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Wednesday Addams has a distinctive look since her original cartoon days. She is famous for her black dress and pitch-black pigtails. When it comes to Jenna Ortega in Netflix‘s Wednesday, she and Tim Burton stayed true to the characteristics that made the character famous, with a few tweaks. While getting into character, Ortega reveals one unique thing she did to portray Wednesday’s emotionless facade that she did not realize she was doing.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in first episode of 'Wednesday.'
Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in first episode of ‘Wednesday’ | via Netflix

Jenna Ortega and Christina Ricci had an unspoken rule while working together on ‘Wednesday’

Wednesday’s creators have made clear that the series is not meant to be a continuation of Ricci’s cult classic portrayal. Instead, the series tells a new chapter of Wednesday’s story as a teenager attending Nevermore and getting caught up in a mystery and possible young love.

But Ricci was not too far away when it was announced she would join the series as Marilyn Thornhill. The actor revealed Wednesday was such a huge part of her life that taking part in the series was the right thing to do. Like Ortega, Ricci felt the series needed to take on a new version of the macabre teen.

In an interview with ExtraTV, Ortega reveals Ricci did not give her pointers on how to play the character. “She did not. We didn’t talk about Wednesday at all. It was just like a mutual decision,” explained the actor. When portraying her version of the character, Ortega reveals in a conversation with Ricci for Deadline that she battled with finding the right way to play the character.

Ortega felt overwhelmed at times but found an ally in Burton. She explains, “I remember Tim did not want me to have any expression or emotion at all. He wanted a flat surface, which I understand.” The actor unknowingly found the perfect way to portray Wednesday’s facial expression.

For ‘Wednesday,’ Jenna Ortega channeled the Kubrick stare

In an interview with Teen Vogue, Ortega breaks down the process of getting into character for Wednesday. The character is very proper, well-versed, and eloquent in many ways. Because of it, Ortega’s posture has improved from standing up straight for months. But Ortega also reveals she barely blinked while filming Wednesday.

“At some point during the first couple weeks of shooting, I did a take where I did not blink at all,” said Ortega. “And Tim said, ‘I don’t want you to blink anymore.'”

Comically, Ortega reveals she had not realized she was doing it. “I didn’t realize that I was doing it. It just kind of happened because every time we started a take, I would reset my face. I would drop all the muscles in my face, and Tim really liked the Kubrick stare, where I stare through my eyebrows.” She explains it significantly resonated with Burton.

Ortega committed to her role entirely while on set. The actor reveals she would have a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call and end her day at 6 p.m. She would go through filming the series to cello and fencing practice. She cut her bangs for Wednesday’s hairstyle to make it more authentic.

Percy Hynes White found Jenna Ortega more like Wednesday Addams than Wednesday herself

It is safe to say that Ortega did the work to play a new older version of Wednesday for the small-screen. Before being picked by Burton to audition for the role, Ortega has been compared to the character all her life.

In her ExtraTV interview, she even reveals that Ricci would find her comedy quite dark. Exactly like Wednesday Addams. Ortega admits she can have a dry sense of humor. When speaking with ET Canada, Ortega revealed, “I think Percy told me one time on set, I think I said something off camera, and he said, ‘I think you’re more Wednesday than Wednesday.”


‘Wednesday’: Why Tim Burton Chose the Series as His First Small-Screen Project: ‘She Shares My Worldviews on Things’

The actor says she takes “great appreciation” from her co-star’s comment. There is no denying Ortega is perfect to continue the legacy of Wednesday Addams, especially when she auditioned for the role while covered in fake blood.