‘Wednesday’: Jenna Ortega Explains the Series and How ‘Wednesday Is Technically a Latina Character’
The buzz around Tim Burton’s TV director debut with Netflix’s Wednesday is growing. Fans finally get a deeper inside look into the series about the infamous macabre teen as she ventures into her own coming-of-age story. The official teaser trailer shows Wednesday, played by Jenna Ortega, getting caught up in a murder, chaos, and more. Ortega reveals this rendition will have the first Latina Wednesday.
Wednesday Addams goes to Nevermore Academy and stumbles into a gruesome murder
There is still more of the Netflix series storyline to explore than what the trailers show. For the first time in the Addams universe, the focus will be on the macabre teen. She gets expelled from school for defending her younger brother from bullies. Her parents send her to Nevermore Academy for outcasts and the gifted.
The series has Wednesday deep into the mystery of the local town plagued by a serial killer. Netflix’s behind-the-scenes series video sprinkles in a few details of the crimes. Fans see a bulletin board for Jericho country plastered with evidence and photos of three victims.
Wednesday’s Jenny Ortega explains her character navigates a new school and relationships. “But then also, she’s dealing with this serious investigation, involving serial killers, murders, and monsters,” said the actor.
While the character has been done “flawlessly” before, Ortega says the Netflix version is more socially awkward but confident. Besides Ortega bringing her dry humor and own charm to Wednesday, she reveals the one difference that sets her performance apart from the rest.
Jenna Ortega reveals her version of Wednesday is a Latina
The macabre teen has a long history on the small and big screen. After the black and white cartoons, the character came to life as a young child in a TV series. But Wednesday became infamous and pop culture icon when portrayed by Christian Ricci in The Addams Family movie franchise. The family later became an animated movie franchise.
But one thing was for sure. The Addams family’s Latin origins have never fully been explored. Except for Gomez Addams being Latino, thanks to actor Raúl Juliá. Ortega reveals the series leans further into the family’s Latin roots with Wednesday and Gomez.
“Wednesday is technically a Latina character, and that’s never been represented. So for me, any time that I have an opportunity to represent my community, I want that to be seen,” said Ortega. The Netflix video shows how the series interweaves Latin culture as Wednesday refers to el Dia de Los Muertos, aka The Day of the Dead, often observed in Mexico.
Not only will Ortega be the first to represent Wednesday as a Latina, but actor Luis Guzmán will continue Gomez’s Latino origins while portraying a more cartoon-accurate version.
Luis Guzman will add his own flare to the Latino character of Guzman in ‘Wednesday’
Just as Ortega will portray a fresh Latina take on Wednesday after Ricci’s portrayal, Guzmán will do the same with Gomez, the family’s patriarch. There is no denying that Juliá made the character infamous and gave Gomez a certain suave charm. While at Latino Thought Makers Live at Morton College, Guzman discusses his upcoming role and what it means to follow Juliá.
Guzmán got a call from Tim Burton to play the role of Gomez. He also describes it as coincidental: “It’s pretty ironic that I got the first Raul Julia award ever in Puerto Rico.”
But Guzmán does not see his Netflix role as following Juliá’s work. “What I’m doing is, I’m not reinventing it. I’m just stepping into it. And just doing it like Luis Guzmán would do it,” said the actor. Just like Ortega and her family grew up watching the Addams family, Guzmán also sees it as a dream come true to be a part of Wednesday.