‘Wednesday’: The Reason Jenna Ortega Needed Her Own Casting Director

Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) plays the cello

The Netflix series Wednesday posits a Wednesday Addams who’s grown up a little. Jenna Ortega plays Wednesday as a teenager. It’s such a distinct role that the character received her own casting credit, distinct from the rest of the cast. Creators Al Gough and Miles Millar explained why. 

Jenna Ortega | Vlad Cioplea/Netflix

Gough and Millar were guests on The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top Five podcast on Oct. 28 to preview the series. They explained the casting of Ortega and why Wednesday got her own casting director. Wednesday is now streaming on Netflix. 

Casting Wednesday Addams predates the rest of the ensemble 

Wednesday began with the title character. So, casting directors who worked on Wednesday the first few years may not have been available to cast the rest of the roles.

“Well, the search went on, and we started looking for Wednesday obviously before we started looking for the rest of the cast, which I think is how that credit came to be,” Gough said on TV’s Top Five. “I agree, it’s certainly one we hadn’t seen before either.”

Ortega stood out among those initial rounds of auditions. Ortega had wrapped filming Scream and was in the middle of her next horror movie, X. 

RELATED: How ‘Wednesday’ Creators Ensured Addams Family Show Wouldn’t Be ‘a Harry Potter Rip-Off’

“We saw hundreds and hundreds of young actresses for the show,” Gough said. “But when we found Jenna, she was just perfect. The first time we talked to her was on Zoom and she was in New Zealand shooting X and she’d been up all night. Even just talking to her, and then she did a scene just over Zoom and we were all like she’s the one. Miles, myself, and Tim [Burton], we all kind of knew it immediately. It’s just one of those things. You know she’s out there and you just have to find her.”

‘Wednesday’ required a Wednesday Addams casting director 

Millar also emphasized why the role of Wednesday was exponentially more important to this particular take on The Addams Family. Since they based the show on Wednesday, they needed to devote more resources to Wednesday Addams.  

Wednesday Addams had a very on-brand message for Netflix employees in the elevators this morning

— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) November 14, 2022

RELATED: ‘Wednesday’ Creators Promise Teenage Wednesday Won’t ‘Betray Who She Is’

Also, this show is all about her so without finding the right Wednesday there’s no show. She’s in 95% of the show. It’s a marathon for her to do. It’s an incredibly complex role actually because you’re a contrarian. Every reaction you have isn’t really what you’d normally do as an actress. She’s really specific as a character. That was something Jenna just took on board. Not method but she became Wednesday. And her posture was Wednesday. I think it’s a character you have to inhabit so it’s a lot. It was a lot to take on. It’s also very verbose. She doesn’t say a lot …read more

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet


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