By the course of 2022, Jenna Ortega appears to be like set to safe a critical popularity as Gen Z’s premier scream queen. After slaying within the newest Scream sequel, she’ll subsequent be scaring up a storm in Foo Fighters fright-fest Studio 666 and Ti West’s X – and past that, she’s been getting into the footwear of legendary character greatest identified for being creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky. Ortega bagged the central function in Tim Burton’s upcoming Netflix collection Wednesday, digging into the inside lifetime of The Addams Household’s deadpan daughter, Wednesday Addams. The present is hitting the streaming service later this 12 months, and Ortega appears to be like set to place her personal stamp on the final word troubled teenager.
Talking to Empire, Ortega heaped reward on earlier incarnations of the character – memorably performed by Christina Ricci within the ‘90s motion pictures, Lisa Loring and Cindy Henderson within the ‘60s and ‘70s TV collection, and voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz within the current animated motion pictures. “Wednesday has been finished so completely. Like there’s nothing that you could possibly do to make it – it might’t get any higher,” she says. The problem, then, is to do one thing totally different whereas remaining distinctly Wednesday. “There’s that strain. I knew that I couldn’t be ripping anyone off. She’s a deadpan character. She’s sarcastic and she or he’s robust. I believe there are a number of totally different paths that I or anybody may have taken to this half. It has been actually unbelievable as a result of our director, Tim Burton, may be very collaborative.”
Ortega says she labored intently with Burton to craft this model of Wednesday – from her smile, to her sarcasm, to her teenage id. Plus, there’s the truth that this time she’s centre stage on this story. “We have by no means seen her on display screen so usually,” she explains. “She’s at all times been the one-liner. How can we preserve that kick, that fireplace, whereas additionally giving us sufficient of an emotional vary to hold a narrative with out shedding the impassive character she is at her core?”
However for all of the challenges, there was a transparent motivation for Ortega to step into Wednesday’s impeccably-laced footwear. “A giant a part of the explanation I signed on is as a result of she’s technically a Latina character and that’s by no means been proven or represented,” she says. In Burton’s collection, Wednesday’s father Gomez is performed by Luis Guzmán, whereas brother Pugsley is portrayed by Isaac Ordonez. “As somebody who struggled, and nonetheless struggles to at the present time, with some type of feeling of illustration or relatability in mainstream media and movie and tv, I recognised this was a possibility for me to… give that relatability to different women like myself,” Ortega explains. “Trying the way in which I do and having the cultural background I’ve, there aren’t many iconic characters on the market. So when a possibility like this comes up – she’s somebody I’ve been in comparison with my complete life, simply due to my humour and dry nature, so it simply appeared becoming. I assumed that will be a pleasant method to flex my muscular tissues differently.”
The collection additionally stars Catherine Zeta-Jones as matriarch Morticia, whereas Gwendoline Christie has been forged as college principal Larissa Weems – and common Burton collaborator Danny Elfman is on board to contribute an unique rating.
Learn extra of Empire’s Jenna Ortega interview within the Moon Knight problem – on sale Thursday 17 February, and out there to order on-line right here.