One of the great mysteries of the Addams family is its loyal hand servant, Thing. In the history of the cartoon, series, and movie franchise, the character is only a dismembered hand. Audiences never see his original body or have a clear record of who he is. In Netflix‘s Wednesday, Thing returns and is sent to spy on Wednesday at Nevermore. Loyal to the family, and after a few threats, he helps Wednesday solve the mystery. Victor Dorobantu plays the role of Thing in Wednesday, and filming Tim Burton’s vision was interesting.
Thing loves wearing hand cream and a nice manicure in ‘Wednesday’
Fans first meet Thing when the macabre teen attends Nevermore in Wednesday. As Gomez and Morticia leave, Gomez opens a secret hatch under the car, and Thing appears to follow Wednesday secretly. While trying to keep a low profile, Wednesday is too smart and catches Thing. She explains it is impossible for her heightened olfactory sense not to pick up on his favorite hand lotion.
With a few threats of broken fingers, Thing willingly becomes her loyal servant. Like the previous version of Thing, he is incredibly friendly, good at stealing, and willing to protect the Addams clan. But fans may notice a new feature to his smooth and supple skin. Thing has noticeable scars on his hand. When Enid meets Thing, she wonders where the rest of him is.
Wednesday answers, “It’s one of the great Addams family mysteries.” For the rest of the series, Thing proves he is still human and has emotions when he gives Wednesday the cold shoulder, confides in Enid, and gets manicures with her. But Wednesday shows her love for the bizarre family member when someone attacks him and brings him near the brink of death.
Regarding Wednesday, everything is spooky and bizarre, even when filming Thing’s scenes. Magician Victor Dorobantu plays the role of Thing, and Ortega reveals how he got into character and filmed for the series.
Victor Doronbantu wore a full body suit to play Thing
In an interview with Screen Rant, Ortega breaks down the filming process for the series and working with her co-stars. When it came to Thing, Tim Burton wanted an authentic take on the character and how it was done in the movie franchise. It involved Dorobantu wearing a full-body suit while on set.
“It was so funny, because the Thing language was just made up on the day. Every day we’d show up and go, ‘Ahhh…’ [hand motions] ‘That looks right. I feel like I kind of know what he’s saying.’ But Tim wanted it to be an actual actor like they did in the 90s films, so it was this magician named Victor [Dorobantu],” explained Ortega. “He would wear a full blue suit, and he would hide behind walls and underneath beds. Then they built this prosthetic on top of his hand so that it looked like a wrist knob, and he would walk around.”
The actor reveals Burton was very particularly fascinated with Thing. “Tim really liked his like mannerisms, and he would spend hours in hair and makeup every day just getting that hand on,” said Ortega. But she reveals if she was not working on set with Dorobantu, she would act out the scenes with nothing in front of her. Instead of working with tennis balls, the crew would bring in grey and silver balls to later add the CGI.
In behind-the-scenes photos of Wednesday from Netflix, fans get to see the process of Ortega filming with Thing. Dorobantu wears a full bright blue bodysuit while kneeling on the floor. But to make Thing appear as a solo functioning limb, a prosthetic wrist was added to Dorobantu’s hand. It makes Thing appear upright like previous versions.
Who is Victor Doronbantu, who plays Thing in ‘Wednesday’?
According to Doronbantu’s IMDb page, Wednesday is his first official acting role. Born in Romania, he is a magician by trade and has performed for private events and TV series. Besides being an actor, Doronbantu is a hand actor and creature performer.
Before Doronbantu, Christopher Hart played the role of Thing in the movie franchise. In an interview with Cracked, Hart explains producers were looking at hand models, musicians, magicians, and mimes.
“They interviewed me as well and wanted to know if I would be comfortable stuck under tables and behind walls for hours at a time. I told them that, as a magician, I was used to practicing precise movements over and over in front of a mirror, so it wasn’t an issue,” explained Hart. Like Doronbantu, Hart had a prosthetic stump applied to his hand and had to convert emotion through movement.