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Jenna Ortega describes nerve-racking experience of playing Wednesday in front of Wednesday

"I know her as Wednesday in my head, so it was intimidating."

Jenna Ortega in 'Wednesday'
Image via Netflix

Wednesday star Jenna Ortega is describing what it was like to play the iconic Addams Family character in front of none other than the last person to set a high water mark for the role back in the 1990s, Christina Ricci.

The Tim Burton-directed Wednesday series for Netflix comes three decades after Barry Sonnenfeld’s beloved duology of films, 1991’s The Addams Family and 1993’s Addams Family Values. The films helped to make Ricci a household name overnight and she went on to helm a respected movie career of her own, in acclaimed films like Monster and Black Snake Moan.

Ortega’s own career had a similarly meteoric rise after a number of appearances in acclaimed horror films in 2022, including Scream and X, as well as starring in the critically-praised 2021 drama centered on the subject of school shooting survivors, The Fallout. However, it seems nothing could’ve prepared Ortega for portraying Wednesday Addams in front of the OG actor, Ricci. As Ortega explained to Variety,

“I’ve never been so awkward. I felt like I didn’t know what to say to her. I think she’s a fantastic character actress. I know her as Wednesday in my head, so it was intimidating. But she’s so wonderful and talented — she made it really easy.”

Ricci does indeed appear in Netflix’s Wednesday, but not as the show’s namesake. Instead, Ricci plays a character called Ms. Marilyn Thornhill, who is an adult supervisor of the female students at Nevermore Academy.

Wednesday debuts on Netflix on Nov. 23.

Danny Peterson
About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'