Maddie Ziegler Keeps Jenna Ortega in Mind When Auditioning for Movies

Though Maddie Ziegler got her start as a dancer and reality TV star, she seems to have shifted her focus to acting. In recent years, the Dance Moms alum even got to work with veteran director Steven Spielberg on West Side Story. Ziegler has expressed both gratitude and surprise for the acting opportunities she’s been given. She is committed to deepening her craft, and it seems she channels Jenna Ortega to help her do just that.

Maddie Ziegler
Maddie Ziegler | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Jenna Ortega started acting at a very young age

Like Ziegler, Ortega got her start in the entertainment industry at a very young age. However, Ortega has a lot more acting credits under her belt. She starred in popular shows like Jane the Virgin before leading her own show on the Disney Channel. Since her stint at the mouse house has ended, Ortega has stayed booked and busy with shows like You, and Wednesday and films like Scream and X.

Maddie Ziegler learned a lot from Ortega when working with her on ‘The Fallout’

Ortega and Ziegler worked alongside each other on the film The Fallout. Though they were initially nervous about working about together, they ended up becoming fast friends on the shoot. Just days apart in age, the pair had a lot in common. Ziegler has also been candid about the fact that she was able to learn a lot from working with Ortega. A perfectionist, the dancer found herself studying her co-star to see how she might be able to improve her own performance in the future.

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While speaking with Collider, Ziegler reflected on the very last scene she shot with Ortega. “We were doing the bathroom stall scene, which was the heaviest scene we had to do and was literally the last scene before I wrapped, which I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, we ended on the heaviest scene,’” Ziegler shared. “Just seeing the way she gradually got to the point of having a breakdown — we were this close to each other. I was watching her, and I was in shock. I couldn’t even comprehend how amazing she was and how she went there. She really went there so intensely, and I was just in awe.”

Why does Ziegler keep Ortega in mind when she auditions for movies?

Ortega’s ability to let it all go is something that Ziegler has carried forward into her auditions. “I very much have tried to kind of keep that in mind when having to audition for different things or film different things,” the dancer shared. “I’m just like, ‘I have to just let everything fly and go there like Jenna did,’ because it was pretty special.”

Keeping Ortega’s performance in mind when auditioning seems to be faring well for Ziegler. The actor recently wrapped production for the upcoming film Bloody Hell, which she co-leads with Emily Hampshire. We’re sure fans of the dancer are eager to see how she handles yet another emotional role.

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