, you don’t know any better.’ But then you become a teenager, it’s, ‘Now you’re being nasty and you know it.’ There’s less excuse.”
Ortega also discussed the dance scene in episode four which has since gone viral and been replicated by Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and her daughter North West, and Elon Musk’s mother Maye Musk.
The actor said she asked executive producer and director Tim Burton not to hire a choreographer because she was “so overwhelmed,” and added that she asked to come up with the dance herself because she “stopped trusting outside opinion” about her character.
“Initially, it was supposed to be a flash mob and she was supposed to start dancing and everyone was supposed to pick up on it and start dancing with her. And that, I vetoed, because why would she be okay with that?” the “Scream” star said. “I said, ‘Either cut it or have Wednesday knock someone out, and then it’s done.'”
Despite the success of “Wednesday,” Ortega said that the show is not the “proudest moment” of her acting career so far.
“I can’t watch my work, but I can go home from the set and say, ‘The scene that we shot today felt good.’ On ‘Wednesday,’ there wasn’t a scene in that show that I went home and was like, ‘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 that I want, 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 disregards that: ‘Oh, the general public must be so easy to please.’ People are shipping out content so fast, and the fact that we actually sold down and spent considerable time on that, I think, would naturally elevate or maybe make a show more appealing to an audience.”
The “X” actor also said that she has “seen a lot” of the show “against my will” because she had to complete roughly “200 lines of ADR,” where actors record lines in the studio to replace what was filmed originally.
“Wednesday” is available to stream on Netflix.
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